“ 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 25, 2013

508 - IIT (Ab)Normalization: How they got it wrong - TOI

Akshaya Mukul, TNN | Jul 25, 2013, 06.57 AM IST

Since June, it’s been chaos. The single exam dream went awry. Students couldn’t crack the normalization formula till the JEE (Main) scores came.

Kapil Sibal wanted his stint as HRD minister to be memorable. He wanted to leave behind an enduring legacy. He proposed sweeping changes in the education system. 

In the nearly three-and-half years he was at the helm, the most effective change he undertook was confined to examinations: The CBSE Class X board examination was made optional. Then, after lengthy deliberations, a single examination for engineering was mooted.

Students, who spent their summers taking one entrance test after another, lapped up the idea. By putting the emphasis on the Class XII results, the government wanted to restrict the coaching centres' hold on the system. But there were enough detractors too.

States, though supportive, weren't willing to yield ground. Only Gujarat and Nagaland agreed. Haryana and Uttarakhand were already part of the earlier All India Engineering Entrance Examination and went along. The IITs, fearing a drop in quality, weren't keen to be integrated with a larger system. A complicated normalization process was devised to bring all boards on a par. The idea was to factor in Class XII result with JEE (Main) scores for admissions to NITs and central government technical institutes.

The IITs still had their say. Only 1.5 lakh of those who cleared JEE (Main) could take JEE (Advanced) for IIT admissions . Of these, only 1.2 lakh finally appeared. A high JEE (Advanced) score wasn't enough for an IIT seat. The extra factor was the stress on the Class XII result. A student had to be in the top 20 percentile of his/her Board result. Instead of a single examination, a complicated two-tier system was created in a rush.

Since June, it's been chaos. The single exam dream went awry. Students couldn't crack the normalization formula till the JEE (Main) scores came. Those with high JEE (Main) marks and reasonably high Class XII scores - by today's standard 90% isn't a good enough Boards score - found their ranks had slipped. Litigations began.

The 20 percentile factor became contentious because Boards got their calculations wrong. They calculated it on the basis of total students who had taken the state's Class XII exams, whereas it had to be on the basis of the number of students who had passed. Many like Nishant (see interview) suffered . Cut-off percentages jumped, especially in Andhra Pradesh, barring 79 students from a possible IIT seat. IITDelhi director R V Shevgaonkar said the Boards overstepped their brief. "It's unfortunate but nothing can be done."

CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi said the confusion was because it was the first year. Stress on Boards marks had thrown up interesting results, he added. "Preliminary analysis of data reveals this year NITs will have a bigger representation of women and those from rural and semi-rural backgrounds ." The new system should continue . "But genuine concerns should be addressed."

Joshi hopes from next year more states would join in. Joshi's eventual dream: A single examination that can be taken more than once in a year to improve scores.

Shevgaonkar, though not critical of normalization, favours IITs having their own entrance test. But the confusion and tears of students being brushed aside as teething problems could have been avoided with transparency and deliberation.