For all practical purposes, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, has rebelled against the decision to hold a common entrance test for IITs and other centrally funded institutes. It has plans to conduct its own test in 2013. Similar noises have been made in IIT-Delhi, though no official decision has been taken.
The plan for a common entrance test is the brainchild of Union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal. On the surface, it is being touted as a “student-friendly” system of examinations whereby students don’t have to take multiple tests for different engineering institutes. In reality, it is an effort to bestow some relevance on the class XII board examinations. These examinations, except for certain certifying purposes, are increasingly irrelevant when it comes to screening students for engineering courses. In the end, it is a decision motivated by political factors.