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IIST to conduct its own entrance test now

Special Correspondent

It will be modelled on IIT-JEE and AIEEE

— Photo: Special Arrangement

An artist’s impression of the new campus of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) coming up at Valiamala near Thiruvananthapuram.

CHENNAI: The Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) in Thiruvananthapuram, a deemed university founded by the Department of Space, will conduct its own admission test for B.Tech. programmes in Avionics, Aerospace Engineering and Physical Sciences from the coming academic year.

The test will be held on April 17 in different centres. After the IIST was set up in 2007, admission was made through the Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE).

IIST Director B.N. Suresh said the test would be modelled on both the IIT-JEE and the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE). “There will not be any major difference between the IIST’s examination and these two examinations. But we will give weightage to the students’ performance in the Plus-Two final examination.”

The IIT-JEE prepared two lists for admission: the main list and the extended list. Candidates whose names figured in the extended list were eligible to join the IIST. But this led to “a certain amount of uncertainty because the students were not sure whether or not they would get into the IIST,” Dr. Suresh said.

They were unable to wait till the IIST admission list was published. If they were not selected, those selected to the IIT ran the risk of losing the seat. Furthermore, what motivated the IIST to have its own examination was that the institute could not wait till the IIT-JEE counselling was over because it delayed the start of the IIST’s academic programmes, he said.

The IIST would move to its new 100-acre campus at Valiamala, 20 km from Thiruvananthapuram, in March. Located adjacent to the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the scenic campus would feature a 20-acre site on top of the Ponmudi Hill, with telescopes, radars and laboratories for conducting atmospheric science experiments. “Buildings are coming up fast. The campus is well planned with spacious classrooms, laboratories, activities centre and hostels for students and residential quarters for staff,” said Dr. Suresh, who was earlier Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram.

The IIST would offer four M.Tech. courses relevant to the ISRO’s programmes from 2010. They are: Adaptive and Applied Optics, Soft Computing and Machine Learning, Radio Frequency and Micro-wave Systems and Chemical Systems. It would run exchange programmes for students and faculty with several premier institutions in Europe and the United States.

A memorandum of understanding was signed with Ecole Polytechnique, France, for faculty exchange. Collaboration with Caltech and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, both in the U.S., and EADS Astrium was on. Besides, students would have access to all ISRO centres, where they must undergo summer and winter internship. “We have blended academics with research,” Dr. Suresh said

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