“ 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?"

Sunday, June 17, 2012

314 - One nation, One test - DEccan Herald

Prakash Kumar, June 16, 2012

Common Entrance Test: Some IITs refuse to come under the ambit of CET saying it is flawed

With the vision of relieving aspiring engineers from the burden of writing multiple admission tests, the government recently decided to conduct a joint entrance examination for entry into all centrally-funded engineering colleges, including Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), from 2013.

The Human Resource Development Ministry planned to launch the new common entrance test, unanimously approved by the apex IIT Council, National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and Indian Institutes of Information Technology, at a joint meeting held in the national capital on May 28.

But, the implementation of the proposed test, which seeks to merge IIT-JEE (Joint Entrance Examination for admission to IITs) and AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Examination), has encountered a major roadblock as a section of the faculty, students and alumni of the IITs are up in arms against the examination format, citing several lacunae.

The joint entrance examination proposal has its genesis in the ‘in-principle’ approval accorded to it by the Council of IITs in its meeting held on September 14 last year.

This was based on the T Ramasami Committee report, which recommended a common national examination with weightage to marks obtained in the state board exams, and normalised on the basis of percentile formula developed by the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. 

Though many IIT faculty members and alumni did not favour a common test, an opinion poll on the Ramasami report, conducted through the Central Government’s portal last year, saw 85 per cent of the participants favouring the reforms in the current entrance test system, while 73 per cent supported holding a national test like the scholastic aptitude test conducted in the United States.

IIT faculty came up with differing views on the proposed normalisation of the Board marks through percentile formula, weightage to be given to the Board examination, eligibility criteria, methodology of selection and the year of  introduction of the proposed test.

A faculty member of IIT-Kanpur contended that the one nation one test would put rural children at a disadvantage as it  was bound to have elements of the existing JEE that tests conceptual rigour. Rural students are not exposed to the kind of rigour needed to understand fundamental principles in any domain. However, a majority of the respondents (66 per cent), who participated in the opinion poll, had favoured giving weightage to overall and consistent performance in examinations of school boards.

All the states had consented to the proposed common test, and many, including Maharashtra and Gujarat, expressed their eagerness to adopt it in the technical institutions coming under their jurisdiction.

Even as the government was giving a final shape to the proposed reforms in February this year, the Senates of the various IITs reviewed the proposal between April 25 and May 5.

Of the seven old IITs, the Senates of IIT Guwahati, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee supported the proposed joint entrance examination. IIT Bombay proposed to retain the present system “with minor modifications”, while IIT Kanpur’s Senate wanted “substantial modification”, an HRD Ministry official told Deccan Herald.

The views of the IIT Senates were placed before the IIT Council held on May 12, and again at the joint meeting of the Council with NITs and IIITs on May 28.

The Council in its May 12 meeting observed: “By and large,  the middle ground of opinions expressed by  IIT Senates recommend that the Class XII Board results along with the National Test (Mains) be considered as screening or gating with the National Test (Advanced  level) being solely used for ranking purposes for  admission to undergraduate programmes.”

It also took note of the proposals of some of the Senates that a limited number of candidates (about five times the number of seats for admission in the IIT system) from the screening be considered eligible to appear in the Advanced test to be conducted by the IITs. It further agreed that the details of the Advanced test would be finalised in due course of time through discussion among the IITs so that it could be implemented from the year 2014.

Subsequently, the members of the Council decided to adopt the two-part joint entrance examination  to be held on the same day, from year 2013. 

Under this two-tier selection procedure, the Council allowed the IITs to first assess candidates on the basis of the JEE Main and their Class XII marks normalised on percentile basis,  giving equal weightage to both, and screen a fixed number of students. The Council made it clear that the ranking for admission to undergraduate programmes in IITs would be based entirely on the performance in JEE-Advanced by the screened candidates.

But for other Centrally funded technical institutions (CFTIs), it was decided that they would continue to be governed by the proposed policy of ranking based on 40 per cent weightage to Class XII Board marks, 30 per cent weightage to performance in JEE-Mains and another 30 per cent weightage for performance in JEE-Advanced.

The Council decided that both JEE-Main and JEE-Advanced tests would be objective and multiple choice type. It was agreed that the Joint Admission Board (JAB) of the IIT system would have “complete control” over the academic components of the test such as paper setting, evaluation and preparation of the merit list, among others, while the CBSE will provide the administrative and logistic support for the conduct of examination across the country.

But, this did not convince opponents of the common test. The Council’s decision was dubbed as an “attack on the autonomy” of IITs by their alumni association. The All India IIT Faculty Federation has sought that the government restore IITs’ autonomy by “officially” seeking ratification or acceptance from the various IIT Senates on the joint entrance examination finalised by IIT Council.

The Senate of IIT-Kanpur has raised a banner of revolt against the Council’s decision and even passed a resolution to hold its own examination for admissions to the institution’s under graduate programmes in 2013.

The Senate authorised the Institute’s director to set up a committee in consultation with the dean of academics for finalising the modalities of the entrance examination. The committee, to the extent possible, shall coordinate with other IITs to conduct the test jointly. The resolution passed by the Senate, however, is subject to approval by the Board of Governors of the IIT before it comes into effect, as per the Institute of Technology Act, 1961.

Legal route

The IIT Alumni Association has threatened to move court against the IIT Council decision.

Association president Somnath Bharti contended that under the IT Act, the IIT Council can only advice or recommend. It is the Senate of each IIT which has powers to promulgate ordinance relating to various matters, including admissions, which, of course, has to be approved by the Board of Governors.

HRD Ministry officials, however, counter the argument stating that the IIT Council can lay down policy under the IT Act in “matters of common interest”, and issue of admissions to the IITs is a matter of common interest. “IIT Council is the highest decision making body of the IITs,” an official said.