Photo: Mint (Mint)
Photo: Mint

Supreme Court to hear petition seeking stay on JEE-Main result today

Petition says the normalization process, introduced this year, has affected the selection of hundreds of students

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear a petition seeking a stay on the Joint Entrance Exam (Main) on the grounds that its ranking system has affected the selection of hundreds of students seeking admission in top central government-funded engineering colleges.

Fifty three petitioners, mainly parents of aggrieved candidates, moved the apex court on Tuesday with a writ petition seeking its intervention in the matter. JEE-Main, the first of a two-tier engineering entrance exam system, aims to select students for all the 30 National Institutes of Technology (NITs), half a dozen Indian Institutes of Information Technology and other top technology schools, except the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

From this year, students will be selected based on their performance in the entrance exam and the marks they got in the Class 12 board exams. For the first time, the entrance test to these institutes gives 40% weight to the board exam performance.

At least 1.6 million students sat for JEE-Main in April.

Kshitij Garg, a coordinator of the petitioners, said the problem began when the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), in charge of JEE-Main, normalized the board marks and entrance performance.

“The normalization process is complex and unscientific. Instead of authorities putting out the normalization process well in advance, they disclosed it in May, a month after the JEE-Main exam. It has affected the ranking of many and thus affected their chance to get admission in one of the top engineering schools," Garg said. “How can you play the game and then give the rules? It does not put all school boards on an equal footing in any way."

One of the petitioners from New Delhi said his son, based on his performance in the JEE-Main and the Class 12 exam, was expecting a ranking of within 18,000 but got a rank that exceeded 41,500. “This rank has literally shut the chance to get admission in any of the NITs," said the petitioner, who didn’t want to be named.

The NITs, ranked next only to the IITs, admit nearly 25,000 students every year.

Parents and students have also approached the high courts in Delhi, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh seeking a stay or deferment by a year on the new pattern of normalization to create a national merit list.

CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi said the board is evaluating the issue.