Bengal will have a separate engineering entrance test for minority students. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka already have such a system following a Supreme Court directive that minority associations can hold separate admission tests.
The Bengal government issued the order in the first week of March. The test will be organized by Association for Minority Academic Professional Institute (AMPI). “According to a judgment passed by Supreme Court, minority institutes have been given the option to hold their own common entrance test,” said WBJEE chairman Bhaskar Gupta.
Anyone not necessarily from a minority community can appear in the entrance test but preference will be given to minority students in such colleges. If seats remain vacant, they will be opened to other candidates and if some seats are still left over, they will be allotted through e-counseling. “This means those who do not appear in WBJEE (scheduled for May 17-18) will be able to study engineering in these colleges by taking the Common Entrance Exam (CEE-AMPI) on May 3,” said a senior WBJEE official.
JIS Group, which runs four institutes – JIS College of Engineering at Kalyani, Narula Institute of Technology in Sodepur, Guru Nanak Institute of Technology in Agarpara and Guru Nanak Institute of Science, Pharmacy and Technology in Kolkata has decided to reserve more than 50% seats (1,000-plus) to minority candidates through a common entrance test.
“These minority institutes are starting an entrance test on their own this year to fill 50% seats. The rest will be filled up through JEE counseling. If the reserved seats go vacant then they will be converted into general category seats for WBJEE counseling,” said Gupta.
In Bengal, the only minority-run tech colleges are the four colleges under JIS Group and one from St Mary’s Technical Campus which are run by Sikh and Christian communities. There is no government-run minority tech college. States like Andhra and Karnataka hold common entrance tests for minorities for both private and government engineering colleges,” said a source.
The cut-off for CEE-AMPI is 40% aggregate in higher secondary examination and 30% in English. The maths and biology papers will be 100-marks each and physics-chemistry combined will be worth 150 marks, said exam convener Bidyut Mazumdar. “The exam will be held on May 3 at six places – Kolkata, Jalpaiguri, Durgapur, Ranchi, Patna and Guwahati. The remaining 50% seats will be filled up through WBJEE. The forms can be downloaded from www. ampi. in,” he added.
Lakhs of students are expected to take the exam because it gives them an alternative if they don’t make it through WBJEE,” said a higher education official.