New Delhi: The Centre`s proposal for a common entrance test for all engineering institutions, along with the tests for IITs and other central institutes like NITs and IIITs, met with stiff resistance from some states at a meeting of education ministers on Tuesday.
In the light of their opposition, states have been given the flexibility to opt out of the proposed common entrance test by conducting examinations for engineering institutions coming under their authority.
Another proposal to allow flexibility to IITs to adopt a methodology of admission of students different from NITs and IIITs also met with opposition from almost all the states.
While Congress-ruled Kerala and Samajwadi Party-ruled Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday opposed the Government`s move on the common entrance test, some states including BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat said that they would implement the Centre`s proposal.
Gujarat has also written to the Centre supporting the common test. Congress-ruled states of Haryana, Assam and Maharashtra also supported the Centre, sources said.
However,HRD Minister Kapil Sibal claimed that "the overwhelming opinion" was in support of the common test.
Kerala Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb said his state was agree for a common test for central government institutions like IIT, NIT and IIIT. "But a common test for engineering institutions under the jurisdiction of the state Government is not acceptable," he said. "That question does not arise," he told reporters.
Considering the strong opposition from Kerala and Uttar Pradesh, Sibal said flexibility is given to the states which are under no compulsion to join the common entrance test for institutes under their jurisdiction.
It was explained that States would have the freedom to join in the common examination system and have the autonomy to determine their own relative weightages to normalized Class XII Board marks, performance in JEE-MAIN and JEE-ADVANCED.
Almost all states also opposed the Centre`s proposal to allow flexibility to prestigious IITs according to which they can adopt a methodology for selection and admission of students which is different from the same in NITs and IIITs.
Led by Bihar, Education Ministers almost unanimously said they cannot agree with a provision in the Centre`s proposal that the selection criteria for candidates for the IITs would be different even as all the aspirants or IITS, IIITs and NIT will have to appear in a common test under a new format.