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Bihar opposes Sibal move to raise IIT cutoffs

By Anand Mohan Sahay
October 20, 2009 13:20 IST
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Union Human Resource Development minister Kapil Sibal's move to increase the class XII cut offs for the IIT entrance has been slammed by all parties in Bihar.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that move would deprive many students from backward states, of the chance to take entrance test to these premier institutes. "I would write to Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal soon to protest the move" Kumar said.

Former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi described the move as non-practical."The move will deprive the poor students from rural areas of  a chance to qualify for the IIT" she said. Former railway minister Lalu Prasad said it was wrong to create a hurdle for poor students from Bihar and elsewhere to appear in the IIT entrance examination."We will oppose it " he said.

Anand Kumar, director of Super 30, a unique training initiative in Bihar,that has achieved a 100-per cent result at the IIT-JEE  told that the latest move was a conspiracy to keep students from  rural areas out of the prestigious IIT . Every year, Super 30 selects a group of 30 IIT aspirants from poor families, often from marginalised sections, and provides them with free coaching, food and accommodation. Kaushalendra Kumar, a student preparing for IIT, said, "The move was a big shock for me as I got 75 percent in  my class XII board exam this year. I will be out of race despite hard labour for the IIT entrance test, if this move  is enforced."

Some parents expressed the view that 80 percent marks was not easy and most of the students will have a tough time fulfilling this criteria.

Sibal said on Monday that he favoured more weightage be given to Class 12 board exam marks for the IIT entrance and felt that the required minimum of 60 percent marks could be raised, but left it to a committee to take a decision. Sibal's suggestion came as an attempt to ensure that students taking entrance tests to the premier institutes gave equal importance to the secondary school exam and also to check the growth of IIT coaching centres.

A committee of IIT directors has been appointed to work out a revised system for the IIT entrance from 2011, Sibal said.

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Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna