JEE Main 2019 is all set to be conducted from January 06 to January 20 in online mode. JEE Main Registration for January session closed on September 30, 2018 and the numbers are slightly surprising. The number of applicants has dipped to 9.65 lakhs as compared to 11.5 lakhs last year. However, there is a positive rise in number of female applicants in JEE Mains this year.
Last year JEE Main saw 10.4 Lakh candidates appear in the exam. Only 24% among these candidates were female. The dip in number of overall registrations can be attributed to the fact that exam will be conducted twice this year and many aspirants are still in the final phase of preparation. Also the overlapping between JEE Main and Class 12 Board Practical exams is another decisive factor.
More applications are expected in the second session of JEE Main in April. But the rise in number of female applicants is a positive reaction for the Government and officials.
Increasing Female Enrolment in B.Tech Programs
The government has earlier in the year issued an official directive with the intention for ensuring adequate gender diversity in engineering colleges. This is one in a series of efforts by the government to pave way for female enrolment in B.Tech programs. NITs have been already asked to step up efforts for enrolling female candidates in B.Tech program at scale prescribed for IITs. As per Government’s directive all such institutes will have admit 14% female candidates by creating supernumerary seats.
The vision is to achieve 14% female enrolment in 2018-19, 17% in 2019-20 and 20% in 2020-21. Already because of the supernumerary seats in 2018, additional 1000 seats were required to be created across all technical institutions.
Experts also argue that the high incubation period in MBBS and lower number of proportionate seats in MBBS, a steady shift from Medicine to Engineering has been observed in recent years. This has resulted in actually more number of candidates migrating to engineering from science stream. NITs traditionally have seen very low enrolment of female candidates in coveted engineering branches such as Computer Science and Electronic Engineering. The supernumerary seats are expected to increase female candidates’ intake in these courses.
Major Changes in JEE Main 2019
Some major changes were introduced by the HRD ministry in 2018. NTA (National Testing Agency) was appointed as the new authority for spearheading JEE Main and several other national level entrance exams. The new authority decided to do away with the pen and paper based examination thus leaving the choice of only CBT mode for aspirants.
One major change was the decision to conduct the examination twice in a year and consider the best out of both score for shortlisting candidates. Under the leadership of Vineet Joshi, former chairman of CBSE, NTA will conduct JEE Main for first time in 2019 in 8 seatings. The score across all the seatings will be normalised based on pre-defined method and final scores will be arrived at.
Nearly, 3500 JEE Main Practice centres were set up after various sections of society raised concerns about making the online mode of test mandatory. Students from all sections of society and particularly from remote areas can practice for free at these designated centres and get used to the new format of examination. However, no major changes in exam pattern or syllabus is expected in JEE Main 2019.
The idea of conducting the examination twice a year will allow students to test the waters early in January and then retake the examination with better preparation if they fumble in their first attempt. Overall, more number of applications are expected in JEE Main 2019 after this major change.