Washington, June 11 (IANS) Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal Monday virtually ruled out going back on the controversial proposal for a nationwide common entrance test for Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs).
The 'one nation, one test' proposal was a unanimous decision of the IIT Council taken in accordance with the IIT Act passed by the Indian Parliament, he told reporters here when asked to comment on the controversy over the proposal, which has been opposed by IIT Kanpur among others.
Arguing that the decision of the IIT Council is in tune with the international practices, Sibal asserted: 'There is no intent to impact on the IIT system autonomy. The exam that is being contemplated is to be set by the IIT itself.'
The HRD ministry had last month announced the decision to merge IIT Joint Entrance Exam (IIT-JEE) with the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) from 2013.
However, IIT Kanpur Senate has passed a resolution rejecting the new format and decided to conduct its own entrance exam from next year.
Sibal, who is leading a high-powered Indian delegation to co-chair the India-US higher education dialogue with US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said he would study IIT Kanpur's decision on his return to India.
'This has nothing to do with the government,' he said asserting it would have no impact on the quality of the education in IITs.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)