“ 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

Search This Blog

"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

317 - 10 reasons why Kapil Sibal's IIT formula doesn't work - Economic Times


17 JUN, 2012, 07.05AM IST, 

By: Sanjeev Sanghi 

Procedure: The new exam proposal was announced by the HRD ministry as a unilateral decision of the IIT Council against the advice and decisions of a majority of IIT faculty members, as was seen from senate deliberations. The senate is empowered by parliament through the IIT Act to decide on admission criteria. 

Boards: While a large number of admission tests are undesirable, a single test is even more so as it is likely to lead to much more stress, and it can be unfair to a large number of students. At least two or three tests at different levels of competition provide a cushioning comfort for a large and diverse population of aspirants. The syllabi of the 42 state boards that conduct Class XII examinations vary widely. 

Thus, before the unification of exams, it is absolutely essential that the syllabi in all the boards are uniform. Further, the real cause of the stress on students is the extra number of exams being conducted by private colleges and other government universities (such as BITS & Vellore). These institutes should align themselves with one of the three existing government exams. 

Marks: Using school board marks through percentile-based normalisation, as proposed, is untested, and based on questionable hypotheses. The procedure has not been fully endorsed even by the expert committee consulted for the purpose. The new scheme adds percentile marks in the board exam to actual marks being obtained by students in the new JEE exam. Percentile is indicative of rank while actual marks give a value based on the test performance. Adding the two in this way without a proper analysis is mathematically absurd. Further, the students should have an idea of how the percentage scores would be mapped to percentiles. 

Dry Runs: Since the data from school boards is required to calculate the ranks, it is absolutely essential to have a dry run before this is implemented. In one or two state boards, Class XII results are based on both Class XI and XII. There is one board that conducts the exam in June and announces the results in August. How will such situations be accounted for? A dry run would give an idea of all the problems. 

Schools: Students are the victims of a bad school system and not its cause. Also, attributing failure of the schooling system to engineering admission tests is to abrogate the responsibility of improving it, while serious problems such as rise of coaching and lack of quality teachers and institutions continue to remain unaddressed. 

Coaching: The issue of coaching classes is a social phenomenon. When only 5,000 seats are available in IITs and there are 15 lakh aspirants, it is inevitable that children or their parents will spend money to get extra help. In India, coaching flourishes for any type of examination in the form of school tuitions, coaching for IAS, IIM, GATE, bank exams, GRE, SAT etc. Coaching classes have pervaded the system further in two ways. 

First, they have entered schools with students getting coaching from their school itself. Second, there is a nexus between coaching classes and schools, and children get full attendance despite not attending school. The new scheme is not going to curb any of this. In fact, it will magnify the problem as coaching classes will add Class XII syllabus to their domain. 

2013: For students aspiring to appear in JEE 2013, the IIT Council proposal is a breach of trust. Both the processes and content of the new examination will not be clear to them any time soon because work on details has not even been initiated. In no case should any new system be introduced before 2014. 

Small Test: Many IITs had suggested that IIT-JEE be held for a small number of students following a preliminary examination so that a test for the truly talented could be designed better. The IIT Council proposal, on the other hand, ranks the top 10,000 students for IITs by merely applying a numerical filter on the results of an examination meant to select an estimated 1,00,000 out of 12,00,000 students. Clearly any such filtering will not work. 

Trust: The trust that IIT-JEE has earned over the past five decades is due to the continuous evolution of processes and unflinching devotion of the faculty and staff of IITs. Fragmenting the responsibility of conducting the tests is likely to dissuade the IIT faculty from participating. Any test leading to ranking in IIT admissions must be wholly owned by IITs. 

Autonomy: IITs have become what they are because they have been allowed to function independently, and set standards in carrying out their academic responsibilities. The IIT Council proposal, if implemented, will seriously compromise the autonomy so essential for IITs to remain what they are. 

(The writer teaches at IIT- Delhi. He is an alumnus of IIT-Kanpur)