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Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) - The Run For All

The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) which is conducted by the six Indian Institutes of Technology jointly is undoubtly the most prestigious competitive examination conducted in the country. JEE is a joint entrance exam for admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and other premier institutions. The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) is conducted for admission to four year B-Tech / B-Pharma Courses also five year B-Arch / Integrated and M-Tech programs at seven Indian Institute of Technology - Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, Kharagpur, Mumbai and Roorkee IIT .
The reputation for JEE has got immensely clean image among all the public perception. And this kind of reputation among the public is fully deserved. There has never been any kind of public scandal involved with an examination which  currently conduct more than 1,20,000 boys and girls competing for a mere 3,000 or so most sought-after college seats. But there was a one-time incident with the examination which involved leakage of question papers, this has perhaps added to the reputation of the Examination. But a quick decision was taken by the administration to cancel the examination and to reconduct it without any further delay of the matters. This incidence was appreciated by the public.
JEE is considered to be the pathway to perhaps the best in education that our country has to offer and to the most progressive and successful careers. The stakes for the candidates are pretty high the advertising pages of every newspaper or periodical and public walls in the smallest of townships bear witness to a flourishing industry spawned by this examination. It is considered that the entire system is transparently clean because the unique administrative structure of the JEE plays a great important factor. Most IITs does not have a permanent organization for JEE. It has only one professor from each IIT on the implementation committee, in turn the examination is organized by each IIT. The implementation committee is for all practical purposes totally independent of the administration. Mostly the question have been aroused with the system developed so transparently clean, it is because of the image and pride of the JEE. And this pride prevades each and every level of the system. The unique infrastructure of management and administration plays a great contributing factor in maintaining the image as well as the system clean. Unlike the university system the professors constituting this committee are quite insulted from the power brokers.
In fact unique system of JEE physical verification for the identities of the candidates plays a major role in establishing the fairness of the examination. Even the elaborate system of distributed information access, in which no single person is privy to both the identities of the candidates and their performance during the Joint Entrance Examination(JEE). Incidentally, JEE is considered among the most candidate-friendly examination. The reason behind this is, for example, if suppose a candidate who is unable to reach his designated centre may be for whatever reason is allowed to appear the examination almost anywhere else, and no questions will be asked to the candidate.
Over the past three years remarkable innovations have been taken place in the administration of the test. With great efficiency every single aspects of the JEE operation has been implemented, re-thought, and redesigned. Some of the innovations taken place includes the following:
  1. A much simplified application form which depends completely on self-declaration by the candidates and does not require them to submit any documents.
  2. Fully-automated handling of applications.
  3. Pre-coded answer sheets for the objective examination.
  4. Complete access for the candidates for their queries through 24-hour interactive voice-response telephony.
  5. A candidate can attempt JEE only twice, in consecutive years. Candidates who have passed (10+2) or equivalent qualifying examination in 2007 or will be appearing in 2008, and secure 60% or more for SC/ST and Persons with Physical Disability (PD) marks in aggregate in their respective Board Examination are eligible.
  6. The age limit for appearing in IIT-JEE is 25 years.
  7. A candidate can take the JEE two times at the most. This has been done mainly to reduce stress.
Though JEE is undoubtly the best organized and prestigious competitive entrance examination with a well-deserved reputation for honesty, it is far from what an ideal examination should be. In fact, some of us believe that the ?above board? image of the JEE along with the inherent attractiveness of an IIT education has had a deep impact created on our society, which, in turn has resulted in gross distortions on the JEE itself. Even though the problems are quite well understood but there is no unanimity on the possible solutions yet. Most of us what we are seeing are the anxiety of the parents of most of the high-school children around the country. The anxiety resulted into the only possible action that they can what think of getting their children admitted to a good coaching Institute, contact or postal. Those of us who set question papers for the JEE react to this situation and have been raising the level of the question papers steadily.
The tougher the question papers, more is the dependence on intensive coaching classes at the cost of systematic scientific education. This has resulted in serious deterioration in the grasp of fundamental science which is very much essential for any creative endeavour. Now the competition has been increase in such a manner that the coaching classes puts such a heavy pressure on the student for the preparation of JEE that she/he gets no time even for general reading. Reading habits of our students are decreasing day by day. This in fact is a vicious cycle. Gone is the love for learning and the curiosity. Our students wait in the lectures for the bottom line, the formulae they can plug into or the recipe they can follow for the examination problem. Since the brighter among the school-going students are interested in preparing for the JEE, the entire school education stands adversely affected. The students now spend lesser and lesser time in exploring what is not directly relevant for JEE. Witness the fate of science laboratories in schools. Now that JEE coaching is beginning at Class IX level, the study of social sciences and languages is similarly affected. The coaching puts such a load on the student that she/he has no time now for general reading.
The present JEE admission pattern ensures that the selection is very low from the bulk. The solution lies in changing the nature of the question papers. They need to focus on basic concept of the candidates. It is mostly seen that students are not able to attempt full question papers due to wrong study habits. A good competitive examination paper should be very different from a normal examination. Some innovation must be done like by giving no tricky or difficult questions. The fact is we cannot compete the coaching establishments; they generally help the candidates in solving all tricky problems. But with right kind of questions, there will be motivate to teach rather than coach.
Main shortcomings is all three papers cannot be of same standard, so mostly candidates miss out from the merit list because of not meeting the cut-off in only one subject, even though their total have placed them at high ranks. With the concept of standardized scores drawbacks can be tackled. This concept is used in most of the prestigious examinations worldwide. This concept has not received enough support from our boards. Innovations must be done in setting of the type question papers, so that there can be increase of numbers in merit list. Inter committee should be appointed so that they can put forward with some suggestion or changes required in setting the paper pattern. Proper ranking question papers should ideally try to examine the aptitude, intelligence and comprehension of the candidates. But in JEE there is full of tricky questions which usually demonstrate the smartness of the examiner. A good examination paper should be where in 40 to 50% of the students been able to answer majority the questions. In reality only 10-20% manages to answer around half of the questions. Non-transparency of the JEE operations should be discussed. So that candidate can get idea about their marks obtain in the examination. Admission through competitive examinations in our country is in pity state. As candidates has to appear in a multitude of examinations, many of them now with two tiers.
The fever of entrance exam results in enormous tension, mental depression and creativity blutness among the students. It is a common sight that students getting up at 2-3 am daily to prepare themselves for the examination. In the process parents invest so much of money but there is no assurity of getting employment. Administrators generally give statements of low fee structure in compare to the western country, but it is a high time to work on reducing the fees to make it affordable among the middle class family.
Approximately 50 years back JEE was evolved from its initial pattern. There were 4 subjects and English subject was additional. During 2000 to 2005 to reduce load screening test was maintain only about 20,000 candidates were screened. In 1997 JEE was conducted twice after the leakage of question paper. JEE-2008 will be conducted on April 13, 2008 with subject?s math, physics and chemistry containing Paper-I & Paper-II for 3 hours each. The syllabus include on topics covered by the CBSE (AISSCE), ISC Board Examination. In September 2005, an analysis group comprising 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 XIIth 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.
General category candidates should secure 60% and Candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Physically Disabled must securer 55% in aggregate. The seats has been increased each year with registering about 300,000 candidates in JEE-2006.Total seat number available is about 5500. The age limit for appearing in IIT-JEE is 25 years. For SC, ST and PD categories, the age limit is 30 years. To reduce stress a candidate can appear JEE twice.
It is time for introspection for judging the efficacy of entrance examinations and developing a better system based on modern technologies after a thorough review at the national level. The present system is helping only the coaching institutions and creating serious difficulties for the candidates and the parents concerned.
Detailed information will be available in the Information Brochure which will be served along with IIT JEE Application Forsm and in the website .
Authored By
Anirban Das
Education Counselor
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