“ 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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Friday, April 20, 2012

122 - Is HRD Ministry Barking up the wrong tree ? by Ram Krishnaswamy - Kafila

Is HRD Ministry Barking up the wrong tree? by Ram Krishnaswamy - Kafila

April 20, 2012

GUEST POST by Ram Krishnaswamy

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal seems to be getting a lot of flak from so many quarters on Jan Lok Pal Bill, HRD Computer Tablet Aakash and now his backing of ISEET, one common national entrance exam for science and engineering. 

Now as HRD Minister he has inadvertently attracted the wrath of over 1,75,000 IIT alumni globally; as also faculty and students of all IITs who are opposed to his idea of killing IIT-JEE and replacing it with a common national exam called ISEET.

Yes, Kapil Sibal is the HRD Minister but he is a lawyer and a politician and is not a technologist. It appears that he is being advised by technologists who are misleading him and telling him what he wants to hear, as opposed to giving him solid advice in the interest of the nation.

Let us just look at IITs and JEE alone.

Let us see what truly is wrong with IITs & JEE and what recommendations the HRD Minister has received and from whom.
If we were to simplify the problem with JEE as it is administered in 2012 they can be listed as follows (not a comprehensive list):

1. It is virtually impossible for school leavers to pass JEE these days without coaching. JEE exams were made tougher and tougher by IIT Professors that no year twelve student had adequate knowledge to clear JEE.

2. Teaching standards at high schools in India are pretty bad, as school teachers in India get very poor wages, about (Rs. 20,000 a month if they are lucky) as compared to people working in the IT sector or even call centres. IIT JEE coaching schools pay at least Rs. 100,000 a month. Some top JEE coaching school teachers even earn Rs. 1 Crore per annum I am told. And we wonder why parents are willing to pay high fees for IIT JEE coaching and why students interested in a career don’t mind attending JEE schools for a couple of years or more.

3. JEE Coaching has become so expensive, about Rs.1 to Rs.2 lakhs for two years of coaching, that gifted students from poor families cannot afford and have no chance to succeed at JEE

4. JEE originally in the 60’s & 70’s was a written exam in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and English and these papers were corrected by faculty members manually. What was important was to see if the student’s method of solving a problem was correct; not just the answers. This was okay when smaller number of students took the exam.

5. Over the years as IIT alumni received accolades and recognition globally, the demand to join IIT’s grew exponentially and as many as 500,000 students sat for IIT JEE in 2011

6. As more and more students wanted to succeed, the demand gave birth to many coaching schools nation- wide to satisfy this demand.

7. As it became impossible for IIT Faculty to correct 500,000 papers, IIT JEE Committee headed by Prof. Idichandy switched the IIT JEE in 1998 to a Multiple Choice type exam. You had to pick a correct answer from four options.

8. Some where along the line JEE was conducted in two parts perceived as an improved filtration process.

9. Multiple Choice exams while they looked a good way to solve a mega problem of number of papers to be corrected gave birth to a new problem & a much bigger headache.

10. JEE coaching schools were training students to recognise JEE question patterns and two years of continuous training helped these students to guess answers correctly with ease without actually having to solve the problems.

11. This meant that while the top 30% of students were still the cream of the cream the remaining 60%     (approximate) passed JEE partially by guessing correctly. Their failure has been evidenced by the fact that about 30% of students failed in Maths, Physics and Chemistry in the 1st Year of IIT itself.

12. Then we had IIT faculty cry foul and blame IIT-JEE coaching schools for decline in student quality instead of the remodelled JEE.

It was the Chandi Committee that recommended giving weightage to year IX marks in 2008 besides many other good suggestions that have been ignored.

Then it was the Acharya Committee of IIT Directors who made recommendations to HRD ministry on what needed to be done. Acharya committee report did not sit well with HRD for reasons unknown and so HRD Minister Kapil Sibal formed another committee headed by Dr Ramaswamy. Dr Ramaswamy Committee’s recommendations gave birth to ISEET, a Common National Science and Engineering Exam that assigns weightage to marks scored in Year 10 and 12.

All along these recommendations have come from none other than IIT Directors themselves. So why is every one blaming the HRD minister now ? Obviously IIT Directors that headed Acharya Committee & Ramaswamy Committee failed to consult faculty, students and alumni in an extensive manner. They just did lip service by posting a survey in some obscure web site requesting people to comment.

Ramaswamy committee knew where the IITs were and where faculty, students and alumni could be contacted had they had genuine intentions to get reasonable feed back. All these committees failed and gave the wrong advice to HRD Minister.

Dr Ramaswamy committee claims to have conducted an extensive survey and is overwhelmed with 2500 responses when we have 175,000 IIT alumni, over 5000 faculty members, 10,000 fresh B Tech students in the 1st year alone, over 50,000 students on all campuses put together, and over a million aspiring students studying at coaching schools. Looks similar to FDA’s fraudulent surveys to give quick approval to a new cancer drug…….

Why are these recommendations to create ISEET wrong ?

1. Dr. Ramaswamy had no hands-on experience with either IITs or JEE. So as Chairman he was guided by his committee members and rubber stamped their recommendations. Only alumni who have cleared JEE will appreciate the true value of JEE. Any sportsman who trains hard for many years will tell you how it feels to make it into a national squad for the Olympics or Cricket Team in India.

2. ISEET’s idea of giving 40% credit to State and Central Board exams is very flawed. In many states question papers for HSc exams become available to people willing to pay, teachers correcting high school exam papers are known to take bribes to give high marks, plus we do not have an established standard for all schools nation wide. CBSE touted as a good standard has been condemned by many faculty and students as being very substandard. ISEET will now indirectly encourage all State Board schools to boost the marks for all their students so they can score well in ISEET. ISEET will create a situation where over night we will have majority of the students being classified as 1st Class students scoring more that 75% in State school exam nation wide.

3. There is no real evidence that students who clear JEE have not also done well at School Board exams.

4. To state that students who do well at school exams also do well at IITs is again a questionable assumption.

5. ISEET will not eliminate coaching schools or encourage students to focus on school studies as assumed by expert committee members. It is shocking to see how these committee members are so out of touch. Common sense tells us that students already attending JEE coaching schools will now be attending ISEET coaching schools and studying extra subjects other than Maths, Physics and Chemistry, so that they score well in High school exams too. This means ISEET coaching schools will grow exponentially. ISEET will feed coaching schools even more increasing their demand.

6. ISEET makes it harder or should we say virtually impossible for a poor student to compete with those attending ISEET coaching schools for all school subjects. ISEET means that Education in India is reserved for children with oodles of money. Is this fair? Is this what HRD Ministry wants ?

ISEET does not serve smart students who are poor. Further, ISEET will give rise to hundreds if not thousands of ISEET Coaching schools nationwide defeating the very purpose of killing off IIT-JEE. The crop of students who clear ISEET will be worse than the kind they have had the last decade. When this happens IITs have only themselves and Dr Ramaswamy to blame for killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.

Is the HRD Minister barking up the wrong tree? 

Unlikely, it is  the Chandi Committee that mooted the idea of giving weightage to high school marks, followed by the Acharya committee that wasted a great opportunity to evaluate real problem faced and find a unique solution. Ramaswamy Committee did not do much more than try and iron out Acharya committee report. There is nothing original in Dr. Ramaswamys report, not that anything was expected.

If ISEET gets implemented, poor students can say goodbye to their dreams of becoming slumdog millionaires (!) by studying at IITs. JEE coaching schools will over night become ISEET schools teaching all subjects, and established JEE schools like the Bansals will franchise their business model. Last but not least the standard of students entering IITs will plummet, and there will be a mass exodus of talented and good faculty from established IITs.

In less than ten years time IITs will be dead; all seventeen of them and the nation can salute various JEE expert committees who dug the grave for IITs from within.

Who killed IITs & JEE?

IIT’s were all about merit until JEE exam papers were made so hard that no school student could succeed without coaching. Today it is not the meritocracy but aristocracy who get into IITs only because their parents can afford to send their children to coaching schools and faculty members wonder why these students are not motivated and why about 30% of them fail in the 1st and 2nd year…

It will neither be HRD Ministry that is killing off JEE as we are led to believe nor the JEE coaching schools that have done nothing illegal in meeting demand but the very custodians of IIT JEE and the succeeding committees of so called experts in Acharya Committee and Dr. Ramaswamy committee who drove the last nail into JEE and IIT Coffin.

Are there better alternatives to IIT JEE?

Yes there are a number of ways, where all identified problems can be addressed and resolved, if only people are willing to step outside the box and take all factors affecting quality of students entering IITs.

What should HRD Minister Kapil Sibal do ?

Create a National Competition for designing a better JEE and give a big national award to any individual or team that comes up with the best solution for an improved JEE that will save Brand IIT for many more decades by allowing alumni to fly the IIT flag globally.

Brand IIT belongs to B.Tech Graduates from IITs who passed JEE. There are no ifs and buts about this claim.
If the PG’s from IITs were outstanding we wouldn’t be complaining about lack of good research in India.

Wiping out all other entrance exam and making ISEET the only exam is wrong, as it is possible for a good student to perform badly in one exam and succeed in others. HRD has no business in interfering with opportunities for higher education in all States.

Young aspiring students in India cannot afford to put all eggs in just one basket called ISEET and no government has the right to deny young people opportunities to succeed even if they fail to do well in ISEET.

The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.
– John F. Kennedy

Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.
– Robert F. Kennedy, 1966 speech
US Democratic politician (1925 – 1968)

Ram Krishnaswamy is an IIT Madras Alumnus


21 Comments leave one →
  1. Ashumane PERMALINK
    April 20, 2012 2:52 PM
    ban all coaching, private tuition, etc, for school and colleges… they have had an adverse effect on imagination, education, pedagogy, and knowledge. it has destroyed knowledge capacity and curiosity. gave rise to a highly institutional and ritualized system (not just rote, but aristocracy, and how people conceive success, just look at the number of tech colleges and MBA schools, is that “education”)
    one needs to perceive iits and iims with caution, specially in society like india, their contributions have been marginal or just minimal (yes you can blame it on bureaucracy, but that is only a massive and single factor), and there are alternative systems of education in other countries/societies, any iitian gone to US will tell you how universities function there, branding few schools as highly competitive is rubbish…
    if we are going to imitate the west, which we do in entertainment, music, news, business models, why not pick and choose which is really beneficial and highly utilitarian..(funding for schools, scholarships, competitive pay-scale for all teachers, infrastructure and syllabus that is exclusive with choices and not restrictive)… and more important move beyond engineering and management
    • April 21, 2012 8:31 AM
      Coaching is the way of life in Asian societies where parents value education most. Just take a look at Singapore, South Korea etc. and the same is happening in India. Please read the article on Students in South Korea http://save-iit-jee.blogspot.com.au/search/label/15%20-%20SOUTH%20KOREA
      I have observed in gated communities in Chennai and Bangalore, that children spend the whole day at school and come home and an hour later they have tuition masters coming home to drill the children for an hour or two.
      It is also sad to see little tiny tots burdened with a school bag that could weight 10 kilos.
      As a nation we seem to have taken the fun out of education. My son in Sydney had minimal home work, never had any tuition at home played rugby and was in the Junior state cricket squad in NSW and breezed through a Double degree in Business and Law. I can say he enjoyed education
      Coaching schools cannot be banned as they are not breaking any law. To create a law to ban Coaching schools will be counter productive as this move will drive them underground.
      IITs and IIMs were not designed to change the face of education or the face of India. To say their contribution is marginal is debatable.
      Yes there may be better systems in the world that we can emulate may be, but Global opinion suggests that Indian IIT system may be superior as it produces outstanding professionals. So why fix something that is not broken ?
      Should we imitate the West ? and Why ? Are Indians not capable to creating something original to raise education standards nation wide? Believe the desire is there in the population but people in power do not have the will.
  2. Rajarshi Roy PERMALINK
    April 20, 2012 6:41 PM
    Item nos. 7 & 8 in the list of problems with JEE are inaccurate. JEE never had “only” multiple choice questions. In 1999 (the year MCQs were introduced and I took JEE), there were 2 sections – one MCQ and one on traditional patterns. From 2001 (or thereabouts), they introduced a screening exam which was completely objective. The mains were always on traditional patterns and as the author rightly says, the problem solving approach is evaluated and not necessarily, the final answer. And there used to be screening test in early 90s as well.
    In short, JEE is, and never was, an exam which one could clear by fluke as the author is trying to say. “Picking out the right option by analyzing past papers” – this is JEE for God’s sake, and being an alumnus the author should know better. No exam is “untrainable”. What the coaching-wallahs have done is that they are just trying (and succeeding) to be one step ahead of the wizards who set the paper. It’s actually a chicken and egg scenario. Prospects of success for ‘raw’ talent probably ended sometime in early 90s (about the same time when likes of Bansals picked up). And that’s about the same time (coupled with India’s Liberalization) when chances of a poor but brilliant boy succeeding, not just in JEE, but life in general, ended.
  3. April 21, 2012 9:50 AM
    Rajarshi Roy,
    I am happy to debate the topic without getting personal.
    Items 7 & 8 could be inaccurate but In my considered opinion what is relevant is the Original JEE which worked and JEE as it stands now, which IIT Faculty believe is not working. This is not just my view. Everything that happened in between to JEE is history of changes that did not work out.
    Indian news media will not publish articles longer than 750 words and if you are not a Billionaire and just a no body, it goes straight into trash bin. Kafila editors have been kind enough to allow me to publish this longish article and I did not want to stretch the friendship by writing a thesis. But then here we are able to discuss the short comings of my article in the comments section
    It is not me the author saying anything. It is general opinion on JEE as it stands now and that the selection process now is weak and quality of students entering IITs has dropped.
    You wrote “Prospects of success for ‘raw’ talent probably ended sometime in early 90s (about the same time when likes of Bansals picked up). And that’s about the same time (coupled with India’s Liberalization) when chances of a poor but brilliant boy succeeding, not just in JEE, but life in general, ended.”
    I agree with you 100% . as I too came from a poor background and could not have survived without the merit come means scholarship.
    The question is can this weakened JEE selection process be reversed to give poor but clever school leavers a fair go ?
    The question is whether ISEET is the solution?.
    40% Weightage to Board exam results will result in diluting IITs further.
    Stastical analysis and correlation techniques are numerical and cannot be applied to school children as it they were Robots and automatons. They are our children and the future of India and they are vulnerable and are struggling against competition to survive. They need to be protected and not exploited. ISEET will give rise to all subjects being taught at Coaching schools and a Poor but intelligent boy has no future in India.
    I am sure you watched the Movie “Slum Dog Millionaire” Would you say the kid was a genius or was he plain lucky to get questions he could answer ? That my friend is the question because JEE today follows the same patterns as SDM multiple choice questions.
    So yes 20% may know the subject and can answer the questions and the remaining 80% have part knowledge and are able to guess the correct answers may be?
    Thank you for your comments as I am learning more and more each and every day about IITs and JEE
    • Rajarshi Roy PERMALINK
      April 21, 2012 10:34 AM
      Dear Mr. Krishnaswamy,
      I would like to apologize if the tone of my comment offended you. Yes, I second your argument that ISEET is not the solution. Giving weightage to board exam results is even worse, precisely because of the arguments put forward by you.
      My only point is JEE is sacrosanct (and I guess both of us agree on this). In a country where almost everything is negotiable and up for sale, it is probably one of the few hurdles which one can’t clear just on the basis of whose son/daughter they are. But, is JEE in current form a good enough thing – I guess you have answered it quite well in your article. Yes, JEE needs to be redesigned. But I am cycnical about the solution you have proposed. And I myself, don’t have a solution to this conundrum.
      The book “The IITians” by Sandipan Deb explains quite well, what JEE was intended to be and what it was. All these arguments about kids being stressed out is again balderdash to me because if people are running a rat race, only they are to blame for the state of affairs.
      Thanks for writing back.
      Best Regards,
      • April 22, 2012 6:26 PM
        Rajarshi, I do have a better solution yet I have not proposed one here in this article as you have stated. I am keeping my solution close to my heart for the moment.
  4. parul PERMALINK
    April 21, 2012 12:04 PM
    Ram and Rajarshi Roy: You guys have got to be kidding me! You think opportunities to succeed ended with liberalisation? Before liberalisation no one had ANY opportunity to succeed unless you were well-connected politically or had bureaucrats as your relative. It was only after liberalisation that the number of jobs increased and opportunities increased for the vast majority of middle income people who could aspire to a job which paid more than Rs 2,000-3000 even with just a BA degree and it was not based on your connections or sifarish of some bureaucrat or politician but based on your ability to actually do the job. IITs train just one tiny portion of the population and frankly their contribution is minimal to India since most fly off to the US at the first opportunity after getting educated on public money (ie tax payers money). What have they ever invented or discovered that has made any difference to most Indians?
    • Rajarshi Roy PERMALINK
      April 21, 2012 8:23 PM
      Kindly take a moment to read through my comment carefully. I have said that opportunities to succeed for poor and marginalized (and not all) have reduced, post liberalization. And the context is particularly JEE. The reaons have been elaborated by Mr. Ramaswamy in his article. If you fail to see and acknowledge this, then that’s a different issue.
      Deb in his book talks about a IIT KGP alumnus who hailed from an extermely poor family in the hiterlands of Punjab. No one had ever heard of IIT in that part of the country. But this gentleman, as a youngster, was fascinated by ships and wanted to design and build ships. He heard from somewhere that Naval Architecture is taught at IIT-KGP. There was no JEE in those days. He fared very well in his board exams, applied and got an interview call. He went to Delhi to appear for the interview but not having a place to stay in Delhi, he spent the night on a bench outside a Dhaba. Back in his village, he instructed the local postman to keep a look-out for any letter bearing the stamp of a lion-like figure (That ubiquitious lion emblem on all govt. communications). That was the backwardness of the place he came from. He studied Naval Architecture at IIT-KGP, went to the US, designed many ships and vessels and eventually retired as the head honcho of an international maritime organization (I don’t recall the name).
      That is the kind of success I am talking about. Notwithstanding one’s socio-economic background, a system which rewards brilliance and excellence by atleast providing a level playing field. The problem with lib is that playing fields are getting more and more uneven with every passing day.
      Gross over-simplifications and repeating the cliches parroted by mainstream media doesn’t help in any debate.
      • parul PERMALINK
        April 22, 2012 5:15 PM
        If there was so much more opportunity for Indians to succeed before liberalisation, why did most IITians fly off to the US? That is enough proof that there were hardly any opportunity to succeed even for the cream of the cream in the country let alone the poor guys with just a BA degree! And let’s be honest, a person who is able to finish school and aspire for a place in IIT isn’t the poorest of the poor just by the fact that he was able to complete school (which is what the govt should be spending its resources on, not on offering high quality education almost for free to every IITian irrespective of his parents’ income). Coaching classes etc don’t make that much of a difference in most admissions. A person who is truly talented will succeed irrespective of coaching classes. And the more you try to regulate such private enterprises, the more you make the situation worse. Simplifying the IIT exam to test more on problem solving ability rather than just the right answer is a fine goal but it has nothing to do with liberalisation. You are confusing co-relation with causation.
  5. April 22, 2012 1:45 PM
    Thank you for a good read Mr. Krishnaswamy. Your article was thought provoking and incited much argument in my mind. Enough to make me shift from writing a comment to a post in my blog.
    The fundamental problem I had with the content of your essay was that it seems to focus the onus of maintaining the brand value of the IIT JEE on our children.
    This and some other points I have detailed in my own blogpost. I would be delighted if you and others would read and comment. I must inform you that I am an engineer nor an educationist. My argumentation is lay and hopes to influence.
    Thanks much for the mental goad!
    • April 22, 2012 1:49 PM
      Edit above comment: I meant to say I am neither an engineer nor an educationist. :)
    • April 23, 2012 9:31 AM
      I am sorry, the post on the blog got deleted! It is terrible/spent a good part of Sunday morning writing that. I dont know how to recover/not a techie. WP is trying to get it back. If it comes back on; will repost the link. Apologies to anyone who tried to access it and couldn’t find it.
      • April 23, 2012 3:27 PM
        I did look and found nothing and assumed it was a common prank with people posting comments on my blogs with a link to their websites and Blogs. Luckily I moderate all comments in my blogs to keep out spammers.
        Suggest you always key it as an email or as a word document, edit and then do a copy and paste to the Blog as a safe method.
        Any you can now post your thoughts here as a comment. I am keen on reading your line of thinking.
      • April 24, 2012 12:43 PM
        Sorry about that Ram. It is very upsetting. I wrote a really long article and the whole thing has simply vanished! Teach me to talk less, I suppose! People on the WP support forums tell me it is rather common. I am new to blogging and I imagined WP would protect content. Apparently not. I have been advised to write on Windows writer and upload. Now, all I need is Carlyle’s dogged determination to rewrite! Hope to get around it in the next couple of days. Thanks for your reply/apologies again. Meena
      • April 24, 2012 5:30 PM
        Meena, I am curious to read your take on the issue. Please do write. Better Late than never :-)
  6. April 22, 2012 6:22 PM
    This is an age old debate that has done the rounds for over 50 decades – ” That IITians use Taxpayers money and go abroad for a better life “. This was called Brain Drain, if you care to remember.
    I stayed back in India for five long years earning Rs 450/ month as a Junior Engineer. I decided I was not going to be part of a corrupt system and left India in 1976. Do I love my country less ?
    Now imagine 175,000 IITians had been patriots and stayed on to serve the country. Would that have satisfied people like you, that IITians gave back to India ?.
    PM Rajiv Gandhi explained this beautifully and said ” Brain Drain is any day better than Brain in the Drain” which is what would have happened had all of us stayed in India. No one stopped the Govt from making a law that no one studying in IITS should leave the country ever.
    You talk about liberalisation: What liberalisation has done is that today as I write there are over 500,000 Indians students studying abroad in USA, UK, Singapore Australia and New Zealand paying on an average about US$ 30,000 each per annum. So think of how much money is going out of India and why and not keep complaining about IITians using tax payers money.
    Why is this so ? Because Minister after minister in Charge of education has done very little to educate the masses. In a way it is better vote bank politics for political parties to keep the masses uneducated.
    You are happy that liberalisation has created jobs but fail to see that behind every IT Company are IITians be it Infosys, or HCL or Mind Tree, or Head strong or Mastec etc etc etc and even major Call Centers nation wide who have created a few million jobs
    Do you think IITians have created employment opportunities ?
    Please rethink your statement “IITs train just one tiny portion of the population and frankly their contribution is minimal to India since most fly off to the US at the first opportunity after getting educated on public money (ie tax payers money). What have they ever invented or discovered that has made any difference to most Indians?
    If you were correct, please ask yourself the question why GOI has now created ten new IITs ?
    This article is all about how we can improve JEE, the entrance exam to IITs so it is a Fair playing fiend and allows poor yet intelligent students an equal opportunity to study in IITs.
    Thank you for your comments.
    April 23, 2012 10:41 AM
    The whole problem is because of lack of opportunities. If there were enough quality colleges for all the brilliant and eager engineering hopefuls then this situation would not have come about. We are trying to find new ways to squeeze students into a small space that will not accommodate all.
    I request the HRD to stop wasting time and money on tweaking this JEE, because no matter which way they do it. It will only open the doors for ten to twenty thousand people. What is needed urgently is the HRD to spend time, energy and resources to revamp the entire system from the grass root levels.
    Ensure all the “Human resource” (all children) of this country, gets access to schools, not only the privileged. Ensure uniform syllabus, teaching and evaluation methods across the various boards and country. Find a way to make teaching an attractive proposition; Teachers are the foundation of education, right now it is not a priority choice for a career, it needs to be fixed urgently. Teaching reforms should be made the first priority; entrance exam etc comes much later.
    The HRD has should not start reforms at the top. The top is managing while the bottom is collapsing. It will ultimately lead to total collapse. We cannot build a glass palace on a tottering foundation. I say HRD stop wasting time trying to tweak the JEE. First fix the urgent problems. Get to the JEE later, it can manage till then.
    • April 23, 2012 7:26 PM
      Agree with what you say.
      Every Indian is saying what you are saying that HRD should focus on Primary educations and Higher education in general; unfortunately for unknown reasons the last three HRD Ministers seem to be obsessed with IITs and IIMs.
      Murli Manohar Joshy wanted to rename many existing Universities like Aligarh and Osmania University into DEEMED IITs. Thank God he did not succeed
      We then had Arjun Singh throw the spanner in the works and forced 49% Reservation on IITs.
      Now we have Kapil Sibal creating ten new IITs overnight sans campus, sans infrastructure, sans faculty, and the first set of graduates cannot receive their degrees as these institutions do not have Parliamentary approval as yet. Success has to be achieved and cannot be duplicated
      HRD Minister is also busy manufacturing $35 Computer Tablet called Aakash. Aakash is the name but this billion dollar project has not got off the ground yet. GoI has no busniess wasting Tax Payers money manufacturing anything. Why is HRD reinventing the wheel?
      So many Billions get wasted by HRD Ministry and we have Primary schools without teachers and without even toilets screaming for attention and HRD keeps twiddling with IITs which were meant to be autonomous.
      Wonder if it is the HRD Minister or the Babus in HRD Ministry who are responsible?
      India deserves a HRD Minister who can see the bigger picture and we need a PM who is a Leader and a Visionary.
  8. Meera PERMALINK
    April 23, 2012 10:54 AM
    A very unbiased and objective article by RAM KRISHNASWAMY;
    The alternative proposed by the HRD does not solve any issue which it projects to solve. It is evident that a system cannot be improved by dismantling what works. Even if the JEE requires to be reformed, this is not the way to do it. It will make the situation worse and burden the students more.
    It is unfortunate that corruption has crept into even this. That the Ramasamy committee concealed a lot of vital facts, that the survey was patently bogus evident even to casual observer and the press conspicuously silent on such a vital issue etc are sad indeed.
    We will hear of the details of the scam, the reason behind the haste etc only after those who stand to gain have safely transferred their money to their Swiss banks.
    • April 24, 2012 5:41 PM
      Meera, Forget about ISEET solving any problems. ISEET will replace IITJEE, and will also replace every other exam we have nationally to get into one engineering college or the other. Just one exam conducted not by IITs but by HRD Babus that will determine the future of any student who dares to dream to become an engineer in India. Imagine killing off all options and placing all eggs in one basket.
      ISEET could be bigger than 2G Scam, with HRD /AICTE controlling virtually every engineering college seat in India. Such things do not happen even in China today.. The Nations only hope is for State Chief ministers to say no. I am sure Tamil Nadu CM Jayalilatha, is astute and will put her food down. Anna University has a Brand of its own and does not need HRD to destroy that as well.