Mumbai: The National Testing Agency (NTA) has told the Bombay High Court that hat the eligibility criteria of minimum 75% marks in Class XII to appear for the JEE Mains exam was the norm for admission to NITS, IIITs, and other CFTIs since 2017-18 and the same was relaxed due to Covid-19 pandemic for the academic year 2020-21.
An affidavit has been filed by NTA Director Binod Kumar Sahu in response to a PIL by Anubha Sahai challenging the eligibility criteria of minimum 75% marks in Class XII.
The affidavit states that the Council for IIT’s formulates norms for admission in engineering courses with the objective to promote classroom education. Thereafter Joint Admission Board (JAB) recommended that admission to IITs would be based only on category wise All India Rank (AIR) in JEE Advanced, subject to the condition that the candidate would be in the top 20 percentile of successful candidates of their boards. The council adopted JAB’s resolution and implemented it in 2013.
The criteria was accordingly introduced for admissions to NITs, IIITs and CITs in the academic year 2017-18, for which the JEE Main was conducted in 2017.
“I say the same eligibility criteria which was the norm for admission to NITS, IIITs, and other CFTIs continued till 2020 when the Covid pandemic hit the nation, culminating in the nationwide lockdown and restrictions associated therewith,” the affidavit read.
In view of the prevailing circumstances, the ministry of Human Resource Development (which later came to be known as Ministry of Education), Department of Higher Education relaxed this criteria for admission into IITs, NITs, IITs and CFTIs for the academic year 2020-2021 to 2022-23. Hence for the JEE Mains for the heat 2020, 2021 and 2022, the candidate was required to produce a pass certificate for Class 12, perspective of the marks obtained.
“It is pertinent to note that the said letter in clear terms specify that the said relaxation is given as a one time measure and for the concerned academic year only,” the affidavit adds.
This indicates that the said “criteria is the norm” and an exception was made by relaxing the requirement during Covid period.
The requirement is a “conscious, well considered and sound policy decision taken with the approval of JEE Apex Board, it added.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)