Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination
The Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination (popularly known as IIT-JEE or just JEE) is an annual college entrance examination in India. A total of seventeen colleges use JEE as a sole criterion for admission to their undergraduate programs. The seventeen colleges include the seven old and eight new (2009) Indian Institutes of Technology, IT-BHU Varanasi, and ISM Dhanbad. Starting in 2007, newly established institutions such as Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) at Kolkata, Pune, Mohali, Bhopal & Thiruvananthapuram, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Indian Institute of Maritime Studies, Mumbai and Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology (RGIPT), Raebarely Uttar Pradesh are also admitting students through the JEE (Extended Merit List). For 2010, IIST has announced its own entrance exam. Even the Indian Institute of Science (IISc, Bangalore) considers (but does not require) JEE ranks in its application process. The exam is conducted by the various IITs by a policy of rotation. It is one of the toughest engineering entrance exams in the world with a success rate of around 1 in 45. Candidates who qualify in the IIT-JEE can apply for admission to the BArch (Bachelor of Architecture), BDes (Bachelor of Design), BTech (Bachelor of Technology), Dual Degree (Integrated Bachelor of Technology and Master of Technology), Integrated MSc (Master of Sciences) and Integrated MSc(Tech) (Master of Sciences and Technology) courses in the various institutes. Achieving entrance into an IIT is often considered the pinnacle of achievement for a student of the sciences, and the IITs/IT-BHU/ISM attract most of the brightest students of the nation.
Of the 456,000 candidates who appeared in the examination conducted on April 11, 2010, 13,104 candidates have been declared qualified to seek admission, giving a selectivity of 1 in 35 overall, 1 in 48 for the 9,509 seats in IITs, IT-BHU and ISM and 1 in 61 for the IITs only.
The JEE has evolved considerably from its initial pattern approximately 45 years back. Initially, there were 4 subjects in JEE, the English language paper being the additional subject. During the period from 2000 to 2005, the JEE also had a screening test in addition to the JEE main examination in order to reduce the load on the JEE main examination by screening only about 20,000 top candidates. In 1997, the JEE was conducted twice after the question paper was leaked in some centers.
In September 2005, an analysis group of directors of all the IITs announced major reforms in JEE, implemented from 2006 onwards. The new test consists of a single objective test, replacing the earlier two-test system. The candidates belonging to the general category must secure a minimum of 60% marks in aggregate in the qualifying examination of the XII standard organized by various educational boards of India. Candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Physically Disabled (PD) categories must secure a minimum of 55% in aggregate in the Qualifying Examination.
In 2008, the director and the dean of IIT Madras called for revamping JEE, saying that the coaching institutes were "enabling many among the less-than-best students to crack the test and keeping girls from qualifying." They expressed concern that the present system did not allow for the 12 years of schooling to have a bearing on admissions into IITs.
Each year IIT-JEE is conducted by any one of the old IITs in a round robin fashion. In 2009, it was conducted by IIT-G. The IIT-JEE 2010, was conducted on April 11, 2010, by IIT Madras. Results were released on May 26, 2010. A total of over 472,000 candidates have registered for the exam.
According to the data released by the organizing committee of IIT-JEE, the children of medical professionals had the highest success rate in the IIT-JEE (for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008). They were followed by the children of engineers. The maximum number of students taking IIT-JEE are the children of government employees, but they had a much lower success rate.
Current examination format
The current pattern, which has been followed since 2006, consists of two objective type papers each containing maths, physics and chemistry sections. The syllabus of the examination is predominantly based on topics covered by the CBSE Board Examination (AISSCE) and the ISC Board Examination. The pattern of questions in JEE is deliberately variable so as to minimize the chance of students getting selected by cramming up the probable questions. As it is objective type questions, Optical mark recognition answer sheets has been adopted since 2006. In previous years, there were separate maths, physics and chemistry papers, each of two hours' duration that contained both subjective and objective Questions. The current pattern is adopted so as to reduce the students' stress. .
Given the importance attached to the JEE by students all over India, the IITs follow a rigorous procedure when conducting it every year. The exam is set by the JEE Committee (consisting of a group of faculty members drawn from the admitting colleges) under the tightest security. Multiple sets of question papers are framed and the set that is to actually be used on the day of the exam is known to only about five individuals. The JEE has been noted for originality in its questions.
IIT-JEE 2010 Controversy
The Joint Entrance Examination conducted by IIT Madras in 2010 invited some controversy when several printing errors were found in the Hindi question paper and the common answer scripts. A court case on the issue, however, has been scrapped.
The number of students taking this examination has increased substantially each year with the JEE-2010 registering about 472000 candidates. The availability of seats in recent years is as given in table below:
The age limit for appearing in IIT-JEE is 25 years. For candidates belonging to SC, ST and PD categories, the relaxed age limit is 30 years. Also, starting 2007, a candidate can take the JEE two times at the most. This has been done mainly to reduce stress on students and discourage the concept of "cram schools". Furthermore, from 2007 on, students who are selected for admission to an IIT cannot attempt the examination again in the future. From 2008 six new IITs have been opened with 120 seats each increasing the total number of seats to almost 7000. For 2009, admissions have been made to two more IITs, namely IIT Indore and IIT Mandi (Himachal Pradesh) taking the seat count to almost 8300.
- IIT Roorkee JEE page (organizing IIT for JEE 2008) contains lots of information on jee including syllabus, old jee question papers and answers
- IIT Madras JEE page (organizing IIT for JEE 2010)
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