“ 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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"Do you support the effort of Government of India to introduce a Common Engineering Entrance Examination scrapping IIT-JEE which would eventually dilute the IIT Brand?"

Monday, March 5, 2012

3 - IIT Faculty opposes entrance examination changes - Alumni Debate

29 Feb, 12
All-India IIT Faculty Federation opposes IIT-JEE
changes


The All-India IIT Faculty Federation (AIIITFF) has strongly opposed the proposed changes to the existing IIT-JEE entrance examination pattern, alleging that it was an arbitrary decision being imposed by the Union human resource development ministry.

The latest opposition could seriously jeopardise the government’s ambitious plan to introduce a common national examination for undergraduate engineering courses across the country.

In a letter to the directors of all the IITs on the issue of modifying undergraduate admission process at IITs from 2013, the AIIITFF has claimed that the views, comments and recommendations of one of the main stakeholders, namely the faculty of the IITs, have not been taken at all till now. “Many IITs have debated this matter on different platforms and have passed resolutions expressing concern over the proposal,” the letter written by secretary, AIIITFF, Prof. Atul K. Mittal, adds.
“It is felt that issues pertaining to the IITs must first be debated at the statutory bodies (senate) for views, recommendations and acceptance before is implemented,” the letter said.
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From: RamK- IITM:

Finally, Some IIT Faculty Members have to guts to challenge HRD. Thank God we have faculty members who care to safe guard institutions that have taken 50 long years to get world recognition that HRD can wipe out in a short span of five years. IIT Alumni should give this All India IIT Faculty Federation full support. We should all so pull apart Ramasamys recommendations to HRD Ministry. After all Dr T Ramaswamy is an IAS cadre and we know that IAS chaps will do anything to destroy IITs and their Global recognition.. Many moons ago when I first saw this Ramaswamys slide show, my comment was " Yes it is what the Customer meaning HRD ordered". I remember cheering this UPA Govt that replaced NDA after the Gujarat Progrom. Today I must confess, I cannot wait to see this Man Mohan Singh led corrupt UPA II Govt getting thrown out at the next election.

What would Man Mohan Singh, Kapil Sibal or Ramaswamy know about JEE, that is the key ingredient in IITs Current Global Recognition

RamK

My only hope is that Truth always prevails. Sooner the better.
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From: RB - IITKgp
Dr.Ramsamy is a Leather Technologist and not an IAS officer. Please see http://www.dst.gov.in/about_us/secretary-resume.htm
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From: RamK - IITM
Secretary to Govt means he is a public servant, IAS officer or not , "who says Yes Saar to his Boss," It is the same. Ramaswamy is not an IITian either so what will he know about the value of JEE to IITs "Kaluthaikku enna therium Sandhana Vaasanai" meaning what does a donkey know about the fragrance of Sandalwood paste?"

Ramasamy Gave Sibal a report that Sibal wanted to push his agenda to screw IITs hiding behind a "Report". Period.
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From: MonuA - IITM

Hey RamK,

I would like to applaud you for your passion on the few subjects on which you keep us all posted - some of them very informative and interesting.

That does not mean I agree with all your views or the views of the groups you belong to. I guess everyone has a right to his own views.

Regarding IITs being recognized world wide - this is a result of the undergrads who did well throughout the world after leaving the IITs as opposed to their doing anything of substance in the IITs. The recognition is definitely not based on any scientific work done in the IITs and by its faculty.

Rather than sticking to maintaining a 50 year old entrance exam mode it would be far better to push for better scientific output from these institutes.

Currently the IITs are merely super "bodyshops".

By bodyshop I mean an organization which selects good people and offers them to the rest of the world after a little polishing. There are many such organisations in India bodyshopping for the IT industry.

All this talk about retaining the old entrance exam will merely enable IITs to continue to be one of the best "bodyshops" in the world.
From one ex bodyshoppee to another.

MonuA 

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From: NSub IITM

Just a correction guys. Dr T. Ramasamy is not an IAS person. He is a top grade scientist, very renowned. He took his B Tech in leather technology from Ac tech in 1969. Later in England, he switched to chemistry and took his phd in chemistry.
NSub
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From: ViswaN IITM

Monu,
I generally do not comment on these posts - though I do read most of these posts. What prompted this response is that I am in total agreement with your statements below. Also feel that any 'image of IITs' abroad is wholly due to the performance of the alumni - who have taken efforts to excel in their selected fields and have contributed to the world.

IIT was just a good, reputed Alma Mater and honestly I do not really think that what I learned in IIT alone was in no way sufficient to even reach my level of 'incompetence' - let alone persons with much higher distinctions in life / reputation in their selected fields of specialisation.
Viswa.N
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From: AJJ - IITK

I have refrained for any comments on this so far (and have stayed away from influencing the decision). But I thought that I will take this opportunity to set the context and write what I think.

Problem

a. We (the faculty and alumni of IIT) have been complaining for years about coaching classes and how they hurt the JEE applicants and the students that we get. We have talked about how we are getting worst students year after year, the real intelligent student misses out and how costly the coaching is.

b. There has been complaints that how the youngsters have to spend two to three years just doing coaching; that this results into single-dimensional personality development, where they ignore the school and the board exams (sometime do not even attend that), do not play, do not participate in social functions etc.

c. We have also talked about how the youngsters have to write multiple exams and get heavily burdened.

As a result IIT council took up the matter and set up a committee of directors to come up with an alternative. Unfortunately, the committee did not come up with a satisfactory report, which even directors did not accept. The Council then set up another committee consisting of several directors, but headed by Dr. Ramaswamy. The current proposal, as far as I know have the following:

a. Give at least 40% weightage to board exam. The board marks are to be normalised using percentile purely on rank basis within each board.

b. India has to have a common exam (no other engineering college entrance exam) throughout the country, which could be controlled by IIT, and could even be called JEE. It would have two parts, one is aptitude test (similar to what SAT does) and the other is Physics, Chemistry, Maths (much like today’s JEE). IITs and each institute could decide on the weightage to each of these parts.

Now the current proposal will ensure that board is given weightage and students can not ignore the school and the board. This will hurt coaching and make school important. Top 5% of the students of each board will get between 38 to 40, if the board weightage is chosen to be 40%. The differential will have to come from this new exam. The Aptitude marks will test general capability. The second part is like JEE. The weightage is in IIT’s hands.

So where is the problem? What part is one complaining about?

For years, IIT faculty refused to deal with a problem that we all knew about. Once Council takes it up and Minister back-up something that was entirely decided by academicians and scientists, we start complaining, without even attempting to understand the particulars. Is there a better suggestion? Why has that not been driven?

Secondly, where does Minister come into all this -- something that has been decided by a committee of Directors and scientists? Can we stop name-calling and get to the issues.

AJJ- IITK 
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From: RamK - IITM

Monu,
It is OK for you to disagree; but I would like you to understand our stand. We say do not scrap JEE but modify it suitably so all school leavers especially those who cannot afford coaching schools get an equal opportunity to get into an IIT.

We do not expect some scientist like Dr Ramaswamy to understand and appreciate the value of JEE. Many have blamed coaching schools for drop in student calibre. Sadly the fault lies with JEE administrators and not coaching schools who have just seized a business opportunity.

Mate you miss the point totally. From 2004 many of us have pushed for changes to the IIT JEE with Santha Kumar and Prof Idichandi. I am not saying we need to keep JEE as it is as it feeds coaching schools. The format needs to be changed to select the best of the crop without disadvantaging kids who cannot afford coaching schools.

If IIT JEE Coaching schools spawned all over the country we need to blame the faculty at IIT in charge of JEE for breeding coaching schools by making the exams so tough that no student leaving school could succeed sans coaching.

You and I are the basic ingredients that made up the IIT alumni and we were part of the filtered crop. Scrap JEE in its current form and introduce suitable changes is what we are saying.

However Dr Ramaswamy is suggesting we throw the baby with the bath water. I do not blame him as he is no different to Prof Anant who came from A.C College and did not appreciate JEE either.( neither Ramaswamy nor Anant passed JEE to appreciate it )

Way back in 2004 I had discussion on JEE with Santha Kumar and his reaction was we know what we are doing and will fix JEE, we do not need outsiders to tell us how to manage . Had they fixed it we would not be having this debate.

Obviously you have not read the epilogue in Reflections by IITians http://reflectionsbyiitians.blogspot.com.au/ If you still have the book pleas read it.

Also read our petition to Save IIT JEE.
http://www.petitiononline.com/SaveJEE/petition.html

The main issue with this common entrance exam is that HRD will control this exam nationally and this means many babus in HRD will be rubbing their hands at the opportunity created..to sell seats in all national engineering colleges.

As it is IIT do not get good faculty willing to teach. Scrap JEE even the faculty teaching now will leave for greener pastures.

The writing is on the wall..

Does HRD Minister care ?

Yes Alumni brought IIT the Brand Name but these alumni were selected through the JEE process.. Scrap JEE this Brand will vanish in a matter of years.

No one disputes the fact that changes are essential in JEE as the fifty year old exam model has been fully exploited by coaching schools

But scrapping JEE is throwing the baby with the Bath water.

If you still disagree it is Fine we can agree to disagree. No sweat.


RamK
_____________________________________________
From: AK IITB
Attached again is the presentation of the Ramasamy report.
It would be worth knowing which parts of it are not acceptable, and why, and which parts should have been done differently, if so, how.
_____________________________________________
From: ASK - IITM

Hello Ram,
I agree with your views on safeguarding the quality of students of IIT.
A small correction in your note on T. Ramswamy. He is not an IAS officer. He is a scientist who worked in CLRI, chennai before being shifted as Secy, DST. I attended one of his lectures on improving technology in Leather industry.However, it does not mean his views on JEE are right.
Generally such officers are persuaded to prepare report in line with govt thinking.

I am giving below his biodata for your ref.
With Best wishes,
ASK-IITM

Dr T Ramasami, currently Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Science and Technology, holds a Master's degree in Leather Technology from the University of Madras, India and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Leeds, UK. He has also worked on energy research in Ames Laboratory Iowa, USA and on electron transport phenomena in the Wayne State University, USA prior to returning to India for undertaking his scientific career. He joined the Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai as a scientist in 1984 and served as its Director for more than 10 years during the period up to May 2006. He is known among the scientific establishments in the country for his leadership to the Central Leather Research Institute. The institution earned a global leadership status during his tenure as its Director as evidenced by the 30% global share of publications, >7% share of global patents, positions in fashion forecasting and the level of public-private partnership built in leather research.

Dr Ramasami has assumed the role of Secretary S&T in the Government of India since May 2006. He is currently engaged in the development of policies and programs for attraction of talents for study and careers with science, rejuvenation of research in universities, stepping up of international S&T cooperation, development of public-private partnerships in R&D sector and accountability of public funded research, development and demonstration. The Department of Science and Technology is aggressively engaged in the development of new models and mechanisms for enhancing the role of public funded institutions in innovations and research and development.

Dr Ramasami has a large number of publications in highly peer-valued journals and significant number of patents, which are under commercial exploitation. His research experience spans over several fields and areas in both basic and applied sciences. He has made some important contributions in the fields of inorganic chemistry as well as chemical and leather related technologies. His contributions to the understanding of the chemistry and applications of chromium as well as leather science and environment related technologies have earned him several professional recognitions in both India and abroad. These include Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for chemical sciences in 1993, election to all major science academies as a fellow as well the Third World Academy of Sciences and the National civilian award Padma Sri in 2001.
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From: VC - IITD

Hi Ram,
Just last evening, IITDAA had a Mumbai meetup. About 40 people showed up, mostly from younger batches, but we also had a batch 1 engineer (1966)! The youngest I met was from 2009.

Several of us were discussing the prevalence of coaching classes, and there was pretty much consensus that they are really excessively well tuned to 'handling' the JEE. One youngster said he was very close to the people who run one of the Kota classes, and could vouch for their ability to ensure pretty perfect results. There was also near consensus condemnation of the fall in standards of JEE, that enables such perfect matching of their output to the JEE.

All in all, the conclusion was that the JEE needs a revamp, and especially much more testing of people's conceptual understanding, in order to upgrade the quality of IIT intake. Most of the 'older' alumni felt that JEE no longer capably tests for understanding or for suitability, for that matter. otoh, very few seemed to have understood that the courses presently offered at IITs are a far cry from the very narrow offering of over 25-30 years back.

Nobody thought the Ministry solution was in any way right, however. There were also very few out of the 40 who pay any attention to what is happening with the ministry and at IITs. Most feel disconnected from the campus, because we all live very far away and cannot devote any time to IIT (or alumnus) matters.
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On Sun, Mar 4, 2012 at 5:57 PM, Ram K wrote:
VC, 
Yes JEE needs a revamp but scrapping JEE is throwing the baby with the bath water. 
Ram
____________________________________________

From: VC -IITD-
I totally agree, and (net, net) so did the few of us who discussed the matter. The scrapping of JEE has ramifications that go well beyond the remit of improving the methodology to find students who will be a 'best fit' for IITs, and moreover, for the country as such.
____________________________________________

From: SMit Inter IIT ( In Reply to AJJ)

Many IItians fully support the new initiative. Like you have enumerated clearly what advantage new system has over the old one. If we have even better system, lets discuss that.

Actually some people have habit of complaining about everything, thankfully there are only handful of them.

So please ignore all this bickering and welcome the new system which is a step towards right direction and again it is supported by (I think majority of) many IITians.

Thanks
SMit
___________________________________________
On 5/03/12 12:56 AM, RMoh wrote:
Just wondering, why not just an IQ test to replace the JEE?
RMoh
____________________________________________
From: Prof. RMut - IITM

I have been following the discussion a bit on the JEE issue and means to "properly" select the right one. Any educationist would tell you there is no such single test that would measure the capabilities of a 16-18 year olds. We do live in an imperfect world, and therefore we design tests that select students (JEE is one such thing) that correlates with student preparation (let me note that it is not the student's potential) for academic rigor.

The rise of tutorial colleges which has sort of muted the selection method has given rise to a rethink of JEE. (Does it not mean a good test that will neutralize that effect has not been invented by the IIT faculty, or whoever prepares the exam?)

That aside, all tests will be imperfect , and the goal probably aught to be the method that has the greatest reliability. Such methods - albeit expensive and time consuming- have been developed for engineering - one just needs to read the research literature on education, pedagogy, student aptitude and its correlation with success, etc.

My view is any tests that tests the student aptitude (not academic preparation) would be an useful selection procedure. I can pass more thoughtful comments if I can review past JEEE. I suspect that they are focused on information mastery rather than understanding of concepts.
Regards, 



RMut
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From: RamK - IITM

Muthu, Spot on. JEE needs to be different. But replacing it with a common national exam controlled by HRD ministry is not on, as seats in IITs could be sold for a price. Even peopns in HRD will be selling question papers.

We have a flawed PDS and NREGA Systems that is being sponged by bureaucrats. So what does UPA do? . Creates one more system Called UID Aadhaar spending US $ 9 Billion to catch double dippers amongst the poor knowing that less that 15% of the subsidies gets to the needy poor. Makes no sense to me but that is what experts suggest to GoI,Experts like Montek Singh who believes Rs 32 a day is enough for a poor indian to survive. People having dogs in India spend more than Rs 32 a day on dog food and health and grooming.

JEE has worked well and one exam where there has been zero corruption. There are umpteen ways that a jee can be improved and modified so as to totally kill off Coaching schools. But who is listening. Ramasamy committee should have talked to IIT Faculty if they were serious about finding solutions. Unfortunately the Report was tailored to facilitate a common national exam and hence the protest from IIT Faculty. If HRDs ruling prevails we can see half the good faculty members quit IITs for greener and saner pastures and what is happening with 17 IITs and Common exam is insane
_____________________________________________
From: AksShank

IITs are one the greatest achievement of Nehruvian socialism. It is therefore surprising that the same Congress which should preserve these institutions is hell bent on destroying these institutions.

I have read the presentation by the Ramaswamy committee and to my shock the normalization methodology, is over simplistic.

We are trying to create a detailed critique of this methodology and present it to the IIT Directors. Hopefully they would think before implementing this.
Regards,
AksShank
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From: SomB- IITD
Today I came to know the following shocking info from a key person privy to what transpired in the ministry to abolish JEE.
1. There has never been any due diligence study on the need of doing away with JEE.

2. The ministry had formed a committee of 4 handpicked directors from IITs, headed by one due to retire next year and other directors were ignored.

3. There has never been any consultation or discussion with the faculty or students or alumni on this.

4. The last JAB meeting was held sometime back and in spite of protests, proceedings continued with the declaration that 2013 would see the beginning of new arrangement.

5. There has never been any dry run of the new pattern exam.

6. JEE is being done away with without any discussion whether this is being done to improve IITs or their intake.

7. New exam’s papers will be set by IIT faculty but exam will be conducted by CBSE and CBSE is known for leaking out papers.

8. Normalization of board marks across various state and central boards has no satisfactory scientific basis.

9. Because of 40% weightage to board exams, coaching industry on the contrary will have its scope enlarged to boards as well and students will be burdened beyond their capacity.

10. Because of there being one exam for entry into all engineering colleges, chances of the same being rigged have considerably gone up.

In addition to the above, a study of the relevant laws and associated rules is warranted to know if the ministry without parliamentary nod can do this on their own.

The above referred key person was of the view that with JEE gone, IITs would seize from being known for its pristine glory.

IIT Directors are subservient to the ministry and the last JAB meeting had reps from the ministry also probably to counter any attempt of opposing the JEE scrapping.

Regards,
SomB IITD

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From: VenkS

Problem areas:
1. All eggs in same basket - India is known for the cheap and clever; there will be widespread leakage of question papers

2. Coaching will flourish even more - Not knowing how to balance all, the children would definetely take professional help

3. IITs were known for choosing a special category of uncoventional thinkers; this would get a beating; the new system would choose a regular work-horse

4. The new arrangement doesn't allow for failure due to misfortune; doesn't allow people who didn't do well due to temporary medical issues etc

In a Nutshell: DON'T PUT ALL EGGS IN THE SAME BASKET

My remedy: IITs themselves should conduct the coaching classes insubsidised rates and the amount collected should help run the IITs themselves
_____________________________________________

From RamK - IITM
Venkat, Many IIT faculty members are supposed to be teaching in coaching schools after hours. Your suggestion that IITs become JEE Coaching schools is indeed out of the Box thinking But I cannot imagine selectors of a a cricket team running coaching..themselves. :-)
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From: NIRMB-IITK

Dear Somnath, I was with Prof Damodar Acharya present director of iit kgp and 3 other ex directors of IITs as we were facilitating Dr Harish Hande Magasay award winner in bangalore. There is huge mismatch of some of the info shared by you on this platform and what i have garnered on first hand basis... from the leadership mentioned .

Crux is that there is a huge correlation of success/good performance at IITs by 12 th Good scorers than by JEE Scores with Just 50% plus and thru Kota Classes....Statistically and logically it makes lot of sense and let us not whip it for no reason...
best..
nirmb
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From: BShen IITM

Dear Somanath, this is indeed shocking. Though I am not against the change in JEE which has outlived its usefulness, I would have expected a better system based on hard research to replace it by consulting all different stakeholders and also the best brains we can tap into. Of course in my own limited field of petro product subsidies where there is mountain of corruption, I have not seen any such initiatives. Still I was hoping that at least in the case of IITs, there would be far more coordinated efforts because of the type of decision makers involved. Looks like I was wrong.

What next?
BSen 
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From: aksshank ( in Reply to NirmB)

I would like to see the data behind your assertion that there is a huge correlation between the two. Personally I was one of the best student in my batch of 30 students in terms of board marks (95.5% in PCM ) but in terms of JEE Rank and the Departmental Rank, I was only a median performer.

And there may be some truth in this assertion. But then why performance in IITs being considered as a gold standard? Don't most of us agree that IITs are more famous because of the intake rather than the teaching inside the IITs. It is unfortunate that Board examination promote rote learning and so does some of the internal examinations in IITs.

For most of the senior alumni it may be surprising but in last 10 years, there has been marked deterioration in the quality of IIT professors. For example in IIT Delhi, only Computer Science had significant number of IIT Btechs (and Phd from the top universities of the world) as professors. It is surprising that rather than improving the teaching at IIT (which needs immediate attention) we are trying to play with a process which is the backbone of the IIT system.

Regarding Prof Damodar Acharya, these are some of the reports in the media. http://ibnlive.in.com/news/iit-directors-hold-post-despite-indictment-by-cbi/190262-3.html

I don't know if they are true or fabricated but it is unwise to expect an impartial version from the IIT Directors. After all they are the selected ones by the Government. Why are we not listening to the opinion of much larger faculty, alumni and student community.

As I have always maintained, the issue is not just Saving or Abolishing JEE. It is about the autonomy of IITs. The question is that should IITs be run by IITians or by the babus of the Government.

Regards,
AksShank
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From: NIRMB - IITK

(AkshShank), Pl Connect with Prof Damodar Acharaya...i hope you do not need his link . establish you case as an anamoly vis a vis his analysis and reexplore standard deviation and coeff of correlation? good luck...
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From: BShen IITM
Dear NirmB, there two issues here. One is the decision process of replacing the current JEE. The second issue concerns what should replace JEE. Even assuming the general concept of replacing JEE is a good one (with which I agree with) , it is equally important how the process facilitated such a decision. It is on that process depends the implementation. We often fail when it comes to implementation. That is what disturbed me when I read Somantha's email. Bhamy ___________________________________________

From: NIrmB-IITK
(BShen), Pl Ask Pradeep Gupta to help you put in the relevant committee as he masters alumni representation in such matters. incidentally his apartment is even today address for pan IIT office in delhi despite several crores having been raised and spent there from from...i am sure some day there will be PIL asking him to explain every penny ... virtual auditors and signatories to the the account not withstanding???
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On 5/03/12 5:40 AM, P.A.S wrote:

Friends
I do not know if my comments shall be digested by some.

RamK is absolutely right. We loose JEE and with that IIT hallmark goes.

We blame coaching Institutes but they are there to make money.

What would one do with those in IITs who are in moonlighting?

Do we realize how many of the faculty members and research scholars in fact are" teaching at such Institutes on the sly.

Most of the coaching Institutes in Delhi are within 3 KM radius of IIT Delhi. Why? Has any one looked at it?

No matter,what set up of entrance exam is brought in, as long as this pilferage goes on,we shall have inferior quality, pulling down the name of IITs.

Think!
Regds
PRS
PS: I have no idea of what is happening at KGP, Madras, BBY, and Kanpur. Other IITs are yet to become IITs in true sense.
_______________________________________
From: RCP - IITM


Prof. AJJ:

I personally (in whatevery capacity as an alumni) agree with what you said. The only thing I want to add is giving some weightage to the student's ability to be a practical person as opposed to being just a memorizer that focuses on getting jobs after graduating from IIT.

One way of quantifying this aspect will be to gauge the applicant's performance in a certain practical situations (like projects done in a science fair, math olympiad, etc). That also means that IITs need to sponsor such events at all the high schools in the country, to tap such talent. (Someone can clarify if IITM currently sponsors such events in the country). I consider organizing such events with participation from the existing B.Tech students at IIT as a win-win scenario.

    1. The current students can use this as an opportunity to do their share of community service, and pay back to the society. In the course of that they can gain people/leadership skills which the IIT students can really benefit from in their career further.

2-The high school students can benefit from their 'seniors' in doing something practical, which can potentially be patented/ made into products for the immediate needs of teh towns/villages tehy come from

3. Change the emphasis of the primary/high school education in India to cater to the 95% India as opposed to just the city dwellers.
We can discuss further

RCP
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From: SomB- IITD
Nirmal, without getting any merits my major objection is to the hurry ministry is into to scrap jee without consulting stake holders in a thorough undemocratic manner. Better would have for the govt to start merging exams by merging ias and state pcs but i bet that they wont do because thats not in their political interests.

Iit is holier than thou and we must keep politicians at bay else iit brand would within no time get diluted beyond recovery.
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From RamK IITM

SomB . the day ten more IITs were created, IIT Brand got Diluted Scrapping JEE will be the last nail in IIT Coffin

RamK
_______________________________________
From: SomB - IITD
BShen, 

thats what my major objection is? Why is this hurry?
People say 2014 election.
______________________________________
From: SriP - IITM

On Sun, 4 Mar 2012, akshshank wrote:
> I would like to see the data behind your assertion that there is a huge > correlation between the two. Personally I was one of the best student in my > batch of 30 students in terms of board marks (95.5% in PCM ) but in terms of> JEE Rank and the Departmental Rank, I was only a median performer.

There are several studies done across IITs in several time frames and all show this same - there is high correlation between 12th marks and IIT CGPA of the 1st and 2nd years. JEE rank / marks does not fit this trend and final graduating CGPA also shows scatter. Unfortunately, none of the reports seem to be available in soft form (or even readily available).
sriram
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From: R B IITKgp

A couple of points that I had raised earlier in this discussion forum seems to have been missed by all of you.

The MHRD seems to be targeting only IIT-JEE and not the admission tests conducted by the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology under the Dept. of Space and the test for students seeking admission to National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar and University of Mumbai – Department of Atomic Energy Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences (UM-DAE CBS), Mumbai called the National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) by the Department of Atomic Energy.

Further there is rampant coaching for the 10th as well as the 12th standard.The marks obtained by the students passing out of the 12th standard is no reflection of the true and intrinsic merit of the students passing out of the schools. There is no justification for giving weightage for the same for IIT admissions for this reason, just because of the fear that high ranks at the IIT-JEE are influenced by coaching.

Surely there must be quite a few among us in this group who have children studying from 9th to 12th standard who send their children for tuitions and coaching classes. Some schools take upon themselves the task of coaching. Only yesterday my neighbour was telling me about shifting his 9th standard child from a reputed school in Chennai to a School in his home town ( reputed to produce toppers at school examinations) immediately, even before the child took her final exams here because the Principal told him that they have started 10th standard classes a few weeks before, well before the 9th standard final examinations and he cannot admit her to the 10th standard if they wait for her to complete the same here before she goes over to that school. He had already admitted his elder child in this school last year and they have completed the 11th Standard portions in 4 months and taken up 12th standard portions already in 11th standard. For most of the 12th standard they will be doing only tests and tests. The child is obviously very weak in fundamentals of maths and sciences since the school prepares them only for rote learning.
_______________________

From: NIRMB - IITK

Dear SomB, I See your point of view. Being based in Delhi, are you not involved in the panIIT interactions with government from time to time on such crucial matters such as JEE Scrapping where in alumni's views may have been solicited.

In the past also, i recall there was a report submitted by panIIT to hon.president of india sometime ago so obviously there is a platform that exists between alumni and the govt. Have you seen copy of this report.?
i am sure you can achieve a lot by proactively discussing and influencing the policy decisions.
best...
NIRMB

_________________________________________

From: BG IIT
( Ram.K ) I think we are getting worked up unnecessarily. Everything that is proposed by the HRD ministry need not be opposed tooth and nail, that too just because one perceives an ulterior motive. Those opposing it are not even debating the pros and cons of the proposed alternative with facts. The main players in the JEE, the IIT directors, are not opposing it and it would be an insult to call all of them stooges of the HRD ministry. We also have to acknowledge that brilliant minds do not come only from IITs. The institutions themselves were conceived, set up and given the correct direction by non-IITans to make it the brand name that it is perceived to be today. The JEE, as it is today, has been completely corrupted and whether the JEE administration or the coaching institutions are to be blamed for that, does not change that fact. It is therefore imperative that the current JEE system be scrapped. The alternative suggested by the HRD ministry AFTER consultation and debate among the national stake holders at the highest level, can not just be pooh poohed by a bunch of people who are not in the know!

I have seen in this forum informed people trying to disseminate the information they have, which is not being assimilated and debated by the nay sayers. Please read the wealth of information already posted in this forum, assimilate it in your minds and then give your opinions on the merits and demerits with a balanced and open mind.

A PIL to oppose the move to scrap JEE is absolutely NOT necessary in my opinion. JEE in it's current form MUST go!

Cheers!
____________________________________________

From RamK
BG , we are agreed that JEE in its current form has to go meaning JEE needs a revamp and not be scrapped..

Tell me one good honest project that has come out of UPA II ( Dont tellme about RTI act as the credit goes to Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey and Arvind Kejriwal.. Not UPA II

I find it interesting that you have become such a strong supporter of Kapil Sibals Aakash and now ISEET…

PIL opposing Scrapping of JEE is a Must. We can agree to disagree. That is fine
Ram.K
____________________________________________
From: SomB - IITD
Dear NirmB,

There are many capable members in Delhi to contribute as and when asked. I am sure that members already engaged in such dialogues with the govt have taken steps in the best interest of IITs and the nation at large. I have not seen the report you are talking of. Whenever an IIT alumnus or PanIIT officially has asked for my help in issues of my expertise I have tried my best to justify their expectation. It is a privilege to serve IITs and IITians.

This moment the need is to make the people in the govt understand that it is not in the interest of the nation to dilute IIT brand but it needs to be further complemented and supplemented with efforts/more autonomy/grants to make it a hub of rare talents. Exclusivity of IITs is the need of the hour to be emphasized.

A fellow EC member Praven Purang is of the view with which I am in complete agreement that let top CEOs of the world raise their doubts on the quality of outputs with a compromised JEE/input process.

I propose a core team of experts/enthusiasts to formally discuss the issues threadbare and then meet with the govt officials and popularize the views through press/media but this must be expedited.

Regards,
SomBharti
_________________________________________
From: SurAd
One very basic question I have.

Who exactly is concerned about the interest of the nation? definitely not the set of politicians who got elected in 2009. And not the IAS cadre (please stop calling them officers - they are supposed to be in service to nation).

IIT Directors and others? I am not sure about their personal interests in this matter. It maybe a toss up between loyalty to those who put them in their current positions and the interest in betterment of nation. As for us Alumni, it might just be the pride and preserving our own esteemed status rather than interest of the nation.

So exactly in the lot that matter is going to listen? There are some good and valid points in this thread. But mostly we are wasting our time and typing efforts, besides a huge carbon foot print of the messages being exchanged.

Any change happening now is not irreversible - for better or for worse. So our focus can be on how to bring the right people into governance in the next elections. Then we may have the right platform to put in our views along with many others, who are not IITians, but key stake holders with interest of nation being their primary focus. Without that objective, whatever happens now is irrelevant.

So let us save our breath for a more meaningful exercise.

By the way, before we talk about impacting the future of this nation or the IITs, can we clean up our own mess in the PIAAI? If we can not organize ourselves in the democratic manner, why bother talking about those who sit in Delhi?

Cheers
___________________________________________

On 5 March 2012 12:14, RB wrote:
Dear NirmB,
The Pan IIT Panch Ratna document has been discussed in this forum earlier also. It is a very sad thing that a body which says that it represents IIT alumni has finalized a crucial document such as this with a few alumni industrialists ( mostly in IT) and a few others from US Universities and submitted the same to the President of India without wider consultation of the other alumni, particularly alumni in the academia in India including those at the IITs as faculty. Could they not find even one alumni faculty member from any of the IITs to be a member of this committee?

Regarding the PPT, it is important to know who the authors are. Merely stating vague things like ... no. of respondents and all Directors of IITs etc. is not enough. When did they present this report and have they made the other IIT alumni known.

Such things are only going to divide the alumni and not bind them together for a common cause which PAN IIT is supposed to promote.

There seems to be a large number of alumni who seem to say that there is a need for a wider consultation if IIT-JEE is to be replaced by some common admission test. The IIT Faculty Federation seems to be opposed to this idea. Should PIAI have rushed into this matter without taking everyone into confidence?
-RB

__________________________________________
[Attachment(s) from AK included below]

Dear RB,
The main Ramasaami report has been put to the group twice already, before Nirmal did, (see attached once again). There was hardly any response. Even when asked for specific objections to the report, or alternatives which could be suggested, there have been none, other than what should not be done.

Would you care to peruse the material and give your views after assimilating the work already done? You will notice that there has been fairly wide consultations, (including a survey with >2K respondents) but like the urban polling, the turn out is poor, but much criticism on democracy not working!
You may be aware of http://www.iitsystem.ac.in exclusively on IIT System & the IITs.

Regards
AK
_____________________________________________
From RamK

Ashok , Give me one reason why any alumnus should offer comments at this stage to you after the horse has bolted ? I saw the Ramaswamy report many moons ago long before you sent it two days ago.
Ram.K
____________________________________________
From: RamK - IITM

Dear Prof AJJ

You shared the slide show with me many moons ago and my comment was the same that the report was what HRD ordered.
Did the Ramaswamy committee consult All India IIT Faculty Association members while preparing this report ? If not why not ?

Did the Ramaswamy Committee seek input from IIT alumni who created a passionate petition appealing to the PM to Save IIT JEE ? If not why not ?
IIT Coaching schools are not the only reason for drop in student calibre. The blame lies with IIT JEE administrators who lacked the creativity to outsmart Coaching schools
We have a similar exam for school students to get into selective high schools in New South Wales. Several coaching schools started and in a short span were guaranteeing about 90% success rate. Last year the top coaching school failed miserably as the exam did not conform to any preset pattern.
All it takes is a bit of creative outside the box thinking on the part of JEE adminsitrators that will force JEE Coaching schools to shut shop.

Talking of multiple exams. This is in fact good for some one failing one exam could succeed and even top another. I have a classmate who got Rank 67 in JEE but failed in PUC in Maths. Today he is an established Prof at IIMB..So I am surprised that you advocate one EXAM for the nation. Several IIT alumni have failed to pass JEE one year and succeeded the following year. Iam afraid your one national exam will lead to many suicides and destroy many aspiring school students.
Ashok if you were part of this Ramaswamy committee, why did you as a Prof at IITM did not consult widely. You know there have been heaps of discussion on Save IITs and Save JEE over the years. Why was the committee wearing blinkers ?
Weightage to board exams are wrong, considering we do not have a common standard nation wide.

Keeping students compulsorily in High schools away from coaching schools is not a strategy. It is like force feeding students..Students will struggle even more to stay at school as well as attend JEE coaching schools.

Now please convince me that this common national exam will not create more coaching schools ? How is ISEET any better than IIT JEE ?
Ram
__________________________________
From: RB IITKgp

I am sorry to bring the points raised by Prof.AJJ to this discussion forum when his own intervention has been IIT Global Current Affairs discussion group. However, now that the same has already been brought to this discussion group by Ram permit me to make some observations.

1. If the Senates of the IITs, which are the custodians of academic standards at the IITs and the majority of the present faculty of the IITs, have approved the scrapping of IIT-JEE and replacing the same by any other single national examination whatever it may be called I feel that the alumni and the others should accept the situation. The faculty would have to blame themselves if they do not get the right quality of students to teach and the graduates they produce do not come up to the expectation of the employers looking for IIT Graduates. As far as the alumni are concerned they may feel sad at the decline in the brand value but certainly as individuals they may continue to excel and be rated high because of their professional competence, just in the same way many non-IITians are also rated high.

2. However, I would like to submit the following as a response to some of the points raised by Prof.AJJ

a) We (the faculty and alumni of IIT) have been complaining for years about coaching classes and how they hurt the JEE applicants and the students that we get. We have talked about how we are getting worst students year after year, the real intelligent student misses out and how costly the coaching is. My query is that if you are getting the worst students year after year why is it that you have a line up companies paying dollar salaries or salaries amounting to lakhs of rupees ( was it Rs.72 Lakhs per annum by Facebook - Hyundai seems to have paid Rs.34 Lakhs p.a.for 2 of the IITM students!). Are we also suggesting that the entire corporate world has gone crazy to come and recruit worthless IIT Graduates? How many of the IIT Students remain unemployed? And please do a study of the IIT Graduates who have passed out in the past 10 years and you would be suprised ( or delighted) at their success in professional careers. Many of them run their own enterprises. I am sorry there is something wrong somewhere - we get the worst students to the IITs we say but the employers line up for them before they graduate ( and IITs open up placements well after other institutions, only on 1st December) and our graduates are doing so well professionally!

b) There has been complaints that how the youngsters have to spend two to three years just doing coaching; that this results into single-dimensional personality development, where they ignore the school and the board exams (sometime do not even attend that), do not play, do not participate in social functions etc. I am sorry but whatever the shape IIT entrance examination take this coaching will continue because of the competition. And this coaching is not exclusively for IIT admissions. One should really look at the situation in many schools in Tamilnadu these days which prepare students to get good marks so that they can get admission to the medical and engineering colleges in the state. My neighbour is taking a TC for his child in a good city school this week so as to admit her to a school in Rasipuram well known for producing very high scorers for 10th and 12th standards ( not for IIT-JEE but the Board Examinations) because the Principal of this School has told him that they have already started 10th standard portions since past few weeks and that unless the student joins now ( even before she has completed 9th here) he cannot take her for 10th class. One can appreciate the kind of justice that would have been done for the 9th portions in the class so far. The same thing repeats in 11th Standard where the portions of the 11th are covered in just a few months and they take up the 12th portions. Almost all of the 12th standard is spent on revision and tests and tests. No play, no TV, no recreation and only studies and studies just to get close to 100% at School and sure admission to the State Medical or Engineering. Anna University of Technology Chennai has made a study of the poor performance of "bright" high ranking school in the Mathematics paper in their first year engineering and attributed the same to the students skipping fundamentals of calculus etc. which are covered in the 11th Standard.

c. We have also talked about how the youngsters have to write multiple exams and get heavily burdened.

Why is that only IIT-JEE is targetted? Why are the entrance examination to the Indian Institute of Space Science under the Dept. of Space not being brought into the fold? What about the Institutions under the Department of Atomic Energy for which separate entrance examinations ae being held not being included? There are a number of other entrance examinations to VIT ( which also attracts lakhs of students nowadays) and BITS, Amrita and many many others - but the concern is only about the one additional entrance examinations that the IITs conduct!!

d) " the other is Physics, Chemistry, Maths (much like today’s JEE). IITs and each institute could decide on the weightage to each of these parts." Well, I hope that at least this so called advanced test is set by IIT Professors and due weightage given to the scores obtained in this component for IIT admissions.



e) Coming to the last para: The students would continue to go for coaching and one cannot wish the same away. They would receive coaching to do well by rote in the Board Examinations by their schools ignoring teaching of fundamentals. The Schools have to project good results to attract more students at high fee. What we may land up is a situation where the young child has to attend a multiciplity of coaching classes, one for school and another for the admission test and the third for the advanced test!! The problem essentially is population and too many targeting too few seats. The hype given to news on placements at the IITs, with frequent press reports about the Rs.72 lakhs etc, received by X student at A IIT and $50,000 p.a. received by Y student at B IIT etc. is also responsible for the kind of craze for joining IITs.
-RB

_____________________________________
From: RamK - IITM
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 10:53:47 +110

Wow this debate is going on in so many groups that it is difficult to bring them all together. I will try and collate all responses in all groups so we have a balanced debate.

Thanks SomB for the info.

Basically in 2004 I too believed JEE Coaching schools were the REAL Problem. Today after discussions with many youngsters who have got their B techs and came from Coaching schools, I have revised my opinion. Coaching schools are not doing anything illegal to start with and hence the growth in this business. Plus in economic we know supply rises to meet demand. If five lakhs students want to get into the Top five IITs they know they cannot do this without attending a coaching school.

Who is at fault ? I say it is the JEE administrators who lacked vision. Making exams tougher and tougher only increased the demand for JEE coaching.

PDS and NREGA are faulty Subsidy systems. Instead of fixing faulty systems we have Nandan Nilekani giving every Indian an Aadhaar. Why every Indian and not just the needy poor? No one wants to answer this question. A classmate of mine has an Aadhaar and I asked him what on earth do you need it for ? And he had no bloody clue. He has a passport, has a licence, has a pan card has ration card and has bank accounts and credit cards. Why does he need an aadhaar ?

Why did IIT faculty sit and wait all these years. I did not even know that there was an All Indian IIT faculty Association. Wonder why they did not endorse the Save IIT JEE Petition http://www.petitiononline.com/SaveJEE/petition.html
___________________________________________
From: VenkS IITK
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 18:29:03 -0500

Probably the motive is: Average Exam Fee: Rs 1000/-
Estimated No. of Candidates: 1 Cr So, a business of 1000 Cr w/ expected expenditure of less than 25% 750 Cr can fund 17 IITs up to 40% and then, we have GATE, JAM etc.
__________________________________
Ram Krishnaswamy
7th March 2012
Very Very Good Motive indeed. Good Thinking.
Who do you think UPA II will chose to Head ISEET now that Raja, Suresh Kalmadi and Maran etc are out of the system ?
Ram
__________________________
From: VenkS IITK
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 18:40:56 -0500

I forgot about the Student Fees:
Rs 50,000 X 4000 = Rs 20 Cr per year per IIT 20 % of expenditure

Of course, we should not forget the Scholarship M.Tech & PhDs receive also, but most of head count is from B.Techs and MScs who don't get scholarships
____________________________________________
From: Ram K
VenkS, why 4000 B techs? We now have seventeen IITs you know. So you have to revise the whose cost benefit analysis
Ram
________________________________________
From: Ram K-IITM
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 00:39:46 +1100
Piyush,
It is not difficult to connect Aadhaar, Aakash, Aadarsh, 2G, CWG, IIT JEE, Food Security Bill, Lok Pal , FDI, GM Brinjal, Indo US Nuclear deal etc etc etc

After all these are all the nails in UPA II Coffin. BTW I am not a BJP supporter. Used to support Congress until 2004 UPA I and UPA II have UPPed corruption in Govt.

Ram.K
__________________________________________
From: RamK-IITM
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 01:35:10 +1100

Subject: IIT Global Current Affairs IIT Faculty opposes entrance examination changes - A new Blog

I have blogged this thread for the benefit of IIT Alumni who may be interested

IIT Faculty opposes entrance examination changes
http://save-iit-jee.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/3-iit-faculty-opposes-entrance.html

RamK
____________________________________________
From: ProfPS IITM-
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 20:22:51 +0530 (IST)

On Mon, 5 Mar 2012, Ram K wrote:
> 1. Did the Ramaswamy committee consult All India IIT Faculty Association > members while preparing this report ? If not why not ?

Actually, the Ramaswamy committee took open feedback - they hosted a feedback forum and invited anyone to give opinions. Dont know about other IITs, but at IITM, an invitation to participate was sent to all faculty members by email giving the url. THe Ramaswamy committee reports that about 2000 people gave feedback through this forum including some 160 who identified themselves as college level teachers not involved in coaching.

PS
__________________________________________
From: RB - IITKgp
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 07:52:36 -0800 (PST)

I thought that in matters of such far reaching significance such as making changes in the procedure for admissions to the UG programmes of the IITs, the Senates of the IITs should have been asked to give its considered views. I thought that admission procedures to the IITs come within the prerogative of the IIT Senates as per the IIT Act and Statutes. From what is stated below it seems that this has not been done.

I am not suggesting that the IIT Senates should have the final say but to bypass the Senate from discussing this issue and giving its considered views would possibly erodes the dignity of the Senate which takes all academic decisions at the IITs. Informal consultations on such academic issues with 2000 people of whom 160 may be college level teachers not involved in coaching is, in my humble view, not the way. There cannot be any populist solutions to such academic issues involving Institutions which over 50-60 years has made India proud and has become a global brand. There is no parallel anywhere in the world where such huge numbers of students compete for so few seats at the IITs and so, in my view, it is not fair to compare the systems for college admissions elsewhere with the one for IITs. It is also well known that the UG level education in the USA cannot compare with the kind of education imparted at IITs at UG level.
_____________________________________________
From Ram K
RB,
If Ramaswamy's team wanted to hear from people opposed to the Scrapping of JEE I am sure they would have consulted widely. To me it is obvious that the Ramaswamy committee was told to prepare a report so ISEET can be launched.. To ask people to comment on some Govt site to me is a cop out..

I used to wrk in Highways that published tenders in Hindu to satisfy the condition that tenders are made public, knowing pretty well that most contractors would miss these inconspicuous adverts in a news Paper. Hand picked contractors who greased palms would be told by the public servants about the tender.

I'd assume members of the Ramaswamy committe are literate and know how to use the internet search facility. All they needed was to type Save IIT JEE to see what alumni had to say 



http://www.google.com.au/#hl=en&gs_nf=1&cp=5&gs_id=2v&xhr=t&q=Save+IIT+JEE&pq=iit+jee&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&pbx=1&oq=Save+IIT+JEE&aq=0&aqi=g1&aql=&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&gs_l=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=8072356f05978733&biw=1023&bih=738


But Saving JEE was never on the cards. Instructions from HRD to Ramaswamy committee was a Report that facilitated Scrapping of JEE.

Does Ramaswamy care about JEE ?

Why would he when he did not succeed in JEE ?
Ram.K
____________________________________________

From: N Sub IITM
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 21:49:02 +0530

Dear Rambo,
I think Prof AJJ's mail makes a lot of sense. What are our concerns and how they are addressed in the proposed system?

1. The standards may go down: As I understand the standards will not go down. In fact the standards will go up, since the exams are controlled by IITs and the importance of coaching classes will come down

2. The HRD ministry will control admissions. : I do not see that possibility. The exams are still controlled by IITs and the admissions by the IITs only.

3. Weightage to School final exams would dilute the entry standards:

This is taken care by introducing percentile scores on the school final exam scores.

4. In addition aptitude tests are being introduced.

I think on the whole the new proposed system appears pretty sound, atleast on the paper based on what Prog Junjunwala has written.

N.Sub
________________________________
From: Ram K
Wednesday 7th March 2012



N. Sub, Absolutely, It looks good on paper.

These days Reports from Aadhaar by NN to ISEET by Ramaswamy are all power point slide shows where you see screen after screen for a few seconds and forget. I am sure if some one gives a full report some of us can spend the time and pull it apart.

As for Pros and cons of a single entrance exam nationally this has been debated for almost two years in IIT Global groups and by alumni who created the Save IIT JEE Petition

http://www.petitiononline.com/SaveJEE/petition.html.

Please Read the petition to see why so many of us want to retain JEE.

Mate IITs are not autonomous any longer. All that disappeared when MMJ was HRD Minister. All Directors are appointed by HRD since then and as such are 'Yes Saar Men' unfortunately; Not Directors like Prof Sengupta etc who was frank and spoke his mind. If IITs and Directors are controlled by HRD then even if IITs control ISEET, HRD holds the reins.

Can you explain why so many state govts have said no to one common entrance exam ? Because They wish to protect the Children from their states..

Standards will go down, Question papers will be sold, Seats will be sold, ISEET will be come the next Scam we do not want.

If what you and Ashok Jhunjhunwala are saying is true, why would I and others object ? Why would AIIITAA Faculty protest ? Makes no sense.

Any way nice to see a balanced debate
Ram
_______________________________________
From: AJJ IITK
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 20:51:19 +0530

Dear Ram,

Please see my answers in-line:

You shared the slide show with me many moons ago and my comment was the same that the report was what HRD ordered.
I do not remember having any slide-show on this issue, let alone shared it. I do remember pointing out that there was a web-based call for response by the committee sometime back. May be that had a slide-show. I do remembering responding to the web-call and writing to you.

1. Did the Ramaswamy committee consult All India IIT Faculty Association members while preparing this report ? If not why not ?
The committee put the basic thinking on the web and asked everyone to respond. The information was circulated to all faculty members (that is how I remember getting it).

2. Did the Ramaswamy Committee seek input from IIT alumni who created a passionate petition appealing to the PM to Save IIT JEE ? If not why not ?
One needs to ask the question to the committee and not to me. But as far as I know, the web-proposal was sent to alumni. I personally remember sending the information to you.

3. IIT Coaching schools are not the only reason for drop in student calibre. The blame lies with IIT JEE administrators who lacked the creativity to outsmart Coaching schools

There may be difference in opinions here. The matter has been discussed in senate meetings of several IITs. The overwhelming feeling at IITM senate was that coaching schools are the reason for decline.

4. We have a similar exam for school students to get into selective high schools in New South Wales. Several coaching schools started and in a short span were guaranteeing about 90% success rate. Last year the top coaching school failed miserably as the exam did not conform to any preset pattern.
I am not sure how many coaching classes encourages students not even to attend their schools for two years. Several IIT coaching centers do.

5. All it takes is a bit of creative outside the box thinking on the part of JEE adminsitrators that will force JEE Coaching schools to shut shop.
Well, you should put this forward to the faculty who sets these exams. The faculty is from all IITs.

6. Talking of multiple exams. This is in fact good for some one failing one exam could succeed and even top another. I have a classmate who got Rank 67 in JEE but failed in PUC in Maths. Today he is an established Prof at IIMB..So I am surprised that you advocate one EXAM for the nation. Several IIT alumni have failed to pass JEE one year and succeeded the following year. Iam afraid your one national exam will lead to many suicides and destroy many aspiring school students.

There has been an overwhelming opinion (as expressed in media) that multiple entrance exams are putting a great burden on students, making them zombies. I personally am not against at least exams, twice a year. But people have been talking about SAT.

7. Ashok if you were part of this Ramaswamy committee, why did you as a Prof at IITM did not consult widely. You know there have been heaps of discussion on Save IITs and Save JEE over the years. Why was the committee wearing blinkers ?

I was not part of a committee. If you read my mail below, I have mentioned that I had nothing to do with the decision.

8. Weightage to board exams are wrong, considering we do not have a common standard nation wide.

There is a normalisation being done, by creating a percentile in each board. As I mentioned in the mail, the selected students are likely to get in between 38 to 40. The differentiator will come from our JEE kind of exam.

9. Keeping students compulsorily in High schools away from coaching schools is not a strategy. It is like force feeding students..Students will struggle even more to stay at school as well as attend JEE coaching schools.
It is the other-way around. Coaching classes are discouraging students from attending school. I personally believe school is important and help develop multi-dimensional personality, as opposed to coaching classes, who only focus on single-skill.

Now please convince me that this common national exam will not create more coaching schools ? How is ISEET any better than IIT JEE ?
The verdict will be out only in future…
AJJ IIT Madras

____________________________________
From: Ram K-IITM
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 15:25:43 +1100

Dear AJJ
My apology. I got confused between the Kakodkar Committee that you were part of and the Ramaswamy committee. I am sorry.

You did mention about the Ramaswamy report and also said it was probably too late for me to contact him and to share my views with him.

If Ramaswamy committee did not attempt to contact All India IIT Faculty association to see their opinion then we have to assume he did not want their opinion.

Now putting something on the web and asking every one to respond is a poor excuse for a committee that is making recommendations that could affect engineering education in a heavily populated country like India with over million students trying for engineering college seats annually. It is also a Pity that some one like Prof Sriram IITM who was an active participant when we created the save IIT jee petition did not share any news about the Ramaswamy committee.. How can any one like me look for something on the web, for something that he does not know about ?

I am also sorry to believe that you were a member of the Ramaswamy committee and hence your support for the Ramaswamy Report. You definitely sent me Ramanswamys contact detail but not the web proposal. I have checked through all the emails.

Coaching schools: Yes Coaching schools have eroded IIT JEE. Yes this may have been debated by the senate for many years. Does not necessarily mean the senate has got it right..All senate members are withing a given system and it is common to wear blinkers and say the same things like frogs in a well.. What is important to fix any flawed system is to discuss widely seeking solutions. This was not done for JEE and is also not being done to fix PDS and NREGA. Two flawed systems and we now have another system Aadhaar that is also flawed to fix two flawed systems.. This may be the way economists think but certainly not the way engineers think.

Ashok I cannot comment on JEE coaching schools asking students not to attend regular schools. This is not possible without the cooperation of the schools and parents..Is it ?

This is not possible if the High school refuses to allow students with poor attendance the right to sit for the school final exam.. So It is not all coaching schools fault.. Plus we have info that many IIT Faculty themselves are teaching at JEE schools after hours….I hope these people breaking rules are not in charge of JEE..I am actively following Rajeev Guptas case and I am aware besides the exam the marking system is questionable in many ways. Poor man is being ostracised and suspended for blowing the whistle. ( Hope truth prevails)

As for putting forward ideas to IIT JEE adminsitrators on how to outsmart JEE Coaching schools, I did meet Prof Santha Kumar when he was Dean students what ever and his response was what makes you sitting in OZ think you know more than we do as Profs at IITs. At that Time Prof Idichandi at IITM was incharge of JEE and my information was that he wanted JEE Scrapped as reported by the media. So I did not see him.

Multiple exams Vs One ISEET - Boon or Bane is debatable One exam is dangerous as many talented students could do badly in one exam and have their dreams destroyed for life.

I am sure you will agree that passing one IIT JEE exam is not the end of the world. We have a Venkatraman Ramakrishnan Nobel Laureate an engineer who is not an IITian.

Now let us say he failed JEE yet succeed as an engineer through another college after passing some other exam as an example.(n a January 2010 lecture at the Indian Institute of Science, he revealed that he failed to get admitted at any of the Indian Institutes of Technology, or Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.[6]) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venkatraman_Ramakrishnan

Now imagine denying Venkatraman Rama Krishnan the opportunity to exams other than ISEET..

Normalising high school exams results is SOOOOO Wrong.. 



Trust me..Students are human beings and not robots. In One series Indian Cricketers are praised as worlds best and No 1 and the following test series they get a flogging. Ramaswamys team requires sociologists and psychologits to evaluate the socio economic problems associated with IIT JEE. If IIT JEE administrators have not been able to fix the coaching school problem it is because they as engineers see it just as a technical problem.. It is much more complex. The demand to get into IITs has soared because of the recognition IITians have been given globally. Even way back in 1976, I was given a full membership to Engineers Australia only because I was from IITM.

As for verdict on consequences of scrapping JEE, trust me it will not take too long and will be seen in our life time..

Now what will you tell me if the crop of students you get from ISEET are worse that the ones you are getting from JEE Coaching schools.

Coaching schools will thrive even more and grow exponentially as the demand to pass ISEET will be many fold as compared to IITJEE..
Ram

___________________________

On Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 5:37 PM, SubShan wrote:

Assuming that this new process (one exam) reduces stress and works like magic for the students and IITs, There are still questions on how this will be implemented

a) What happens if the boards dont declare their results before the ISEET results are out (or atleast before IIT admission process commence) will IIT ignore students from that state or delay the admissions
b) How will this so called normalisng process be actually done
Does the IIT faculty (or whoever is normaliising) go thru papers set by each boards every year for comparison of how strict this is set, also check the marking (a few boards can choose to be lenient to allow their state students to get more admissions)
c) If college attendance is a criteria why not accept a minimum attendance criteria for students so that attendance is ensured
d) In the past we have had instances of admissions (when tough papers were set ) in to IITs when students could get say for eg only 30 marks out of 100 in maths.

Now with more IITs and state colleges taking students thru ISEET the number of entrants go up tremendously. Now unless the paper quality (toughness) goes down we may see admissions in state colleges (low rankers) at less than 5 (say) marks in maths - looks silly to me

SubShan
_______________________________________
From: BG IIT
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 09:55:54 +0530
Mr. SubShan
Probably you are reacting without reading Mr. Jhunjhunwala's mail completely and thoroughly. Point c) in Jhunjhunwala's mail (to which you replied), had the answer to your question b)
Cheers
___________________________________________
From: PS IITM-
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 09:36:23 +0530 (IST)

On Wed, 7 Mar 2012, Ram K wrote:
> If Ramaswamys team wanted to her from people opposed to the Scrapping of JEE > I am sure they would have consulted widely. To me it is obvious that the > Ramaswamy committee was told to prepare a report so ISEET can be launched..> To ask people to comment on some Govt site to me is a cop out.. I used to> wrk in Highways that published tenders in Hindu


Rambomate, the India of today is quite different from your days at the Highways department, so let us leave those irrelevant things aside.

The fact remains that very few IIT faculty of today are taking strong stance on this and most are just not bothered. IITM faculty association called for a discussion meet on this a couple of days ago. I stopped by for a while and counted about 50 heads. The president of IITM faculty association is not happy when I raise this and wants to argue about what is quorum, how many people attend our senate meetings etc etc. When I see only 50 odd out of 500+ IITM faculty members show up for this, I can see it is a lost cause on this group. 



Perhaps, alums can motivate and take a stance to ensure that the IIT flag keeps flying high.
sriram
________________________
From: BhamShen IITM
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 22:05:18 +0530

Dear Friends,
I am in agreement with the observations of Ashok. It is difficult to overstate the harm done to our education system from coaching/tuition classes. From primary schooling to university education, tuition and coaching has become a norm. Such tuition classes are not just for those who fall behind studies. Most of our schools and colleges have become just registration centers. I have gone to many colleges which have PUC classes and when I ask how many of them attend coaching, 98% raised their hands. Coaching is thus not just limited to JEE. But we need to make a beginning some places and JEE coaching has reached an ultimate limit also where students exclusively spend all the time on coaching. Let us not give some specific examples to show how it is not true.

Most who are familiar with the educational system in India agree that JEE has outlived its usefulness. No doubt that it has been one of the significant factors for IITs gaining the world wide recognition. It is definitely very objective with little scope for corruption (no doubt Rajeev of IIT Khargapur did bring out some problems).

Ashok has thrown considerable light on the process at IIT level of developing a system to replace JEE. If we did not take opportunity at that time, it is our fault. However Somanath has brought out new facts about how the decision was taken at the top bureaucratic level. That is rather disturbing. This seems to be the style of our bureaucracy. Last week ONGC shares were sold by the government. It was a flop. Now we come to know that those responsible to sell ONGC shares did not even consult ONGC. The same seems to have happened with IIT JEE.

If the new proposed system fails then we can propose to change it. We should start the process of monitoring the new system and suggest to make it better, less corrupt, more transparent, etc.
Bhamy
___________________________

From: BG IITKgp

Ram. If you read the details of what is being proposed, the scores will be computed from scores in three exams.

1. The board exam results normalised across all boards (this is the key phrase) has 40% weightage

2. An aptitude test (may be in line of GRE aptitude test) - we should wait for details to come out to kn.ow what is actually planned

3. An advanced test in line with JEE

The weightage of each of the last two will be determined by respective institutions. IITs are free to give higher weightage to the advanced test. The main advantages of this that I see are:

1. The board exams will have to be given due weightage by the aspirants. They just can't ignore it any more.


2. There will be just one engineering test for the candidates. They don't have to run around giving umpteen number of tests. This will reduce the stress levels considerably.

The scheme seems quite balanced on paper, what comes out eventually, will have to be closely monitored. If it is a failure, it will prove so by itself, just as it happened for Aakash! But look at what Aakash has brought in it's wake? There are now a plethora of announcements for sub $100/- tablets, all with much superior specs compared to Aakash, some with pre-loaded educational content, some promising free downloads of educational content from established online sites for life! Compare that with $300/- OLPC and you will understand the potential of these tablets to reach target audience. Would we have achieved this if we throttled Aakash project before even one tablet was built?

You misunderstood the point I made then and are again doing so now. I am no Sibal fan. I actually despise such slimy persons. I dislike moves to stop any developmental change, however impossible a dream it may seem. Negative movements do not serve any purpose other than stalling developments. If there is a positive flow, let it flow, but be vigilant so that it is not corrupted by vested interests. Come out fighting then to set things right.
Cheers!

___________________
From: VenkS - IITK

Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 20:13:24 +0000

( BG ) What If:
1. The candidate falls ill or is not in good shape on the specified day of examination? Does he have a 'consolation seat' or weightage?

2. The candidate could not perform well on that specified day? Should we have just one cricket match to determine the performance of Tendulkar and Sehwag?

3. The question paper leaks-out (the risk has been made very high by this method)? Do we conduct again and again All India Exams throughout the country till it is leak-proof? (GRE/TOEFL frauds are quite known issues across various countries)

Why Not:

1. Have just one B.Tech/M.Tech/MSc/PhD exam, like GATE, JAM etc and award IIT degrees based on the performance. We may tailor-in extracurricular activities up to 40% in to the qualification

2. Have just one test to categorise a human for the entire life period, for employment, marriage, etc.? This way they need not run around trying again and again ...

3. Find out the colleges superior to IITs by one All India Examination or All World Examination, and then Rank them to fund them accordingly.

4. Make the examination 'All India XII' compulsory examination and charge every candidate Rs 5000/-? This way IITs could be funded even better, so that we can win Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals without having to worry about finances; we don't have to worry about other institutions since they don't perform well; we may as well shut them down; IITs are everything in India and JEE is primordial.

5. Genetically clone all human beings to look the same, so that Equality is assured across the globe?

Hail One Exam For All!
Hail One World Order, One World Religion!

Cheers!
_____________________________________________
From: SunMah IITK
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 13:21:57 -0800 (PST)



Ashok Jhunjhunwala has given the most balanced reply. Arguments are a dime a gross. What to do when a situation is facing you imminently & you have to take a decision?

Till proved otherwise, the decision taken is correct.

My apprehension : Having seen from close up what really goes on in the marking system of the regional/State boards, maybe that 40% needs reduction considerably & the balance re-distributed to the aptitude tests etc.
SunMah
____________________________________

On Mar 5, 2012, at 9:23 AM, RMoh2000 wrote:
Dear Sadagopan, you mention that success is 99% perspiration. So those who make the effort to attend coaching classes should rightfully get in. So what is the problem?
Do not confuse success with entry to IIT. Obviously, even among the people who enter IIT, the rate of success is not uniform. There is no certain predictor of success. But for education, IQ Test is as good a filter as what we will ever find!
R.Moh
_________________________________________
From: RajBha
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 22:32:10 -0500

I don't think there is an universally accepted IQ test which is not biased towards people with a particular background.
Rajaram
__________________________________________________
From: PRAMMEHTA
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2012 09:56:00 +0530

In all this there may be a “shrewdness” to make sure that the brand name is abolished so that 'other' investors can roll their balls on our soil. We are, most of the times, naive or pretended to be 'unaware' of these dramas to avoid soiling our hands!
_________________________________________

From: SRaj - IITM
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2012 11:25:09 +0530

One reason for this could be, IIT entrance exams no longer test for language skills! We must keep in mind that the Central Government has already meddled sufficiently in the IIT system.

- Removed English Language from the exam list.
- Permitted individuals to take the exam in Hindi.
- At the national level, earlier, students had to make up their minds whether they wished to be Engineers or Doctors, in 10th standard. Students who planned to do engineering had a course in Engineering Drawing.
... I am a bit puzzled by the courses offered in India at the school level. The courses offered in England can be seen in this website:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_England . There is an elective called 'Design and Technology' which students can pursue at school level to prepare them for a career in Engineering.

The language a student is familiar with, is a very important issue, and should not be brushed under the carpet as being done at the moment. I think it is not too late to convert two of the new IITs to have their medium of instruction in Hindi, to cater to the requirements of the Hindi belt. The students should then be tested for their proficiency in Hindi.

(According to an editorial in the Indian Express today, a student in AIIMS who entered through the reservation route, has committed suicide - the main reason leading to the suicide appears to be, the student was handicapped by his inadequate knowledge of English).

SRaj
_____________________________________________
From: AchutR IITM
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 10:43:21 +0530
Ram
I have another input for your thought making sibal for scrapping the IITJEEE. You see from the results of the entrance exam that nearly 30% Of the seats were captured by AP and South. I remember my late father of complaining about IAS exam that most othe successful candidates from South and later it was tweaked to suit the Northies - but it did not succeed to that extent. Sure Coaching classes has killed the IITJEE fiber but see we did not have any coaching classes . In 61 I was not sure of the type of q paper but since I just finished my ISC I WOULD MAKE IT. Just a thought for more light on the subject.
_________________________________________________

From: PS IITM-
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 09:36:23 +0530 (IST)

On Wed, 7 Mar 2012, Ram K wrote:
> If Ramaswamys team wanted to her from people opposed to the Scrapping of JEE > I am sure they would have consulted widely. To me it is obvious that the > Ramaswamy committee was told to prepare a report so ISEET can be launched..
> To ask people to comment on some Govt site to me is a cop out.. I used to > wrk in Highways that published tenders in Hindu

Rambomate, the India of today is quite different from your days at the  Highways department, so let us leave those irrelevant things aside. The  fact remains that very few IIT faculty of today are taking strong stance  on this and most are just not bothered. IITM faculty association called  for a discussion meet on this a couple of days ago. I stopped by for a  while and counted about 50 heads. The president of IITM faculty
association is not happy when I raise this and wants to argue about what  is quorum, how many people attend our senate meetings etc etc. When I see  only 50 odd out of 500+ IITM faculty members show up for this, I can see it is a lost cause on this group. Perhaps, alums can motivate and take a
stance to ensure that the IIT flag keeps flying high.
PS
_______________________

From: Ram K-IITM
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 16:26:48 +1100

PS,

I wish you had shared this news about Ramaswamy committee with all Save IIT JEE Petitioners when comments were invited on some obscure web. Perhaps the Save IIT Jee Team can even now take up the Ramaswamy report analyse it and create another public petition and also issue a Press Report to the Media.

I am game if you are willing to pull this team back one more time. I am sending this to Save IIT jee Members.

You are passionate about this issue so you attended but the majority of faculty members are sorry to say this public servants who want to hang on to their jobs and do not want to ruffle feathers.

"For evil to succeed all that is required is for all good men to do nothing " - Edmond Bourke.
Ram
http://save-iit-jee.blogspot.com.au/
________________________________

From: SRaj - IITM-
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2012 13:56:56 +0530

Ram wrote: Normalising high school exams results is SOOOOO Wrong.
... Actually it will be mathematically impossible in some cases. Imagine a situation where a particular syllabus and examination system is well thought out and the maximum score is around 80%. Another syllabus is dumbed down, but students score as much as 100%; this will break the back of any mathematical algorithm.
Regards,
Selvaraj
____________________________________________

From: Ram Krishnaswamy-IITM
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 23:36:23 +1100

Basab, Points 1, 2 and 3 are all weak and no different to Aakash Blunder and should be challenged

IITs had their hands full conducting JEE now you want IITs to do one ton more and for what reason? Iits are interested in getting the best students they are not interested in the entire million aspirants.

Balanced on Paper or not, it is not right and is as hollow as Aakash. Scheme.


OK I am glad you now accept that Aadhaar is a failure..
Look at what Aakash has brought in its wake :-)

WAKE is the perfect word for Aakash which has died a premature death..

The plethora of Tablets has come about because of the death of Aakash.

Had HRD used some basic common sense, all they had to do was announce that GOI was willing to order a million Tablets at $35 each or even $50 which is Rs2500

At $35 to $50 million trust me you would have got bids from Apple and Samsung and Acer and Sony etc…May be superceded models but much superior to Aakash. Who knows even OLPC might have joined the race :-)
Aakash stinks just like 2G licences..

Your argument that wasting money developing Aakash was justified only because so many alternative are now available is nothing but Sad..excuse.

Developmental changes by Mr Sibal are because of a man who owns four engineering colleges, who bank rolled Kapils elections. And now Aakash and ISEET are payback.

Trust me Kapil Sibals Aakash and ISEET will unseat him next elections and 2G Scam, Aadarsh, CWG, Nandan Nilekanis Aadhaar, Montek singhs Rs32/head estimate and Food security bill, Sam Pitrodas Broad band and Lok Pal Bill, FDI etc etc etc will result in Congress getting a thrashing like never before.

Basab there is no point fighting 2G scam now is there after $40 billion has been swindled..

A Man has got to do what a man has got to do and shoot the minute you smell a RAT be it in the form of Aakash or ISEET or Aadhaar..
____________________________________________
From: RamK - IITM
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 01:35:10 +1100

I have blogged this thread for the benefit of IIT Alumni who may be interested

IIT Faculty opposes entrance examination changes
http://save-iit-jee.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/3-iit-faculty-opposes-entrance.html
_____________________________________________

From: RamK - IITM
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 00:17:06 +1100



VenkatS,
I am just not able to refrain from posting this comment..

Hail One exam and Hail Nandan Nilekani and Hail Aadhaar as authentication will ensure that no student gets a second chance in life to study engineering.

Any one failing ISEET is doomed for life unless they are willing to pay bribes to get hold of the ISEET question paper or pay bribes to buy a seat in any IIT they choose.


Better still why not auction IIT seats like 2G and appoint Raja as ISEET Minister


RamK
___________________________________________
From: SubShan
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2012 01:35:33 +0800 (SGT)

(BG), I have read his mail (AJJ) (point c) but what i am trying to convey is the board results alone cannot be a criteria for normalizing across states- state board can play around if they want to send more of their students across to IITs

For eg: Today if we have a state seeing that many of their students do not get in to IITs - they can go about just marking papers leniently and many students of that state can get their overall ranking for admission up - fairness is not ensured which a single exam ISEET would have provided
Hence each years paper and marking should be considered before going about the normalizing process which is a difficult job

SubShan

______________________________
From: Ram K - IITM
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 13:48:29 +1100

R B,
If Ramaswamys team wanted to hear from people opposed to the Scrapping of JEE I am sure they would have consulted widely. 

To me it is obvious that the Ramaswamy committee was told to prepare a report so ISEET can be launched.. To ask people to comment on some Govt site to me is a cop out.. 


I used to work in Highways that published tenders in Hindu to satisfy the condition that tenders are made public, knowing pretty well that most contractors would miss these inconspicuous adverts in a news Paper. Hand picked contractors who greased palms would be told by the public servants about the tender.

I'd assume members of the Ramaswamy committe are literate and know how to use the internet search facility. All they needed was to type Save IIT JEE to see what alumni had to say http://www.google.com.au/#hl=en&gs_nf=1&cp=5&gs_id=2v&xhr=t&q=Save+IIT+JEE&pq=iit+jee&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&pbx=1&oq=Save+IIT+JEE&aq=0&aqi=g1&aql=&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&gs_l=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=8072356f05978733&biw=1023&bih=738

But Saving JEE was never on the cards. Instructions from HRD to Ramaswamy committee was a Report that facilitated Scrapping of JEE. Does Ramaswamy care about JEE ?
Why would he when he did not succeed in JEE ?
Ram

________________________________
From: Rama B IITM
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2012 12:54:31 -0500

Rambo,
Are you suggesting that Tamilnadu state engineering college seats are currently not being sold to the highest bidder? Is it possible that (some of) the state govts are against an external exam because they might lose control of the auction hammer?
Regards,
-rama

______________________________________ From: Sriram IITM
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2012 00:09:17 +0530 (IST)

On Thu, 8 Mar 2012, RamaB wrote:
> Are you suggesting that Tamilnadu state engineering college seats are > currently not being sold to the highest bidder?

Wow! Do you have any evidence to suggest that the state (government)  engineering college seats are sold? How would that be possible with the single window system in place that operates for all seats in the government colleges and the government quota seats in the private colleges? 


If you mean seats that are not in the government quota in the
private colleges, OK.
PS

______________________________ 
From: BhamShen IITM
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2012 22:06:38 +0530

Dear friends,
here is a para from a New York Times article which is trying to make some sense out of the criticism of Santorum concerning College education. This para is applicable to IITs in many ways. If we take a look at our IIT alumni, what percentage of alumni is from bottom quartile? In the case of the US it was at least 3%. For IITs it is likely to be zero.

BhamShen

Consider the fact that SAT scores (a big factor in college admissions) correlate closely with family wealth. The total average SAT score of students from families earning more than $100,000 per year is more than 100 points higher than for students in the income range of $50,000 to $60,000. Or consider that a mere 3 percent of students in the top 150 colleges, as defined by The Chronicle of Higher Education, come from families in the bottom income quartile of American society. Only a very dogmatic Social Darwinist would conclude from these facts that intelligence closely tracks how much money one’s parents make. A better explanation is that students from affluent families have many advantages — test-prep tutors, high schools with good college counseling, parents with college 



From: BG IIT 
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2012 00:29:31 +0530On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 1:56 PM, sraj  wrote:

Ram wrote: Normalising high school exams results is SOOOOO Wrong.
No IIT K guys here? They would have heard of relative grading! That is exactly what normalising of board marks means. It will be a relative grading system for each board based on the highest score obtained in that board. These relative grades will then be compared and be given corresponding marks!
___________________________________
From: RamkiBala
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2012 15:22:48 -0800

IIT-K has relative grading, and it does have merits under most circumstances.

It is time to realize that these exams are a narrow band, medium fidelity filter. They aren't looking for outliers, the ones who will eventually dominate a field.

As long as the exam success correlates to committing long periods of arduous and irksome toil in getting mastery over a broad range of skills, they will continue to be relevant for success in "following" engineering work and incrementally improving it.

But none of these exams will be relevant for testing asymmetric leverage towards greatness. That is almost always going to come from how we respect people's ability to test their limits, fail, and recover gracefully from it instead of holding the "unfair" world responsible for all things.

Ramki
______________________________________

From: SRoy IIT KGP
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2012 20:14:31 -0500

Relative grading is okay for a single group. But normalizing across groups can have hazardous consequences, as Selvraj has pointed out.

Relative grading is good when scores are spread out ... as one hears in some of Boards, lots of students are getting scores between 95-99%. As Dr.Junjhunwala had said, they are expecting students to get 38-40 from Board results. Hence it looks like this 40% may become a farce :)
_____________________________

From: BG IIT
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2012 09:45:15 +0530

Frankly Ramki, are IITs producing outstanding engineers these days? In last 40 years, 80 - 90% of students IITs have produced, have enriched the US / Europe college faculties (our time) or US / Europe industry and business. Lately, they have been enriching the investment banking and such institutions. 

Where is the fruition of the vision with which these Institutions were conceived? Why after 60 years of producing premier engineers, we are still deriding indigenous attempts to build a simple thing like a tablet computer, and with reason? 

What the F#@k have IITans given to India for India to be proud of them? A few million dollars? Is that all that is required to keep the nation's head held high in company of peers? Why then should we give this almost deifying status to IITs and IITans? Country's money is better spent preparing 10 just above average engineers who will contribute in building the nation rather than one outstanding IITan who will fly immediately to USA or Europe for contributing to their nation building?
_______________________________

From: BinayJ IITK
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2012 12:33:17 +0800 (SGT)

Dear BG,
I agree totally with you. Even today if you look at the achievements in terms of the nos of patents IITs are churning out, it is really dismal. Even the patents which are being registered, it is due to the efforts of a select few. Some of the third rate universities are doing better then any IIT. 

This performance is being observed by the Indian public. Rumblings have already started and there is every likelihood that it will snowball. If we delve deeper, setting up of more IITs is a step in this direction. 

The next stage will that some of these new IITs are going to overtake the older ones and then the deterioration of the older institutes shall commence. 

The first step shall be freezing of the yearly funds being doled out by the Indian Govt, reduction of newer facilities etc. If we as the alumni are really interested in our alma mater it is high time now that we look and take interest in the working and performance of the institutes.
Regards,
BinayJ
__________________________________
From: SRaj -IITM
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2012 11:25:09 +0530

One reason for this could be, IIT entrance exams no longer test for language skills!
We must keep in mind that the Central Government has already meddled sufficiently in the IIT system.

- Removed English Language from the exam list.
- Permitted individuals to take the exam in Hindi.
- At the national level, earlier, students had to make up their minds whether they wished to be Engineers or Doctors, in 10th standard. Students who planned to do engineering had a course in Engineering Drawing.

... I am a bit puzzled by the courses offered in India at the school level. The courses offered in England can be seen in this website:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_England . There is an elective called 'Design and Technology' which students can pursue at school level to prepare them for a career in Engineering.


The language a student is familiar with, is a very important issue, and should not be brushed under the carpet as being done at the moment. I think it is not too late to convert two of the new IITs to have their medium of instruction in Hindi, to cater to the requirements of the Hindi belt. The students should then be tested for their proficiency in Hindi.


(According to an editorial in the Indian Express today, a student in AIIMS who entered through the reservation route, has committed suicide - the main reason leading to the suicide appears to be, the student was handicapped by his inadequate knowledge of English).

SelRaj

________________________________

From: Rajeev Kumar, IIT KGP
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2012 09:52:29 +0530

Combining 12th standard marks in the selection merit will bring the same 100% cut-off fiasco as recently witnessed by DU, as there are many boards, which will start inflating their marks, in such a way so as to neutralize the normalization impact. There does not exist any effective mechanism to normalize the marks, as was witnessed in BITS Pilani, where there were 70% students from a single board despite the normalization.
The Ramasami Reform Proposal is tremendously helping coaching Industry. Already, most coaching institutes have already launched full-time 2-year program, in which aspirants started enrolling full-time, in stead of evening or weekend classes. Coaching will increase multifold for imparting coachings for XII study, Aptitude and Advanced Subjects.