“ 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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Thursday, June 14, 2012

284 - IIT faculty drill holes in one-test logic - The Telegraph

IIT faculty drill holes in one-test logic


New Delhi, June 10: India’s higher education czars have relied on flawed assumptions and misleading rhetoric to propose the new exam pattern for entrance into the Indian Institutes of Technology and other engineering colleges, senior IIT faculty members have said.

The faculty members from IIT Bombay, Kanpur and Delhi have also warned that the proposed exam pattern will intensify stress among students and expand the market for coaching, thus accentuating the very problems it is intended to curb.

The IIT Council, chaired by the Union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal, decided last month to introduce a two-step exam — main and advanced, both to be held on the same day — and factor in the Class XII board scores for entrance into the IITs and other central engineering colleges. The Council, whose members include IIT directors, said the new pattern in which board scores will get 50 per cent weightage with the main exam, should begin from 2013, replacing the existing IIT Joint Entrance Exam.

“The proposal may be well-intentioned, but it appears thoughtlessly prepared,” said Dheeraj Sanghi, professor of computer science and dean of academic affairs at IIT Kanpur, whose senate — a body of senior faculty — has rejected the idea and said it will conduct its own entrance exam in 2013 .
Sanghi and others believe the manner in which the new screening pattern plans to factor in Class XII scores is scientifically untenable. They say it will hurt students from some boards for no fault of theirs, while providing an unfair advantage to students of other boards.

The IIT Council has proposed a mathematical trick for “normalisation” which, in principle, would allow students from India’s diverse school boards and examination systems to be assigned an all-India rank and score, to be used for the 50 per cent weightage.

But the normalisation trick is based on two key assumptions — that merit distribution is the same in all boards, and that aggregate scores increase from less meritorious to the more meritorious students.

“Merit distribution is something difficult to measure — what is measured is academic preparedness, and there is ample evidence that academic preparedness varies across different boards,” said Somenath Biswas, a computer science professor at IIT Kanpur. “The first assumption is thus incorrect, and variability in grading of exam papers within and across boards may invalidate the second assumption,” Biswas told The Telegraph.

The proposal's proponents have said the new screening pattern, recommended by a panel chaired by science and technology secretary T. Ramasami, will reduce the stress of multiple exams on students and curb the emphasis on coaching classes.

The proponents also believe factoring in the normalised board marks will emphasise the importance of doing well in boards, particularly to good students, who might otherwise be tempted to settle for lower rank in boards in quest of their IIT aspirations.

Many IIT faculty members believe the single make-or-break exam will intensify stress.

“Multiple exams reduce stress by providing multiple opportunities,” said Anurag Mehra, professor of chemical engineering at IIT Bombay. “Many students feel multiple exams actually provide them the safety of revisiting their performance and the possibility of getting something,” he has said in a commentary to appear shortly in the journal Current Science, a publication of the Indian Academy of Science.
Mehra and others say the new pattern will stimulate the demand for coaching classes.
“It will encourage the proliferation of coaching classes that claim to help students learn to crack the two exams as well as score high marks in boards,” said Deepak Gupta, professor of materials science and engineering at IIT Kanpur.

While the plan’s proponents say it will encourage greater focus on school board exams, critics point out that there is no evidence for this. On the contrary, they say, the two-step exam pattern will compel hundreds of thousands of students across the country to take a gruelling, tough exam they would otherwise have not.

Under the plan, the first step —the main exam — will be roughly equivalent to the current All India Engineering Entrance Exam, while the second step — advanced exam — is intended to resemble the much tougher IIT Joint Entrance Exam.

About 1.2 million students took the AIEEE this year and 500,000 took the IIT-JEE. “Given these numbers, the new pattern will force the 700,000 students who would not have taken the JEE to sit for the advanced exam,” Gupta said.
“Imagine the enormous burden on students — to take an AIEEE-type exam in the morning and an IIT-JEE type exam in the afternoon,” said a senior faculty member at the IIT Bombay. “I’ve taken these exams myself — I can’t imagine the stress of doing this same day.”

Several IIT faculty members say proponents of the new exam plan have used misleading rhetoric to draw support. “There is a wrong impression created that the IIT-JEE is primarily responsible for pushing students towards coaching,” said an IIT Bombay faculty member.

A study published in the Journal of Indian Education two years ago revealed that three out of four students in a set of Delhi schools enrolled in science streams were taking private tuitions or attending coaching classes. A non-government organisation pointed out earlier this year that even primary school students in many states seek coaching or private tuitions.

A note circulated by one of the IIT directors justifying the need for incorporating board scores claimed that the emphasis on JEE and coaching has led to “the ridiculous situation where students are entering the IIT system without learning, say calculus.”

Calculus, a topic in mathematics, is taught in Class XI and Class XII, and, one IIT Bombay faculty member said, it is “utter rubbish” to suggest that a student could enter the IITs without learning calculus.

“I was trying to use rhetoric,” the director who circulated the note told The Telegraph. “What I meant to say was that students could ignore calculus, and concentrate on other topics and subjects and get through the examination.”

The Delhi-based IIT Faculty Federation today said it was “shocked” to learn that IIT Kharagpur director Damodar Acharya had issued misleading public statements that his institution’s senate backed the proposal for the new exam pattern.

“The resolutions of the IIT Kharagpur senate did not recommend the inclusion of the board marks,” the federation said, adding that the senate had categorically stated that no change should be introduced until 2014.