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Will waiver of 75% marks in class XII for JEE impact the quality of students

With the union education ministry’s decision to waiving off 75% marks in the class XII exam as eligibility criteria at Joint Entrance Examination (Main) from 2021-2022, students may breathe easy. Though the decision has been taken to ease the academic burden of students, a key concern is whether the waiver will affect the quality of students who get enrolled in the country’s top technical institutes.

JEE Advanced organising chairman Debashish Chakravarty, says the decision by the education ministry comes in the wake of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) meeting held in November 2020 when the decision to waive off the 75% marks eligibility criteria was taken to reduce pressure on aspirants. “Post COVID-19, students suffered tremendous stress owing to the pandemic-induced lockdown and academic loss due to the lack of in-person classes. But they are already in preparation mode for the competitive exams and have spent nearly two years preparing for JEE Advanced. In such a scenario, the exam itself will assess students on their aptitude and skills; board exam results need not be a performance index,” he adds.

Quite justifiably, there would be no syllabus reduction in JEE Advanced as students too would need sufficient notice to re-orient their preparation process. “Reduction in board syllabus is easier and can be undertaken independently as there is no uniformity in the syllabus across various state boards. But JEE Advanced syllabus cannot be changed overnight. We need to consider the hard work put in by students who have already completed the full syllabus by now,” Chakravarty tells Education Times. He urges aspirants to visit the official JEE Advanced website (jeeadv.ac.in) and the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JOSAA) website (josaa.nic.in) for the latest updates and not pay heed to fake news that often makes the rounds.

“Most students who clear JEE Main to appear for JEE Advanced are likely to score over 75% marks in the plus 2. This waiver will not have a major impact on the quality of students who take the JEE Advanced since they are academically bright and fiercely competitive,” said a senior IIT Delhi faculty and consultant to NTA on the condition of anonymity. The waiver, he adds, is not a one-time measure as it was implemented last year for both JEE Main and JEE Advanced 2020. “Owing to the slew of online classes which impacted students’ preparation post the pandemic, the ministry has taken a student-friendly decision.”

One of the IIT directors also on condition of anonymity says the waiver may compromise on students’ conceptual knowledge. “Some sections of science in plus 2 are theoretical in nature and may not help in cracking JEE Main/Advanced. Students may be inclined to neglect such sections and come out with half-baked knowledge,” he affirms.

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