A Handful of Seats in JEE Main: Is it Fair for a Toil of 2 Years?

After toiling hard for two years to score well in JEE Main, the so- called ‘One India One test’ conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education, the general category candidates have been informed that only 6, 400 seats are available in the 10 IIITs, 30 NITs, and 10- 12 other centrally- funded institutions. Some popular branches in the NITs have only three seats available causing unrest among students.

Over 12.5 lakh candidates have appeared for the exam. Though the number of general category candidates is yet to be known, it’s expected to be nearly 8 lakhs. Seats for category students are also around 7, 000. The rankings are based on JEE Main score and class 12 marks with the weightage of 60:40. The first round of seat allocation will be on 14th of July, 2014.

“The number of available seats were never announced by JEE Main or the CBSE. I came to know about it when Central Seat Allotment Board allowed us to fill the options form on July 8, 2014. Some NITs have less than 10 seats for general category students in top branches like electrical engineering and computer science engineering “, explained a candidate. He is unlikely to get a seat despite scoring above 95% in board and 150/ 360 score in JEE Main.

The frustrated applicants, who waited long for All- India rankings to be declared are now looking at the private universities and state- level institutes. They have also demanded either centre abolishes the JEE Main or brings all states to come on board.

A candidate rues, “Centre is still conducting two exams- JEE Main for nearly 17, 000 seats and JEE Advanced for over 9, 700 seats. Apart from that, we have to apply separately for the state- level admissions. Even private universities like BITS and VIT, conduct their own exams. Where is the respite for us?”

The JEE Main was started in 2013- 2014, for the first time after a long tussle between MHRD and IITs. Pitted as ‘One India One exam”’ the JEE Main is the brain child of then MHRD minister Mr. Sibal, who sought to abolish all national and state level exams to project JEE as the only exam. Nonetheless, only few states like Gujarat and Maharashtra, abolished their exams and consented to JEE Main. Apart from that, IITs too didn’t agree to join JEE and went ahead conducting a separate exam JEE Advanced.
Vineet Joshi, the chairman of CBSE and the MHRD chief secretary, Ashok Thakur both were unavailable for comments.

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