“ a compromise formula which includes a proposal to take top 20% students based on percentile ranking of respective boards for preparing the merit list”

How meaningless is this solution ?. Higher education in India will become the domain of the school toppers and Children of affluent parents and we wonder why half a million students leave India to study undergraduate courses overseas. Children who will never return to a country that shunned them.

Is this is what we call inclusive in RTE ?.

God Save India

Inclusive education does not mean that everyone must enter, or pass out from, an IIT. It only means that if you wanted to, you could have a shot at it. The child labourer is excluded because she can never dream of entering an IIT; she may absolutely hate IIT, but not trying to join an IIT should be her decision. Even if there is only one IIT train, every child must have access to the platform where the train comes. Of course, not everyone will get on to the train but everyone knows what to do to have a shot at the train. This is called inclusion in education. Everyone must go to school till class 12; those who work hard, and are willing to work harder still, will join an IIT. Others will, by choice, decide not to work that hard and become economists.

Shubhashis Gangopadhyay

All children are born equal and mindless politicians are trying to grade the children and youth of the nation and create a new Brahamanical Caste system in Education, which is pandering to the neo rich who can afford to send their children to elite private schools and Coaching schools.

"HRD Ministry of India wants to build castles of higher education on the bamboo scaffoldings of its schools" ~ Satish Jha

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Monday, March 12, 2012

10 - Alternate Admission System for Engineering Programmes in India by Expert Committee (T. Ramasami)

Alternate Admission System for Engineering Programmes in India by Expert Committee (T. Ramasami) Submitted to Ministry of Human Resource Development Government of India
(See full report http://www.iitsystem.ac.in/IIT-Frame/Ramaswamy-Report/ramasami-report-annexures-merged.pdf)


The current system based on multiples of entrance examinations for admission into engineering programmes has no parallel in other parts of the world. Most nations employ just one test, mostly, for assessment of scholastic aptitude instead of a plethora of evaluation tests.

The current selection systems in India have, no doubt, resulted in visible benefits; but, the future of Indian youth might need a paradigm shift in admission systems in engineering programmes for ensuring opportunity for larger sections of the society. The extreme level of competitiveness in the screening processes employed for deciding access to professional education is not without its psychological or sociological implications for the society. They do influence the mindset and behavioural changes among the youth.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development is grappled with the need to design and develop an alternative to the current systems of multiple examinations for deciding admission of students to the engineering programmes in the country. A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Professor D Acharya, Director IIT Kharagpur. The Acharya Committee presented in its interim report an alternative to the present examination system for admission into engineering colleges, including IITs. While there was unanimity that the present examination system of JEE and AIEEE etc has to change to reduce the burden on students on account of the multiplicity of entrance examinations, there was emphasis that any new system has to recognize the diversity of learning within the country.

In order to address comprehensively the reality of diversity of learning within the country, the Ministry enlarged the committee with Dr T Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India as the Chair and Prof Acharya as the expert member from IIT. The enlarged committee consisted of some alumni of IITs including one who passed from an IIT within the last five years.

Underlying Philosophy behind Alternatives to current Test Scheme“Unity in diversity” is the Indian brand value. Unification, while retaining the diversity of educational and learning systems in the country is the underlying strategy of the proposed alternative Test Scheme for deciding admission into engineering colleges, including IITs in the country.

Recommendations of the Committee

The committee makes the following recommendations for the consideration of the IIT council

A. Normalization of School Board Scores

 ISI has proposed a method for normalization of scores of candidates of various school boards and demonstrated its potential to derive normalized scores. This method seems to offer possibility to factorize performance in school board examination as a criterion for merit-ranking of students for admission into higher education.

 ISI may be commissioned by IIT Council to further refine the methodology and establish it’s potential by proving its utility for normalization of all board scores over a period of time based on past data.

 The method of ISI may be revalidated by some other institution as well for ease of application

B. National Screening Test Scheme

 One National Screening Test (NST) with two sections namely Aptitude and Advanced could be designed and developed.

 The test could be of 3.5 to 4 hour duration with an option for the candidates to opt out of advanced test after examining the paper for say 15 minutes.

 Aptitude test section could employ multiple choice questions which enable evaluation using a computer

 Advanced Test section could involve multiple choices with multiple right answers and minimization of Gate-crashing by candidates with limited merit

 An expert committee of educators could be constituted for designing best fit models of National Screening Test methodologies

C. Testing and Evaluation related Organizational matters

 IITs may be assigned the task of designing the Alternative Screening Test

 While question papers may be set-up by experts drawn from educational institutions like IITs, IISc, NITs etc, the logistics support for conducting and evaluating examination papers may be assigned to a specialist organization taking into account of the large scale of the operation and need for professionalization.

D. Enrollment of Policy Bodies

 A project for creating past scenario may be commissioned to IITs, NITs and leading universities based on employing methods developed through research.

E. Order of Preference of the Committee

The committee has considered various options. Some order of preference is indicated for discussion and finalization by the council of IIT for making decisions.

Recommended order of Preference of options

1st Preference: Option 2

Equal weighting of school board scores at class XII (of both aggregate and science scores) A3, national level aptitude, A4 and

Advanced A5 scores, {A3 + A4 + A5 }/3

2nd Preference: Option 6

Equal weighting of School Board performance as subject score and National Level Aptitude Test as objective test system; 0.5 A2+0.5A4

3rd Preference: Option 5

Deployment of School Board performance as subject score and National Level Aptitude Test as a combination and avoid the

Advanced Testing system according freedom for the individual institutions to select mixing proportions within a pre-specified


4th Preference: Option 4

Deployment of School Board Performance as screening but not as determinant for National ranks (as for example Specified Cutoff:

normalized percentile rank score for school performance say as 80 or 85 percentile rank) Equal weighting of National Level Aptitude score A4 for candidates passing the cut off of percentile rank and Equal weighting of National Level Advanced Score A5 for candidates

passing the cut off of percentile rank; (0.5 A4 + 0.5A5 )

5th Preference: Option 1

Deployment of Scores as criteria based on class XII performance Equal weighting of school board scores A1and A2 and Equal

weighting of aptitude scores A4 and advanced scores A5 ; {A1 + A 2+A4 +A5 }/4

6th Preference: Option 3

Deployment of Scores as criteria based on consistency of performance at class X and Class XII levels as well as in National

Level Aptitude and Advanced Tests Equal weighting for aggregate as well as subject performance at class X and Class XII levels where ) 0.1X (normalized score at class X in aggregate + normalized score at class X in subjects of choice + normalized score at class XII + normalized score at class XII in subjects of choice); One third weighting of aptitude score 0.3 A4 One third weighting of advanced score 0.3 A5 ; 0.1{ Normalized aggregate class X + normalized class X subject score + Normalized class XII aggregate + Normalized class XII subject score} + 0.3 A3and 0.3 A5

Concluding Remarks
Complexities of developing alternative test schemes for deciding admission in engineering programmes arise from a) diversity and b) scale of operations. The committee is conscious of the ground realities and the challenge of suggesting alternative methods for some test and evaluation systems, which have gained social esteem and trust. Therefore, the committee has relied on scientific tools for gathering evidence as much as possible and not on perception based approaches. The committee is of the view that changes in paradigms are essential in this phase of development of India.

One National Screening Test for admission into engineering programmes supported by methodologies for factorizing scores obtained in school board examinations while retaining their diversities seems the way forward. The committee does make a strong case for such a change in paradigm.

Some options have been recommended. The committee has consciously adopted a probabilistic rather than deterministic approach taking into account of complexities involved in the exercise. The committee is also conscious of the fact that some of the recommendations may have relevance outside the scope of admission into IITs into other engineering programmes.

As a measure of abundant caution, the committee recommends selection from among the six options by an expert committee taking into account of challenges of convincing the society of the security of normalization methodologies of scores of school board examinations developed by ISI on the basis of scientific tools.