The alumni of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) met with the new human resources development minister M Pallam Raju in Delhi on Friday, in what was described as a "positive meeting", to point out contentious issues in the entrance exam reforms.

The alumni had sought an appointment to raise the issue of the controversial changes to the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) for entry into the IITs from next year. The alumni had contended that the changes went against previous court orders and that there were inherent flaws in the system.

The delegation that met the minister released a note after Friday's meeting saying they would follow up in a week, adding that the minister had heard them out and promised to look into the issues.

"[He] promised to give a fresh visit to the issues concerning the IITs, including controversial changes inducted in JEE by his predecessor," said the note from the alumni. "He showed inclination to take actions which are in the interest of all the stakeholders of the IIT system. Without commenting, either way, on rolling back of the misdirected changes brought in JEE, he promised to give a patient hearing on the issues concerning IIT autonomy, including JEE."

In July, the IITs had agreed to a two-part exam and the use of board exam marks as an eligibility and not admission criterion. It was decided that from next year students would have to clear both exams and be within the top 20 percentile of successful candidates in their Class 12 board to get admission.

The alumni had vehemently opposed the ministry's attempts at changing the JEE. Finally, a compromise formula had been reached, with the IITs agreeing to a two-part exam with board marks as an eligibility, not an admission criteria.

Source: Hindustan Times