“ 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, July 12, 2012

407 - New admission norms for IITs-My Digital FC

By Arun Nigavekar Jul 10 2012
Tags: Op-ed

DOUBLE STANDARDS: If the faculty of IITs is so deeply interested in protecting their autonomy; it is also their responsibility to be a part of nation-building by proactive involvement

Kapil Sibal’s announcement, a few weeks ago, “One Nation, One Test” for admissions to IITs, centrally-funded institutes, as well as private, aided and unaided engineering institutes, triggered a huge uproar fr­om teaching fraternity and alumni as expected. It is not the first time such a negative reaction was spa­rked, and also, not for the first time, the ministry of hu­man resource development came up with such a concept. Almost a decade ago, the NDA government tried to bring such reforms, but later withdrew them. The arguments, on both occasions, were the same; “it is an unfair plan and encroachment on the academy of the institutions”.

More than 50 years ago, technical schools, such as the Indian Institute of Te­chnology (IIT), were form­ed to offer engineering education of high standards to create able engineering manpower to become self-reliant in all aspects of society that enriches our citizens’ lives. The larger subsidy from the government facilitated technology education for a large number of talented students, right ac­ross income levels and social spectrums, to seek an engineering education. To select the best students for limited seats, the joint entrance examination (IIT-JEE), which was tough and competitive, gave a level playing field to students who had learnt their subjects at the 12th standard. The entire admission pro­cess was strictly on merit and it did sustain this standard for the past five de­cades. In the 80s, came the IT boom that triggered competition to join IITs and the situation soon became critical. This gave rise to private coaching classes, which not only mushroomed all over, but more so, at a small town of Kota in Rajasthan. Students would concentrate on coaching, rather than learning at the 11th and 12th standard classes, and, some even spent a year or two at Kota to prepare for the IIT-JEE. It was an expensive game and the middle class became totally dependent on the ‘Kota’ process. Of course, there were few students who got listed on their own merit. However, there were a la­rge numbers of students, who were equally talented and did well in the board examinations, but could not get admitted to these premier institutions.

The IITs and the Union government have finally agreed to the new format for the IIT entrance examination, as suggested by the joint admission board (JAB). The new format will be implemented in 2013.Under the new format, IIT aspirants will first have to appear for the JEE-Main. Only the top 150,000 students from the JEE will then be eligible to take the JEE-Advanced exam. The top-ra­nked candidates, who clear this exam, will finally be eligible for around 9,000 seats at the IITs. However, the final selection of candidates will be based on the JEE-Advanced scores, subject to a condition that they are in the top 20 percentile in their board exams as well.

At present, India has 29 school boards that conduct school final examinations for more than two million students; about 500,000 appear for the IIT-JEE to seek admission to 15 IITs and the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad; and the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, which has been given the status of an IIT. The bright students generally perform well in their board exams too. However, there are many students who exclusively aim for IITs and neglect their junior college-level studies. The new format will make such students pay attention to their classroom studies as well, and the teaching community would have to adopt a modern approach for delivery of education. The real need is to build solid foundations for students in core subjects, with sound clarity of concepts. The school boards would have to stick to a well defined schedule for the conduct and declaration of examination results and would have to work on a percentile list by categories, such as general, backward classes, scheduled castes and tribes.

Well, now that there is some unanimity on how to go about the admission process, we need to realise that it is just the old admission process with a few modifications. The rest­oration of faith on the 11th and 12th board examinations is not total. The percentile boundary is only qualifying; it has to be given weightage in the creation of a merit list, if faith is to be established in the board examinations. There are literally, millions of bright students in small towns, who do not have access to good schools and cannot afford ‘Kota’ training, but are very bright and perform very well in the board examinations. Under such circumstances, is it not the responsibility of society to provide opportunity to such bright young students, who were born to less affluent parents, to be a part of a better educational system? There is still a larger question on moral responsibilities of IITs; they should start playing a larger role in enhancing the quality of education in engineering institutions that are spread across the country. If the faculty of IITs is so deeply interested in protecting th­eir autonomy; it is also their responsibility to be a part of nation-building by proactively getting involved in the creation of uniform, relevant and quality professional educational standards across the nation. Let us not forget that IITs are not isolated islands; they are supported through money paid by taxpayers. 


(The writer is a former chairman of UGC and former VC of University of Pune)