The Joint Entrance Examination – Advanced (JEE – Advanced), formerly Indian Institutes of Technology Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE) is an annual engineering college entrance examination in India. It is used as the sole admission test by the 23 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). The examination is organised each year by one of the various IITs, on a round robin rotation pattern. It has a very low admission rate (about 10,000 in 660,000 in 2012), and was thus recognised as one of the toughest examinations in the world.
In 2013 the exam, originally called the IITJEE, was renamed as JEE – Advanced, along with the AIEEE being renamed JEE - Main. From 2017, IITs will start conducting JEE internationally to give admission to international students.
The first IIT, IIT Kharagpur, started in 1951. In the initial few years (1951-1954) students were admitted on the basis of their academic results followed by an Interview in several Centers across the country. From 1955-1959 admission was via an all India examination held only for IIT Kharagpur (other IITs had not started by then). Branches were allotted through Interviews/counselling held at Kharagpur.
The common IIT-JEE was conducted for the first time in 1960, when it had four subjects including an English language paper. The examination since evolved considerably from its initial pattern. The IIT-JEE was initially called the Common Entrance Exam (CEE); its creation coincided with that of the 1961 IIT Act.
In 1997, the IIT-JEE was conducted twice after the question paper was leaked in some centers.
Between 2000 and 2005, an additional screening test was used alongside the main examination, intended to reduce pressure on the main examination by allowing only about 20,000 top candidates to sit the paper, out of more than 450,000 applicants.
In September 2005, an analysis group of directors of all the IITs announced major reforms to the examination. These were implemented from 2006 onwards. The revised test consisted of a single objective test, replacing the earlier two-test system. In order to be eligible for the main examination, candidates in the general category had to secure a minimum of 60% aggregated marks in the qualifying examination of the XIIth standard organized by various educational boards of India, while candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Physically Disabled (PD) categories must secure a minimum of 55%.
In 2008, the Director and the Dean of IIT Madras called for revisions to the examination, arguing that the coaching institutes were "enabling many among the less-than-best students to crack the test and keeping girls from qualifying". They expressed concern that the present system did not allow for applicants' 12 years of schooling to have a bearing on admissions into IITs.
In 2008, the Indian Institutes of Technology, for the first time, went overseas with their entrance examination as they set up a centre for the competitive test in Dubai. The number of candidates appearing in Dubai hovered around 200 to 220.
The number of students taking the examination increased substantially each year with over 485,000 sitting IIT-JEE 2011. This represented an increase of 30,000 students (6.5%) from 2010.
The availability of seats in recent years is as shown below:
From 2008, six new IITs were opened with 120 seats each, increasing the total number of seats to almost 7000. For 2009, admissions were made to two more IITs, namely IIT Indore and IIT Mandi (Himachal Pradesh) taking the seat count to almost 8300. In 2011, with additional courses in several old and new IITs, the total seat count crossed 9600.
This is a list of students who received the top score on the JEE exam each year.
In 2012, Super 30 founder and mathematician Anand Kumar criticised the New Admission Norms, saying that the decision of the IIT Council to give chance to students having top 20% from various boards in the class 12 examinations, was a decision in haste. "This is one decision that will go against the poor, who don't have the opportunity to study in elite schools," he added.
IIT-JEE was conducted only in English and Hindi, which was criticised as making it harder for students where regional languages, like Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Urdu, Oriya, Bengali, Marathi, Assamese or Gujarati, are more prominent. In September 2011, the Gujarat High Court acted on a Public Interest Litigation by the Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, demanding the exams be conducted in Gujarati. A second petition was made in October by Navsari's Sayaji Vaibhav Sarvajanik Pustakalaya Trust. Another petition was made at the Madras High Court for conducting the exam in Tamil. In the petition it was claimed that not conducting the exam in the regional languages is in violation of article 14 of the Constitution of India. PMK, a political party in Tamil Nadu held a demonstration at Chennai for conducting IIT-JEE and other national entrance exams in regional languages also, particularly Tamil in Tamil Nadu. Pattali Makkal Katchi party has filed Public Interest Litigation in Madras High Court for conducting IIT JEE entrance exam in Tamil also. They submitted that every year 7.63 lakh students were completing 12th standard in Tamil Nadu, 75% of them from Tamil Medium. They had to take the entrance exam in English or Hindi, neither of which was their medium of instruction nor their mother tongue, and so were denied their fundamental right to take up the entrance exam in their medium of instruction, based on their mother tongue.Shiv Sena urged MHRD to conduct IITJEE and other national undergraduate entrance exams in regional languages, particularly Marathi language in Maharashtra.
Preparing for the Joint Entrance Exam normally begins two years before students take the test. 95% of students who pass this exam attend coaching academies, which has created a $3.37 billion industry with annual tuitions of up to $1,700. These academies include tests multiple times a week, up to 200 students per class, and long hours, in addition to regular high school work. There are hundreds of academies across the country and the most famous—in Kota, Rajasthan—attracts approximately 125,000 students each year. Coaching programs have become major corporations and are now not only listed on the Indian stock market, but also attract millions of dollars of investment from private equity firms. The high-pressure environments, with much competition and high expectations, have been blamed for the significant number of suicides that occur in these academies.