Bihar is likely to conduct admissions to engineering courses through the Joint Entrance Exam (Mains) held for admissions to various central government-funded engineering institutes, except IITs. The state has approached the National Testing Agency (NTA), which will be conducting the JEE (Mains), for using its ranks and scores next year. A permission has to be taken by the state authorities or the institution that seeks to use the JEE rankings for admissions.

The ranks and scores attained by the students appearing in the JEE (Mains) is shared with the state or the institution which wants to use its ranking for admissions.

“Engineering is a state subject. Bihar has approached us for allowing it to use the list of JEE ranks for engineering admissions,” said Director General of NTA, Vineet Joshi.

At present, states like Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Nagaland and some other institutions like Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and Jamia Millia Islamia use JEE (Mains) ranks for admissions. But these states and institutions have their own admission criteria. Many states like Maharashtra, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh have their own entrance test. Several institutes give the option to the candidates to take the JEE (Mains) or appear in their own competitive exam.

The JEE (Mains) exam will be conducted by NTA next year two times in several sessions and around 9.5 lakh students are expected to take the exam. The candidates will have the option of appearing in both the exams in January and April. The best score of the two exams can be used for admission purpose by the candidate.

JEE (Mains) ranking are used primarily for admissions to 31 National Institutes of Technology, 23 Indian Institutes of Information Technology and 23 Centrally Funded Technical Institutes (CFTIs). The exam is also a preliminary exam for the JEE (Advanced) which is the basis for admissions to undergraduate programmes in IITs.

Before the NTA, IITs used to assist the CBSE in holding the JEE (Mains) examination. NTA will now be assisted by the IITs in holding the JEE (Mains) exams. However, JEE (Advanced) will still be conducted by the seven Zonal Coordinating IITs under the guidance of the Joint Admission Board ( JAB). JEE (Advanced) is used for admissions to IITs only.

The JEE (Mains) exam next year will be conducted in English, Hindi and Gujarati. “Gujarat had specially requested that the JEE (Mains) exam be conducted in Gujarati. Earlier also, on the request of Maharashtra, CBSE had conducted the exam in Marathi,” said Joshi.

Narayanan Ramaswamy, Partner and Head, Education, KPMG, said use of JEE (Mains) ranks by Bihar will definitely improve the standards of education in the state. He cited the example of GMAT. “Scores in GMAT exam conducted by Graduate Management Admission Council are used globally for admission in management programmes in prestigious institutes in India, Canada and US also,” said Ramaswamy.