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IIT JEE cut-off may fall a bit in 2008

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More than 3.2 lakh students across the country, a nearly 30% increase over last year’s 2.5 lakh, appeared for the Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE) on Sunday for a shot at one of the most coveted 5,500-plus seats across the IITs, the IT-BHU (Institute of Technology-Banaras Hindu University) and ISMU (Indian School of Mines University), Dhanbad.

This, incidentally, was the first big competitive exam after the 27% OBC quota decision in premier higher education institutes was upheld by the Supreme Court. The examination was conducted against the backdrop of the decision, even as institutes are yet to collectively decide how many seats will be increased and made available to each category of students.

Add to that, the promised new IITs - of the eight pledged by the prime minister last year. At least three of those, located in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan are expected to be operational this year. Each of the new IITs is likely to admit 200 students this year. The total number of seats available, thus, may even cross the 7,000 mark, if the first phase of quota is implemented.

IIT Kharagpur JEE chairman AK Ghosh told ET: “The directors are still meeting with MHRD and details of the OBC issue are still to be decided on. Our institute wanted to maintain the same number of students as last year, but if the 27% OBC reservation is implemented, obviously the number of seats will go up. However, we are not clear about this yet.”

The cut-offs, this year, are expected to be slightly lower than last year. According to TIME vice-president Ajay Antony, “the cut-off is likely to be 34% overall for an all-India rank. That means the student needs to score around 167 out of a total of 489. Individual cut-offs don’t have much of a bearing for serious students.

We’ve arrived at the figure by comparing the level of difficulty between the 2006, 2007 and 2008 papers and also taking into account the total number of students appearing for the exam. Sharad Awasthi, president and CEO, Career Launcher agreed. “I think scoring around 160 is likely to get a student a rank.”

Meanwhile, students concentrated on the objective-type IIT-JEE exam, which like last year, consisted of two papers of three hours each. Both had sections on Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, each divided into four parts. Paper I had four sections: straight objective type; multiple correct MCQs; assertion reasoning type and linked comprehension type, the second section being a departure from last year. In Paper II, that section was replaced by last year’s Matrix Match.

The first paper had 69 questions and 82 marks per subject, totalling 246 marks. Paper II, held between 2 pm and 5 pm, had 66 questions, amounting to 243 marks. Maximum marks in both the papers were 489. Overall, Maths was voted the most difficult section, more so in the second section than in the first. Though the first too, was found to be quite difficult because of its emphasis on co-ordinate geometry and calculus. Chemistry was felt to be the easiest among the three subjects.

Students, on the whole, weren’t complaining too much except for the Maths section. First-time aspirant Arnab Banerjee summed up the overall feeling: “The Maths section in the second paper was tougher than the first while Physics and Chemistry were easier. I expect that the cut-offs will go down this year,” he said.

Source: The Economic Times

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