The Bombay High Court has asked the National Testing Agency (NTA) to provide an explanation for the 75% marks cut-off in board exams for admission to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). The court asked NTA to file an affidavit explaining how the percentile system functions for calculating marks as a criterion for IIT admission. This comes after a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed, seeking relaxation of the 75% score in higher secondary examination, which is the eligibility criterion for admission to IIT.
During the hearing, the court also questioned why the qualification criterion of securing 75% marks in board exams was prescribed despite there being a qualifying examination. The court found discrepancies in the percentile calculating system and pointed out that not all boards release percentile lists, which creates unequal opportunities for candidates from different states. The PIL highlighted that until last year, the eligibility criteria of 75% was not applicable and the sudden change in eligibility would affect lakhs of students who can score very high in the JEE Mains exam but may not have 75% minimum marks in their board examinations.
Advocate Rui Rodrigues, representing NTA, informed the court that the criteria was not added recently and that earlier it was 50%. The court has asked NTA to file its response to the applications challenging the policy of considering the top 20 percentile as a qualifying factor for admissions to IIT and will place this after a week. In January, the court rejected the plea for a stay on the JEE Mains exam.