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IIT Kanpur's move legally unsustainable, say IITs

Last updated on: June 11, 2012 16:15 IST

IIT Kanpur's move legally unsustainable, say IITs

Kalpana Pathak

It is unlikely that other Indian Institutes of Technology will join IIT-Kanpur in its resolve to take on the new entrance exam.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur, may have gone ahead and taken a bold step, but at the end, it may find itself fighting a lonely battle.

IIT Kanpur, unhappy with the ministry of human resource development's move on holding one common engineering entrance examination for NITs, IITs and IIITs, last week decided to hold its own examination next year. No IIT has formally declared it will join IIT Kanpur in its move.

Other IITs say, what IIT Kanpur has done is legally unsustainable. And, it is unlikely that they will join IIT Kanpur in its movement.

Besides, they say the issue is not so serious that IIT Kanpur had to take such a drastic step.

"IIT Kanpur's resolution does not hold water. Legally, IIT Kanpur cannot separate itself from JEE (the joint entrance examination). According to the ordinance, part of the IIT Act, admissions to the undergraduate programmes will be governed by the JEE organised by all the IITs together," said a professor from IIT Roorkee who was involved in framing its statutes.

To give IIT Kanpur's resolution a legal standing, the institute will first have to amend the ordinance and seek approval from the Board of Governors (BoG).

"IIT Bombay will not join them. The council has decided on a particular course of action and IIT Bombay is supporting it," said Devang Khakhar, director, IIT Bombay.

IIT Guwahati too said it will not join IIT Kanpur. "The resolution by itself has no legal standing. IIT Kanpur will have to modify their ordinance and then take an approval from the BoG," said Gautam Barua, director, IIT Guwahati.

Under the IIT Act, there are statutes. Under the statutes, ordinances are listed, which are to be framed by the Senate and finally need an approval seal of the board of governors.

Faculty members and IIT directors whom Business Standard spoke to said they are not clear on the issues the alumni associations and All India IIT Faculty Federation (AIIITFF) have with the new pattern.

While a few members of the dissenting group have objected to the new pattern altogether, others agree with the pattern but want the examination to be in place from 2014, instead of 2013 as suggested by the MHRD.

"I feel that MHRD's decision is not bad. It's just that the IITs need some time to prepare themselves, so they want the exams from 2014," said a faculty member from IIT Kharagpur.

"What is the objection with the new format? It is a good compromise we came up with. The formula was suggested by IIT Madras and it was the best middle path we could find," said Barua.

"We will want that autonomy be maintained and that the Senates should have a consensus which is acceptable by all. It's not that you can over-ride what the Senates say," said Ashok Kalbag, Secretary General, Pan IIT Alumni Association, which has been rather silent on this issue.

Do you believe IIT Kanpur is justified in taking on the HRD Ministry? Or do you agree with the HRD Ministry's decision to having a common entrance exam will really help reduce the stress among students? Share your views with us! Post your comments on Rediff ZaraBol below!

Image: Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
Photographs: Rediff Archives

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