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IITs to bring back Class 12 performance criterion for admissions

Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have decided to reinstate the pre-pandemic grade 12 performance criterion for admission next year, The Indian Express has learned.

In 2020, IITs had introduced a relaxation regarding candidate performance in board exams given the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown had forced several state and state administrations to abandon their Class 12 final exams and replace them with alternative evaluation arrangements.

According to the 2020 Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced) Information Brochure, the only requirement regarding performance in Class 12 (or equivalent) was that candidates had to pass the Board examination in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, any language and any subject other than these four . This continued for another two years, until JEE (Advanced) 2022.

IITs have now collectively decided to scrap the relaxation of admission requirements related to Class 12 exam performance, given the return to normalcy in academic life, sources said.

Before the pandemic, general category candidates with qualifying rank in JEE (Advanced) were required to have either scored at least 75 per cent in Class 12 or been in the top 20 of their board results to secure a place at an IIT .

Applicants from the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) were required to either have scored at least 65 percent or meet the top 20 percentile requirement. In other words, previously even an impressive rank in the JEE (Advanced) did not guarantee admission unless the candidate had also met the examination marks criterion.

The decision to reinstate the pre-pandemic Class 12 criterion, The Indian Express has learned, was taken at a meeting of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) last month. The JAB makes all decisions regarding the conduct of JEE (Advanced). A formal announcement of the decision is expected shortly.

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JEE (Advanced) determines admission into IITs. Even if candidates eligible to appear for JEE (Advanced) are shortlisted based on their performance in the JEE (Main), the performance of the Class 12 board examination was one of the qualifying criteria.

“During the pandemic, there was a lot of uncertainty about exams. Board exams were canceled in nearly all states and central in one of the years, and in the other two years, the exams had several easings to facilitate students while allowing for online learning and other restrictions. Now that exams are back to normal and schools are going back to covering the full syllabus, the qualification criterion in JEE (Advanced) regarding board grades will go back to its original format,” said a member of the JAB.

Mohit Sardana, the director of Mumbai FIITJEE, a coaching institute for JEE preparation, said the decision was expected with the return to normality.

“For the sake of clarity, it is important to have such information available. There have been rare cases where a candidate was unable to qualify for the JEE (Advanced) even after scoring well in JEE (Main) because he/she did not qualify for the board marks criterion,” he said. “For clarity, the JEE (Advanced) 2023 information brochure is now awaited,” he said.

The IITs’ decision comes at a time when as many as 90 universities in the country were admitting students to undergraduate programs based on the new Central University Entrance Test (CUET). Most central universities this year only required students to pass their board exam, and admission was based on their CUET score.

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