Tuesday, May 01, 2007


The Central Information Commission has directed IIT Kharagpur, which conducts the joint entrance exam for the engineering courses, to furnish all the details regarding cut-off marks and the procedure to reach to the cut-offs, the model answer sheet and so on by May 15 to a candidate, Eklavya's parents. The Information Commissioner has mentioned in the direction the judgement of the Delhi High Court, which upheld the judgement of the CIC in the UPSC exams case. The Commissioner asserted that now in the matter of exams there is no ambiguity, and the authority conducting the exams has to furnish relevant information. Eklavya, a candidate who appeared for the joint entrance test, felt he did not want to live his whole life with the stigma of "not having qualified" in the IIT JEE, without knowing exactly where he was wrong. He said he had done his papers well, finally scored excellent marks, but had no rank on the merit list. Eklavya believes he is out of the merit list not due to his own mistake but due to the faulty system of the prestigious Joint Engineering Examination conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). An analysis throws up the startling fact that the students who get admission through JEE and have qualified may not be better than the ones rejected. This seems to be more true in recent times. A well-placed IIT source said: "There are many flaws in the system. Crucial decisions like individual subject cut-off have no logical or statistical basis. The system has no transparency. Neither the model solution nor the evaluation scheme is made public. In the name of black-box confidentiality, the system has many flaws and can have traces of malice as well."
To elucidate, consider the marks of two candidates (names changed):
Arjun: Physics – 50; Mathematics – 51; Chemistry – 73; Total – 174. Qualified
Eklavya: Physics – 104; Mathematics – 75; Chemistry – 52; Total – 231. Did not qualify. There are many thousand students who have been declared qualified by scoring as low as 30 marks out of 184 in Mathematics and 42 marks out of 184 in Physics along with Arjun. However, Eklavya did not qualify despite scoring more than twice the marks in Mathematics and Physics (subjects most needed for most of the engineering disciplines), and a total score which is higher - by a huge margin - than many thousands of the candidates that qualified. Each single mark changes the score considerably. Eklavya may be among those very few candidates who have been declared "not qualified" in spite of scoring good marks (above 50) consistently across all the three subjects. His marks in Mathematics and Physics may place him among the top 100. After the CIC direction, the IITs now have to satisfy Eklavya on why he has not qualified. The whole basis of rejecting Eklavya, says sources, is hugely varying cut-offs in different papers. The IIT source said that there was no fixed procedure or technique of deciding the cut-off marks.from- Times of Idia

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