Published: 18th July 2020
Class XII marks no longer a criterion to get into IITs: Here's what it means for students
On July 17, the union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had announced that the students will have to merely pass their class XII exams
On Friday, the Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had announced that the Joint Admission Board will relax the eligibility criterion for the JEE Advanced examination. The minister added that the candidates who have passed their class XII examinations will now be eligible for admissions and their XII grade marks will not be considered.
"Due to the partial cancellation of class XII exams by several Boards, Joint Admission Board (JAB) has decided to relax the eligibility criterion for #JEE (Advanced) 2020 qualified candidates this time," the minister tweeted. Previously, one had to to secure either a minimum of 75 per cent marks in their Class XII Board exams or rank among the top 20 percentile in their qualifying examinations, apart from qualifying through JEE (Advanced).
What will this mean for IIT aspirants? We asked around. The rule of securing a decent percentile in Class 12 was made a necessity after it was noticed that students were neglecting their board exams for JEE preparations, said RL Trikha, Director, FIITJEE. "Before the rule of securing 75 per cent marks in Class 12 or being in the top 20 percentile in respective board was introduced, the requirement was a minimum of 60 per cent marks. This change was done to ensure seriousness in Class 12 since students used to neglect Class 11 and 12 and school at the cost of focusing on JEE competitive examinations. This is a crisis and we are in the midst of it. And to cope with it, even otherwise there are relaxations provided by the HRD ministry in the declaration of Class 12 results considering the COVID-19 crisis. The decision to base the selection in IITs only on merit in JEE examinations also makes sense in the same light. There are better prospects for selection of students since one major stringent filter of Class 12 marks is now removed," he added.
But does it make the students' lives a little bit easier? "It takes the stress away for those who did not score well. But at the same time, it also increases the competition by the sheer number of students who will be eligible this year. It feels a bit unfair to those of us who had worked hard to clear the percentile no matter what," said Ankit Tibrewal (name changed), an aspirant.
Another aspirant Aadithya said that this does not make much of a difference for a student. "I don't think this will have any impact on students. I am now only concerned about when the exam will be held, as the number of COVID cases are increasing everyday," he said.
The waiver or non-consideration of Class 12 marks as eligibility criteria for admissions to IITs, will result in more rigorous competition and participation for JEE Advanced, said Aakash Chaudhry, Director and CEO, Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL). "A lot of students remain focused for their JEE prep during class 12 and generally focus on the board exams prep towards the end. Given that this year a lot of students were not able to write their class 12 board exams in totality and their internal school exam marks have been considered for result preparation for 12 board, have put many students at disadvantage and may have led them to be ineligible for JEE admissions," said Chaudhary. "Now that this criteria has been relaxed, it will be a big relief for students and will reduce their anxiety levels, as some may have not crossed 75% marks criteria due to internal marks compilation in their final XII Board marks. This will also lead to an overall increase in the number of students aspiring for JEE (Advanced) exam & it will exert a positive impact in filling seats of different courses offered by IITs," he added.
As per the notification, the relaxation has been proposed only for current year JEE admissions of 2020 and is a temporary fix, feels some students. "But if this relaxation is extended in coming years, it will definitely reduce the anxiety level of students who are facing the issue of eligibility criterion as they remain focused more on JEE prep and keep Board exam prep towards the end of the session. Also, there will be some clear benefit for students who cleared the 12th exam last year and were repeating this year for JEE Main, can now prepare with JEE Advanced also in mind as their target. Each year there are many cases with a marginal difference of 75 per cent criteria, they would get an opportunity to get admission in IITs now," said Abhinav Baranwal, an Aakash Institute student from Delhi.