“ 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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Monday, July 16, 2012

414 - Common Entrance Test formula cracked?

By Bhama Devi Ravi / ENS
10th July 2012 01:26 PM

After months of uncertainty, the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) and the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) finally agreed upon the formula for entrance exams to graduate courses at the IITs and other premier engineering institutions funded by the Centre. On June 27 both parties agreed to the new Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) where some weightage will be given to a student’s performance in the school board exams besides their performance in a two-level entrance exam.

What is the New JEE?
The new JEE features a main and an advanced exam as necessary to qualify for admissions to prestigious engineering colleges such as the IITs, the National Institutes of Technology (NIT) and the Indian Institutes for Information Technology (IIIT). But the entrance formula for the IITs is different from that for NITs and IIITs.

Those aspiring to get into IITs have to appear for a main exam and then qualify for an advanced exam. However, school board marks will play a crucial role in deciding whether a student can sit for the main entrance exam.

Only those who are in the top 20 percentile of successful students in their board exams can sit for the main exam. From this group, the top 1.5 lakh students will take the advanced exam and aspirants will be called for counselling based on an all India ranking . 

Question Marks Over New JEE
The new format will come into effect in the next academic year, 2013. However, a number of questions remain, including the all important one: How will the top 20 percentile of different boards be determined? Can the results of all the boards be synchronised to arrive by June end? These and many more questions will be raised by the student and teaching community and it is for the authorities to address them all before the exams begin in 2013.

The New Format
Students cannot depend upon performing well in the JEE alone any more. They have to give equal attention to their board exams if they want to get into a premier engineering institution. Currently many students opt for coaching classes where the focus is on giving them thorough practice in the kind of questions that will be asked in the IIT entrance exams. But not any more.
Based on their all India ranking after the advanced test students will be called for counselling. The JEE advanced exam will be administered by the IITs.

Eligibility for NITs
The National Institutes of Technology (NIT), which are funded by the Centre, will give 40 per cent weightage to board exam marks, 30 per cent to the score in the main JEE and 30 per cent to the advanced entrance exam.

Difference of Opinion
The HRD Ministry’s original proposal, driven by the concept of ‘one nation, one test’ was strongly contested by many IITs. The ministry originally suggested that 50 per cent weightage be given to school board exam marks and 50 per cent to the JEE entrance exam score. The thinking was that by making students focus on school education, they would end up having a stronger foundation.

IIT Kanpur and IIT Delhi rejected the earlier proposal  saying the proposed test was ‘academically unsound and procedurally untenable.”

Other IITs too felt that factoring in a huge slice of school board marks would water down the tough competitive spirit of the JEE. Almost all of them wanted to retain the current format, and even spoke of conducting their own entrance exams. The joint meeting on June 27 was aimed at arriving at a common ground. And a consensus did emerge. However, the way forward does not appear easy.

The Real Test
There are 29 different school boards in India and over two million students appear for the various school leaving board examinations every year. Experts say that this year the last percentile of a CBSE board student stood at 78 and while it was the  same with the Tamil Nadu State Board the figure was 69 in the UP School Board Exams. The big question is whether all the board marks be normalised. Another grey area is in the computing of percentile. Whether the marks of major subjects alone be used to calculate the percentile or will all five or six subjects (as the case may be) be taken into account entirely?

Different school  boards  offer various streams, but a majority of those sitting for the JEE come from  math, physics, chemistry and computer science  streams. How will the numbers be determined? Again, will the percentile be determined by the number of students who pass the school board exam or will it be determined by the number of students who sit for the board exams.

Huge Numbers: Are Logisitics in Place?
This year over 5,00,000 students appeared for the JEE entrance exams. Based on their JEE scores, students were called for counselling and offered admission to the 15 IITs, the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad and the Banaras Hindu University (now upgraded to IIT status). For the new format to come into effect in 2013, the various boards have to declare their exam results by June end.

To conduct the exams weeks apart calls for a lot of logistics support and a huge database complete with details of caste so that students can apply appropriately. The format of the advanced exam is opaque as on date, say educationists. The teaching and student body is looking to the various IIT Senates for answers to the plaguing questions.

Burdened by Entrance Exams
After much debate and discussion,  the HRD Ministry’s ‘one nation, one test’ concept is still far away, say experts. Students are still forced to sit for multiple entrance exams, and the wide disparity among educational institutions is a reality, they add. Educationists feel that there should be only one common entrance exam for the deemed universities. Although Tamil Nadu did away with entrance exams for entry into government-run professional colleges for both engineering and medicine, students in many states still  have to bear the burden of more than one entrance examination.

The new JEE will hopefully begin to systematically address the large issue of multiple entrance tests and pave the way for a true test of knowledge and not mere preparedness.