“ 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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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

372 - Compromise formula hinges on Senates’ call - Eklavyajee


Pioneer :: 25 June 2012
Compromise formula hinges on Senates’ call
Deepak Kumar Jha| PNS |New Delhi| Jun 25, 2012

The compromise formula being worked out by the HRD Ministry and Council of IITs towards conduct of a common entrance test has to cross the hurdles of all the Senates of IITs. Empowered to take all academic decisions, the final call has to be taken by the Senates, which recently turned down HRD Minister Kapil Sibal’s one-nation one-test proposal leading to controversy.

The cut-off marks being set on a percentile basis for each State boards, is now likely to become a bone of contention. Even if the new eligibility criteria were  announced by Sibal and Council of IITs on Wednesday, the Senates will have to give it thumbs up. Then only the proposed test could be conducted by 2013.

The seven IITs have collectively nearly 1,400 Senate members. This number is much higher than the strength of the Council and Board.
“All the IIT Directors, HRM should understand and appreciate that final decision is of Senates when academic matters are concerned. The Council has to only coordinate amongst all IITs, which includes the nine other IITs. There should always be a common minimum programme churned out from Council, Senate and Board to reach a consensus,” said a professor of IIT-Kanpur.

To break the logjam, the IIT Directors on Saturday discussed a compromise formula, which includes a proposal to take top 20-30 students based on percentile ranking of respective boards for preparing the merit list. The percentile criterion along with performance in the JEE-Main will be used for filtering students. Their scores at the advanced test conducted by IITs will be taken into account to prepare the merit list for admission to IITs.

Meanwhile, even as the controversy is yet to settle down, the student community of IIT has expressed their resentment through an online referendum. In the survey conducted by the students of IIT Delhi, a majority of them have disapproved to the new format of the JEE proposed by the HRD Ministry.
They had also conveyed about their feelings to the IIT-Delhi Senate before it took a decision to go for an independent entrance similar to the announcement by IIT-Kanpur.

A majority of the students (93%) are opposed to the new format of the JEE. Only 5% of the respondents felt that the new format will lead to a reduction in stress, thereby questioning the credibility of the claims made by the MHRD.

Further, 87% of the students believe that the way in which the decision has been made leaves much to be desired. Therefore, there should be more debates and discussions involving the stakeholders: Faculty, students, alumni, and then a proper decision should be taken and implemented from 2014.

As many as 78% students felt that the new test will lead to a reduction in quality of the students being admitted to the IITs. Eighty-eight per cent of the students want IIT-Delhi to go ahead to support the IIT-K proposal to conduct the existing JEE, if the MHRD will not reconsider its decision.
Regarding the pattern of the exam, quite a few students (52%) desire that the JEE be returned to its pre-2006 format with a subjective main exam after an objective screening exam, however, 44% are in support of the status quo.

The students commented that the hasty procedure followed by MHRD was the most shocking of all actions. “These travails make the student demotivated enough to expect marks within a deviation of at least 5% of their original expectation, which can effectively make or break an aspirant’s future, says the students’ internal survey with 921 respondents organised by the Co-curricular and Academic Interaction Council (CAIC), and Student Affairs Council (SAC) of IIT-Delhi,” the finding of the survey said.

Times of India :: 24 June 2012
Kapil Sibal hopes IIT council meet will resolve CET row
Dhananjay Mahapatra| Times of India|New Delhi| Jun 24, 2012
The Delhi and Mumbai IITs may have moved away from the proposed common entrance test (CET) for the IITs, NITs and IIITs, but HRD minister Kapil Sibal is pinning hopes on the June 27 meeting of the IIT Council to end the raging controversy. 
The proposed CET for admissions to engineering courses to centrally funded institutions will give a minimum 40% weightage to performance of a class XII student. For admissions to NITs and IIITs, h/his class XII marks and performance in the main test would be taken into account. 
For admission to IITs, the performance in the advanced test would be taken into account in addition to the combined grade in academics and main test. Given the variation of marking in different school examination boards, the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) has devised an equalization formula that would deny advantage to students, who score heavily in class XII examination under liberal boards. 
The CET's aim is to reduce the number of examinations a student has to take for fulfilling h/his dream to become an engineer, Sibal said. "The ultimate goal is to make the CET the only entrance examination for the engineering colleges in the entire country. This would help eliminate capitation fee as all colleges would draw students from a single merit list," the HRD minister said. 
"Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana have agreed to bring all their state-run engineering colleges under the umbrella of CET. So, we hope the IIT Council in its June 27 meeting would take into account the concern of the students and comes to an appropriate decision in the light of recent developments," he told TOI. 
The main test as well as the advanced test question papers would be framed by the IITs, so there was no question of compromising the unique identity of the premier engineering institutes, Sibal said. 
"The Centre took the decision on CET for IITs, IIITs and NITs after deliberations for two and half years, which was half the term of an elected government," he said. It was a consensus concern among the academicians during the wide-ranging consultation process that students aiming for the engineering courses were not too bothered about their performance in class XII examination. 
The academicians felt that students keen on joining an engineering course give more importance to coaching classes rather than what was taught in the school. So, if a good student did not get through the engineering entrance examinations, then s/he would find it difficult to get a good course in the colleges causing instability in h/his academic career. 
Hence, the HRD ministry had included weightage for performance in the class XII board examination, Sibal said.

Hindustan Times :: 24 June 2012
IIT admission body okays centre's plan
Vanita Srivastava | Hindustan Times|New Delhi| Jun 24, 2012
The Joint Admission Board (JAB) of the IITs on Saturday endorsed the formula backed by the Centre to resolve a standoff with the IIT faculty over changes in the joint entrance examination (JEE) norms. 
HT reported on June 21 how the HRD ministry informally circulated the new plan among the IITs earlier in the week to break the deadlock.
The JAB, responsible for working out the details of the JEE, consists of IIT directors and JEE chairmen who supported the ministry's plans from the start. The revised plan is likely to be approved by the IIT Council, which meets on June 27.
Sources said the proposal -after approval by the Council - will once again be sent to the different IIT Senates for final ratification. The new proposal will be enforced from 2013.
"It appears our efforts are seeing some results and we will soon see an amicable solution," said a senior IIT-B professor.
In the new proposal, board performance will be used as cut-off only, as per the existing practice. But instead of looking at 60% cut-off, there will be a cut-off based possibly on the top 20 percentile of each board.

Hindustan Times :: 21 June 2012
New Sibal plan to make entry into IITs tougher
Charu Sudan Kasturi | Hindustan Times|New Delhi| Jun 21, 2012
A compromise formula aimed at breaking the deadlock between teachers and HRD minister Kapil Sibal over admissions to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) could end up hurting hundreds of thousands of aspiring students. Under the new formula, only the top 20% students in their respective class 12 board exams would be eligible for appearing in the IIT entrance exam, top government and IIT sources told HT.
The compromise was brokered by the Prime Minister, who met members of the protesting All India IIT Faculty Federation (AIIFF) last week and asked Sibal to consider their demands.
Sibal had wanted an admission system where the board exam percentile was given weightage along with scores in a screening test while selecting candidates for a second, advanced entrance exam. This process allowed students who scored relatively lower in the boards to make up for it by doing better in the screening test.
But faced with persistent opposition from IIT faculty federations on weightage to board scores, Sibal has asked IIT-Delhi director RK Shevgaonkar to seek the opinion of faculty across the IITs on the compromise plan.
The new proposal, to be discussed by the IIT senates and faculty associations this week, places students in the top 20 percentile of board scores on an equal footing in the selection process.
This would negate Sibal’s intention of encouraging students to focus on their board exams, but rob 80% students of even a chance of trying for the IITs.
Since the class 12 results are unlikely to be declared in time for the two-tier IIT test, all students would need to appear for the exams even if their board marks turn them ineligible later.

Times of India :: 21 June 2012
IIT entrance test row: Kapil Sibal refuses to budge from 2013 date
TNN|New Delhi| Jun 21, 2012
With IIT-Delhi Senate scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss its response to the common entrance test human resource development minister Kapil Sibal reiterated that the exam for the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) would be implemented from next year. 
In an interview, Sibal referred to the IIT system and said, "The excellence of the system is the quality of the system. I also give great credit to the faculty. It's the quality of the students...because best students come to the IITs and the best students will still come. So there is not dilution of the quality. But there are certain ills in the present system that needs to be addressed. The IITs should have come out with solutions in these 40 years. They can't claim whatever they are doing, there is nothing better than that." 
Sibal's insistence, however, seems to be contrary to the assurance offered by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a meeting with IIT faculty recently that differences will be sorted out through a dialogue and the autonomy of the tech schools will not be eroded. 
IIT-Kanpur had recently decided to conduct its own entrance test, terming as "academically and methodically unsound" the May 28 decision of the IIT Council to hold the common entrance test. This makes the meeting of the IIT-Delhi Senate significant. If IIT-Delhi chooses to back Kanpur faculty members, the ministry will have to seriously reconsider at least some aspects of the current formula. 
Sources said that among some of the suggestions that had been discussed included holding the IIT main and advanced test on separate days and the way in which class XII board marks will be factored in. 
A section of the IIT faculty and the alumni have been opposing the move tooth and nail, demanding that the new system should not be implemented before 2014. They contend implementing the new system from next academic session will put a lot of pressure on students, who are already in midst of preparing for next year's IIT-JEE. 
The government is likely to ask the joint admission board of the IITs soon to prepare the modalities for conducting the advanced test under the proposed common entrance test. Sources also said that the Senates of IIT-Bombay, IIT-Madras and IIT-Kharagpur held internal meetings about the proposed exam and possible alternatives in the two-tier test. 
When asked if he was reconsidering his decision to hold the test from 2013 onwards, Sibal said, "This is not my decision (on holding the single entrance test). This is a decision of the IIT council which is a statutory authority under the IIT Act. The IITs have by and large accepted this decision.'' 
Sibal said the only opposition was coming from IIT-Kanpur Senate but noted that he was ready to reach out to all to resolve the differences. "I will reach out to all of them. I will talk to them. For the first time in the history of this country, I had personal interaction with faculty of all the IIT," he said. 
As per the new format for admission to IITs and institutes such as NITs and IIITs, students will sit for a main test and an advance test. Performance of the plus-two board results will also be taken into consideration. So far, IIT-Guwahati and IIT-Madras have expressed their full support to the new test. 
Stating that the single test was proposed to address certain "ills in the implementation of the present system, Sibal said he would welcome the IIT council to come over with a better solution.
Observing that that declining standard of school system has led to a plethora of coaching institutes, Sibal said of the 476 students admitted to IIT-Bombay, 300 have come from coaching institutes. He also felt that the common entrance test will do away with capitation fee.

Hindustan Times :: 20 June 2012
Govt may soften stand, asks IIT-D to call meeting
Vanita Srivastava | Hindustan Times|New Delhi| Jun 20, 2012
In what can be described as a ‘softening’ of stance, the government has asked the IIT-Delhi director to convene a meeting of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) to deliberate on the modalities and format of the JEE (advanced) exam. Besides this, there were indications that the JEE (advanced) test could be held on a separate day, and adopt a subjective format — in accordance with the demands of the IITs. It was also speculated that only IITs would be granted the responsibility of conducting the JEE (advanced) test, meant for the top 50,000 students screened from the JEE (main) examination.
According to sources, the manner in which the board marks would be used to decide on merit may also be ‘reconsidered’. Board marks, on the other hand, could be used just as a “filtering” measure — as is the current norm.
The speculations, however, can be confirmed only after the JAB meeting later this month. If this happens, the government would have fulfilled most of the major demands of the IITs.
The premier institutions had been demanding that board marks should not be included in the selection process, and the JEE (advanced) test should be subjective — to be conducted by the IITs themselves.
IIT-Delhi will conduct a senate meeting — with the JEE issue figuring in its list of agendas — on June 21. “The senate meeting will discuss issues related to undergraduate admission to IIT on June 21,” confirmed Dr Sanjeev Sanghi, president of the IIT-Delhi Faculty Forum.
A special senate meeting of IIT-Kanpur was convened for the purpose on June 8, during which it passed a resolution to conduct a separate exam in 2013.
IIT-Delhi Alumni Association president Somnath Bharti maintained that the general feeling among the IIT senates was that the exam should not be held in 2013. “They also hold that the IITs  should have complete control (not only academic) over the JEE (advanced) exam, and there should be proper debate — based upon data obtained from school boards — on the feasibility of giving weightage to school board marks in the JEE (mains),” he said.
Human resource development minister Kapil Sibal is keen on introducing the new examination pattern from next year.

Pioneer :: 20 June 2012
One nation-one test plan under IIT-B scrutiny
TN RAGHUNATHA |Mumbai| Jun 20, 2012
In an effort to break the deadlock over HRD Minister Kapil Sibal's controversial 'one nation-one test' proposal for IITs and other centrally-funded technical institutes, faculty members of IIT-Bombay are meeting on Wednesday to discuss various compromise formulae.
This is the first of the initiatives undertaken after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured the All India IIT Faculty Federation (AIIITFF) on June 15 that IITs' autonomy would remain intact. A majority of the IITs are opposing the new exam pattern, in which two sets of examinations — the main and advanced exams — are to be held on the same day and in which 50 per cent weightage will be given to Class XII marks. Among the formulae to be discussed are "if a student has to get admission to IITs, he has to be in the top 10-20 percentile as per board exams," a source said.
According to the second formula, the CET examination to be conducted by the HRD Ministry will be "used to screen and select the top 50,000-plus students (without considering board performance) who will be eligible to give the IIT's own JEE". Third, IITs' own JEE would be held on a separate date after results of the main exam. This will be owned and conducted by the IITs. Final merit list is to be based only on performance of this JEE subject to the percentile cut-off. IITs should be allowed to decide the format of JEE — subjective, objective, machine readable subjective.
If these proposals are incorporated, faculty members are not averse to introduction of the new exam pattern from 2013 itself

Telegraph :: 16 June 2012
Sibal offers trade-off to IITs
BASANT KUMAR MOHANTY|New Delhi| Jun 19, 2012
The IITs seem to have won a concession with Kapil Sibal informally offering to drop the planned weightage to admission seekers’ Class XII board marks if the institutes agree to the JEE reforms being implemented from 2013.
However, some members of the faculty — which had led the campaign against the board-mark weightage, even taking it to the Prime Minister — said they were sceptical of verbal communications and were waiting for a written undertaking.
Government sources said the Union human resource development minister’s climb-down came after the Prime Minister had a word with him before leaving for the G20 summit. Manmohan Singh had assured a team of IIT teachers that the dispute would be settled through dialogue and the institutes’ autonomy be kept intact.
Sibal has conceded a second IIT demand by agreeing to allow them to hold the JEE Advanced — the round II of the entrance exam — on any date they want rather than the same day as the CBSE-conducted JEE Main, the round I exam. The IITs had said it would be too stressful for the students to take both exams on the same day.
The ministry’s offer came in the form of a feeler to the chairman of the Joint Admission Board, a body made up by IIT directors that decides the modalities for the IIT-JEE. The chairman has been asked to coordinate with the faculty and senates and get their feedback.
Sources in the ministry as well as the faculty confirmed the offer made by Sibal, who is keen to hold the new JEE from 2013 instead of 2014, as demanded by most of the IIT senates.
Under the original reforms, decided by the Sibal-headed IIT Council on May 28, the IITs would have screened about 50,000 students for the JEE Advanced based on their board and JEE Main scores, each getting equal weightage. These 50,000 were to be ranked only on the basis of their JEE Advanced marks.
Under the modified system now mooted, the board marks will only be an eligibility criterion, as they now are in the existing IIT-JEE system (that is, those failing to secure a cut-off board score will not be considered for admission whatever their performance in the JEE Advanced). The entire screening, therefore, will be done on the basis of the JEE Main scores.
One point that remains unclear is whether the gap between the JEE Main and Advanced will be long enough for the IITs to have another of their wishes: allowing only those who have cleared the Main-based screening to appear in the Advanced.
Several IIT faculty associations — which account for the bulk of senate members — are scheduled to discuss the offer tomorrow. Some others, though, feared that the absence of a formal, written offer left the door open for the ministry or IIT Council to change its mind later.