New Delhi: HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday said any decision on the eligibility criteria to appear in IIT-JEE will have to be taken by an IIT committee and that it was not in the "jurisdiction" of government to decide.
Describing as "baseless" media reports on the proposed fixing of marks for the entrance to these prestigious institutes by him, the Minister said "the eligibility criteria to appear in JEE is decided by IITs themselves.
"The government of India has no role to play and any report which suggests that there is a proposal to allow only those who obtain 80 percent marks in their class 12 examination to sit for JEE is baseless."
Sibal made these remarks while reacting to reports that he has mooted minimum of 80 to 85 percent marks in Class 12 exams for those wanting to take entrance test for IITs after a meeting of the IIT Council yesterday.
"The only decision that has been taken by the IIT Council is that the IITs will submit a report in January, 2010 to rationalise JEE. It is entirely their decision to decide on the eligibility criteria. It is they who will consider weightage is to be given to the 12 class examination", he
He said the government has "no jurisdiction in the matter and the HRD ministry can in no way, either directly or indirectly, decide or make any proposal for a decision."
The reports also triggered a missive from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who wrote to Sibal opposing any such possible proposal by his ministry.
Replying to Kumar`s letter, Sibal has said the "alleged proposal" is "non existent".
"I, therefore, would like to set at rest your concerns by stating that there is no such proposal as referred to in your letter," the minister wrote in his letter.
Sibal further wrote that "the question of promoting students of elitist background and discriminating against students belonging to the weaker sections of society is entirely misconceived.
"The Congress party has always stood for equity in all government process and decision-making. All examinations must and should be inclusive".