No JEE Main needed? AICTE scheme allows ‘gifted students’ admission without exams

JEE Main: AICTE sets criteria for gifted students to get admission in top engineering, technical colleges without exams.

No JEE Main needed? AICTE scheme allows ‘gifted students’ admission without exams The AICTE will also release a list of institutions based on their NIRF, ARIIA rankings or NBA accreditation that will offer these supernumerary seats (Photo: Shutterstock)
R. Radhika | May 12, 2022 - 1:29 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Technical education regulator, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has released eligibility criteria for supernumerary seats dedicated to “gifted students” on Thursday. These students will be admitted to approved institutions without appearing in entrance exams such as the Joint Entrance Examination Main (JEE Main) and the institutions allowed to admit them through this route will be selected on the basis of their accreditation scores or places in rankings.

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As per the norms, students from unreserved categories with 45 percent marks and those from reserved categories with 40 percent marks in the Class 12 science stream are eligible.

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A “gifted student” as per the AICTE document will be nominated, referred, or encouraged to apply for the supernumerary seat in AICTE-affiliated colleges. The student must have at least three letters of recommendation “clearly stating that he or she is a gifted child”, the official notice said.

Shortlisted candidates will also need to appear for a personal interview with a panel of experts appointed by the institutions to ascertain their truly gifted nature and eligibility for admission under this scheme.

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In March, AICTE had announced that the two supernumerary seats were intended to empower gifted and talented students and enhance the innate potentials to the fullest of such students who underperformed or didn’t appear in the entrance test. The document doesn’t specify which test but for engineering, the major ones include the JEE Main and state-level ones such as the TS EAMCET, KCET, MHT CET, AP EAMCET, GUJCET, WBJEE and more. Interestingly, the AICTE’s document and the scheme itself appear to acknowledge the failure of large-scale tests to gauge “giftedness” even as the entire central university system shifts to such a test, CUET 2022, for admission. The University Grants Commission has also directed higher education institutions to create supernumerary seats.

AICTE: Who is gifted?

The AICTE’s document has stipulated details on who can be considered a “gifted child”. The scheme particularly targets students who remain unidentified as “high achievers” for the lack of participation and poor scores in schools.

The AICTE document emphasizes considering students from all backgrounds who possess “advanced cognitive abilities” yet have less developed social skills putting them at a disadvantage.

It also talks about “indigenous talents” in rural areas that remain mostly unidentified. The scheme is meant to help students who display “intense curiosity, fertile imagination, and a questioning attitude”, but miss out due to a lack of creative outlet in a society that prioritises exam scores over talent. The document also distinguishes between a “bright child” and a “gifted child”, setting out the differences in the table below.


AICTE, UGC, JEE Main 2022, TS EAMCET 2022, KCET, MHT CET, AP EAMCET, GUJCET, engineering, Btech admission, aicte approved institution, btech admission 2022AICTE documents emphasises on identifying and nurturing "gifted children"

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Supernumerary seat eligibility criteria

To be allowed admission without considering the entrance exam, the “gifted child” must meet at least one of the prerequisites laid down.

As per AICTE norms, a student should be a prize winner in at least one national or international-level competition organised by government or prestigious non-governmental institutions.

Any student who has received funding from government agencies for pursuing innovative projects with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), ministry of education, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, and other such central or state-level agencies will also be eligible.

Students who have received funding from global companies or non-profit organisation pursuing innovative projects are also welcome to apply. Anyone who has a “high-quality” research article published in peer-reviewed journals as the first author can also apply.

A start-up owner or a primary holder of a patent granted by international or Indian patent authorities will also be considered.

Admission process

The AICTE will also announce the list of institutions eligible for admitting students under this scheme based on criteria like position on the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) or Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) Ranking, National Board of Accreditation (NBA) accreditation, past performance, intake capacity, and other relevant criteria.

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Candidate applications will be scrutinised by an admission committee at the respective institutions with an approved supernumerary quota. The final selection will be done by the AICTE’s committee of experts that will thoroughly evaluate the credentials of candidates nominated or selected by institutions. The AICTE committee, if needed, will also conduct personal interviews of the prospective candidates.

Students admitted through this scheme will receive a complete tuition waiver. However, institutions will charge students fees for examination, hostel, library, transportation, laboratory, and other activities as applicable.


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