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Friday, February 17, 2012

Why Multiple Entrance Exams

Directors of IITs are apparently extremely concerned that students in India have to give a large number of tests for admission to engineering colleges, and want to reduce that to one test. This, it is claimed, will reduce stress in the society.

Has anyone asked a question, why students in India have to give a large number of tests. If someone has, then I have missed it in the various reports. Let me clarify the question. We have AIEEE as the "national" level exam for admission to a large number of centrally funded institutions, several deemed universities, many private universities, etc. States, typically, have either their own state level test, or they depend on AIEEE to give a state-level rank as well. Let us assume that most students have to give a state level test as well.

Now, consider a student who has given these two tests. Why should s/he give a third test. Of course, the naive answer is that there are so many universities (including IITs) who have their own admission tests, and if a student wants admission to any of them, then the student has to give the test for that university. Fair enough. But, when I am in the admission market, what am I looking at. Basically, I want to get admission in a university which is the best I can get into based on my "credentials," and sometimes the best is not a clear choice, and I may have some geographical preference, and sometimes I may just fancy a place. If the best that I think I should try for is not equivalent to any university that AIEEE or state level exam is going to give me admission into, then I have to give the admission test of that university. This explains why a lot of people would want to give IIT JEE. The perception (and in my opinion, the reality too) is that IITs are better than any place where one could get admission through AIEEE, and hence one needs to give IIT JEE.

But when we talk about students give 10+ tests, many of those tests are for universities which are similarly placed in terms of their quality, reputation, etc. Why do students give multiple tests for similar quality  universities. If I have already given AIEEE and a state-level exam, why do I give tests for those universities which are similar in quality compared to those who admit through AIEEE or state level exam. Again, there may be some specific geographic preference, or a fancy for a particular place. But why 10+ exams.

The reason is that all our exams are one-time exams and a small problem, a slight headache can cause serious reduction in performance. So you want to hedge your bets. If you did not perform in one exam, you should not have to waste one year. If we could somehow bring in a system where I could give AIEEE once, get a score, and if the score is poor, give it again, get another score, and if it is still poor, give it the third time, and the best of the three scores will be used for admission. Immediately, the need for multiple admission tests go away. And when these private universities see that they are missing students, they will start admitting AIEEE students.

So, instead of mandating that there be a single exam (which can be and will be challenged in court, after all, wasn't AIEEE supposed to be that single exam), create conditions that students don't have to give multiple exams.

But for doing this, one will have to follow international best practices. Globally, admission is done during the 12th class (or the highest class of the school) and not after. The admission is provisional subject to you passing the school leaving exam. But we want to do all admission processing - from admission test to counseling to final admission within a 3-month window. And this, the Directors and other administrators believe is sacrosanct. Why is this 3-month window sacrosanct?

Now that a magic formula for normalization has been discovered, it should be trivial to conduct a simpler admission test throughout the year which students can give after 11th class, and admission decision be taken based on those scores subject to specified performance in the school leaving exam.

I am reminded of another government program which is now about 50 year old too - the family planning stuff. For a long time, they focused on delayed marriage, telling the virtues of smaller family, making available contraceptives easily and cheaply, and so on. And then in the 80s, several reports pointed out that all this will have miniscule impact. They explained why focus on health, education and gender equality will have a much bigger impact. India changed the focus of its family planning and the fertility rates have come down substantially in this period. (They still are high because the delivery of health and education services have not improve to the desirable levels.)

In the same sense, the government (with the help of IIT Directors) is solving the problem in the wrong way. One shouldn't mandate that all tests be scrapped, but create conditions that multiple tests of same kind don't help anyone.

There is another reason why students give a few specific exams (does not hold true for all admission tests). A few universities have an admission test which is very different from the traditional PCM test, with equal weight to three subjects. For example, the admissions tests for BITS, Pilani and IIIT, Delhi are very different. Now, a student may believe that s/he has higher chance of succeeding there because there is a better match between his/her skills/knowledge and what the exam is testing.

In the new scheme of things, such innovations and different ways of admitting students will be killed

In the proposed model of admission, if a science institute wants to consider biology for admission, IIT Directors won't allow this. After all, IITs admit students to Bio related programs using PCM only, so why can't all science institutes admit their students using PCM only. (And I have heard the argument: In one of the recent meetings, one of the IISER Directors was called. He did not show up, nor did he send any comments about Ramasami Committee report. So because of his "mistake," all science institutes in the country now have to admit students using PCM marks only.)

On the other hand, if a university decides that for admission to a computer applications program, they don't want to test Chemistry, but give more focus on Physics and Maths, they can't do this. The scores of ISEET (Indian Science and Engineering Entrance Test) will be sacrosanct. You can only play around with the weights of three components - 12th class board marks, aptitude score, and PCM score. Within each score, you don't have any flexibility.

Today, in the country, mediocrity has become a much bigger virtue than excellence, since mediocrity is misunderstood as equality, and excellence is misunderstood as discrimination. And instead of leading the society, IIT Directors (as part of IIT Council) have decided to follow the society.


IITKblogger101 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashu said...

Not only this, IIT's were the only pure and chaste thing in a corrupt country like India. They were above board in one of the most corrupt country of the world. Knowing that board exams and malpractices go hand in hand, and copies are check by some B.Ed teacher who is more interested in making money.

I totally agree with the above comments on board exams. Colorful pens, mood of examiner etc.

Till today JEE was a system based on absolute meritocracy but now we will see Munna Bhai's in JEE getting through by manipulating board marks and we will have a full fledged rackets running for admissions in IIT's. This is future and a multi-million dollar industry which our corrupt government is targeting. Their hunger is insatiable. Not only this once IIT's are out(they standard and craze goes out of mind of people) the higher education sector will have a boom, roads will be clear and high for foreign institution setting up branches in india. IIT is a threat to their success. Everyone knows India is a big market in this field. So it is a win-win situation for the (corrupt) government.

Nobody has the courage to speak the real reason for declining quality of students at IIT's. I can bet that the gap between best and worst has increased heavily. The standard deviation of marks must have increased multiple times after reservation got hiked.

Opening of new IIT's has it's own role in declining standards. You can not have 100 IIT's accross the country and then cry for falling standards. Increase the seats to 500,000 and then say that IIT students do not have that standard.

Ankur Kulkarni said...

About your last paragraph: The problem is that we have found that excellence is getting harder and harder to measure. Recall the great line "A measure that becomes a target, becomes a poor measure".

We are commonly tricked by those who do robotic pattern matching into thinking that they are in fact excellent. In the process we are selecting students who we think are excellent, but are actually cons and impostors. It is more practical to not obsess over excellence at the level of an entrance exam. At that level, we should look for general intelligence, studiousness, sincerity and then let the institute take this student to greater heights.

On the other hand, let us seek excellence where it can be demonstrated in a thorough manner, which also globally recognized and is intellectually superior - in research! Let us channelize our quest to that goal. Let us think of UGs as loose change and our PhDs and their journal papers as pure gold. It will bring fame, wealth, rewards and satisfaction to everyone. And we will genuinely feel like we have lived up to our potential.

gautam said...

You have a right to your opinions. No issues with that. I have already put forth mine and so I dont think I need to refute your arguments, although I do not agree with them.
But these comments on "IIT Directors" is hitting below the belt. Further, your reports on what happened in a meeting in Delhi and why someone did not turn up is also a "bit thick". The only IIT Director who has supported the move in public is me and possibly your Director (IITK). So first of all don't "malign" all Directors. I am supporting this move because I think it is a change in the right direction. I have not been pressurised by anyone and I am not seeking favours from anyone (your comments imply "wrong" motives).
Gautam Barua
Director, IIT Guwahati

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@IITKblogger101, I wouldn't make such sweeping statements myself. There is a lot of corruption in boards. It is possible for people to get their marks changed. The grading is uneven. All that is accepted. But saying that it affects everybody or most people is not true. My take is that if this affects even 1 percent of the students, it is too bad for ranking in admissions. But I won't say that everything related to board exams is a disaster. And, in fact, I have clearly expressed, not just now, but in my previous year's blogs also, that using board marks for eligibility is a good idea.

I won't go into the reservation debate. I have written about that a lot in 2007-08. My take is that we need to be inclusive, and a single exam does not determine merit. However, I think that we need to find alternate ways to reach out to meritorious students in regions/groups/classes, which the current system is unable to do.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Ashu, I think we are going away from the main point. I won't consider JEE as sacrosanct or as an exam, the best possible one. There are serious problems with JEE, which I have written a lot about last year. In my opinion, the role of IIT Council should be to advise all IITs to fix those problems, rather than impose a new admission process completely.

I guess we agree to disagree on the new IITs. I have been in support of new IITs in the past, and when I visit new IITs, I am convinced that this was a good decision.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Ankur, In this blog, I am focusing on the process of change. It is nobody's argument that admission process does not need change. But there has to be a proper process for change. The secretive way in which this is being imposed is not proper.

By the way, I see another comment of your on the previous blog (Legal problems). I am not accepting this, as this is completely irrelevant. If you submit that comment in response to my earlier blogs, I would be happy to accept that. I am sorry, I have to say this publicly, since I do not have your email address.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Gautam, I have utmost regard for you. You are the only Director who is willing to engage in public. And I certainly haven't forgotten that you have been amongst the best teachers to have taught me. I still have my BTP report saved (after more than quarter of a century), which thanks to your guidance, I am very proud of. At a time, when everyone considered networking as a fad which will go away soon, I did my PhD in networking, only because of the course on "Distributed Systems" that you taught. I also remember the mentorship you have provided when I joined the faculty. And we have discussed zillions of issues in the last 30 years that we have known each other, and generally converged on many things. Even on this issue, our difference is relatively minor. I want 12th class marks to be used for eligibility, while you want 12th class marks to be used for ranking. I am not so stupid (thanks to your guidance) that I will spoil a 30-year old relationship on a single difference of opinion.

So, please don't think that I have anything against you personally.

Having said said, I also believe that the directors as members of IIT Council, have taken a decision, which is simply not proper. In this particular blog, I am not just disagreeing with the content of that decision, but the process of that decision.

I am not interested in what happens in the implementation committee. The implementation committee, in a sense, has been ordered by IIT Council to implement the decision of IIT Council. It is also not important as to who supports the decision publicly and who supports it privately.

The point I am making is simple. Directors were present in IIT Council, when IIT Council decided to accept a report which was not yet submitted, and they had seen only a presentation based on a draft report. Not only that, there was a small window of opportunity to question that decision later on. The minutes said that Directors will submit detailed comments on this soon. I have talked to three Directors personally, and senior persons in three more IITs. In none of these six IITs, Directors even told their faculty, Senate, etc., that comments have been asked on such an issue. If a Director is not seeking opinion internally on this issue (and either sending his own personal opinion, or not sending any opinion), to me it indicates that they actually agree with the decision. (Though I have checked with only 6 IITs, but given a score of 6 out of 6, I would assume that some more Directors would have behaved in a similar way.)

And if all/most Directors are agreeing to a report without seeing that report, then what I have written is not hitting below the belt. It is just calling a spade a spade.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

Girish Elchuri has responded to the blog entry no google+. I am copying his remarks here, with his permission.

Hi Dheeraj,

I do feel, one test for all the institutes is the wrong thing. Let me give you my own example, During the times, that I was seeking admission into IITs for M.Tech admission (fortunately), we had to write separate test for each IIT. And the test for each IIT was on very different lines. While IIT Madras was more focused on what you know of what you have studied (not on where you are joining to), IIT Kanpur admission process is more on logical ability etc. and not so much on the subject itself. That suited me well and I could say, I am fairly successful. Subsequently GATE was introduced (which is nothing but the way IIT Madras conducts tests) and thus M.Tech started getting filled with people who can mug up things of the subjects.

I do believe, each college/university will have a philosophy on how they approach the teaching and they should have complete freedom as to how they want to admit students. The government must completely stay away from that.

At most, one could have subject based tests that one can take (much like GMAT) and the universities/colleges can use those scores to decide on admissions. Or a set of universities and colleges may agree to group-up and conduct one test for their own logistical convenience.

So the students will select which university/college they want to join and then accordingly decide which tests they want to take.

My 2cents.

Ankur Kulkarni said...

Looks like the decision has been made:

Kushagra said...

professor Sanghi,
I just wanted to know that is it just in the hands of the IIT directors to alter with the JEE or the senate and the faculty could also intervene it the process. As it is clear from recent news the IIT community does not have any say in this matter except for the directors.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Kushagra, In theory, Senate has all the powers related to academics. But that is only if your Directors support you. If Directors present a fait accompli to their faculty, they can only feel sad about it.

rishu said...

Dear Sir,
I am a big fan of yours. I took Economics after reading one of your blog post related to IIT JEE counselling.

I have written this blog ..." professors will miss us[ JEE qualified students]. Kindly read and comment.!

Shishir said...

Though I agree that IITs should have asked for their separate test to maintain their high academic level (yes, being elitist where you think you deserve it, is no crime!),I am not too sure that a common test ,per se, will bring about mediocrity to IIT entrants and thus ,eventually to IIT.

There appears to be a significant correlation between high rankers of JEE and AIEEE and BITSAT (based on anecdotal data). So this is not worrisome.

What may turn out to be extremely damaging to IITs is the loss of control of its admission process. Once it goes to CBSE, IITs shall be helpless spectators while admission criteria is fiddled with . Knowing state governments as we all do,there shall be a clamour every now and then for change in criteria on one account or the other. And ,as it has been happening with various other admission processes of state colleges and universities,it is reduced to its lowest denominator (you know what it means!)

Dheeraj, you are spot on when you suggest a GRE kind of test system which may be held three times a year (with best of three counting).However, I'd add that IIT should have the freedom to design their own admission criteria based on such score. IITs may give varying degree of weightage to board examinations, but it will be IITs senate decision and not CBSE's or MHRD's.

To my mind,all the Directors of IITs must ask (and lobby)for this administrative freedom ( I know it is tall order !). (Unfortunately, as far as my experience goes, lobbying is not considered fair practice by IIT Directors).

Unknown said...

Can u tell me till when this change in addmission process is going to be implemented....!!

Chandresh said...

Three news items:

1) Instances of mass copying in Bihar School final exams reported widely on TV Channels

2) HRD Minister Mr. Kapil Sibal's proclaimation that the new system will help get better students to the premier institute.

3) Implementation of exclusive 4.5% sub-quota for Muslims and Christians.

What does the future behold? Who is brave enough to read the Tarot Card ...

Kushagra said...

@Professor Gautam:
Sir how will you combat the point that organizing an xam on such a large scale wud be corruption free. Even the IIT JEE was not able to maintain that standard in recent times.

Shishir said...

Having maintained that IITs should have the freedom to tweak their admission process , I've to add that IITs did not acquit themselves well while restructuring their own JEE over the years.

JEE , these days,is just a test of huge practice. An otherwise intelligent , cricket playing boy who has just finished his board exams, can't expect to crack JEE(This was not always so!).

That is where IIT entrance process has gone skewed. And this is what allowed and led MHRD to step in.

Honestly speaking, I find AIEEE or BITSAT equally good test without being 'extra tough'. JEE , over the years has erred on the side of being 'tough'. Even brilliant students don't enjoy writing JEE.

JEE was once 'the test' for intellectual ability, not merely a competitive entrance test .You needed to be 'different' and not 'extra trained' to crack it. JEE has ceased to be 'different'.

JEE having lost that position , made the things easier for MHRD mandarins to deny superiority to IITs over designing of tests.

Shashi said...

Prof. Sanghi,

Thank you very much for your insightful posts regarding the recently proposed changes in the IIT entrance examination. It is very important that we have an open discussion regarding the admission process, as there are so many stakeholders who will be affected by it. I have read all of your posts on this topic, which have been very informative and have helped me get a better idea of what the government is trying to do, and what ought to be done.

I will add, however, that all this hoopla over the admission process overlooks another very important aspect of an academic institution. We seem to be obsessing more over what happens to a student before the student is admitted to the institute, rather than what happens after the student joins the institute. I believe that the four/five years the student spends in the institute are as important as the 18 years spent before that. I will be more happy to hear that the institute is putting in effort to hire great teachers, improving the classroom teaching and taking great strides in research output, as compared to tweaking the admission process so that the right students are admitted.

Let's face it, even in the best institutions such as MIT/Harvard, there are 10% to 15% really outstanding students who have a great career and become leaders of their respective fields. The rest have a solid career, which while may not be outstanding still ensures that they have a good standard of living, better than the rest. And it does not matter how the students are admitted, some of them will outshine others, and some the rest will still do well in their lives. That is how the undergraduate class in the top ranked universities are. The best students will get in no matter what the admission process is.

I will repeat again, that having better teachers, researchers and overall a great academic environment at the institute will raise the stature of the institute much more than having a tweaked admission process.


Shishir said...

Shashi,Though your point that an institute is about its faculty members and researchers is well made, two fundamental issues particularly with respect to IITs remain.

First, IITs are not about post graduate and research studies (Though this was not what was originally intended.) IITs reputation is all about JEE and its undergraduates.So quality of intake to UG does matter.

Second, it is the dynamic relationship between a good student and a good teacher which sustains the academic environment. You can't have one without the other. And in IIT ,student means UG one. Example of MIT may not be relevant here for various reasons .

MIT standards are governed by its research, its industry interface and its academic networking. UG entrants,though tested rigorously, are no big part of of it (somewhat like IISc).

rahul said...

Dear Professor,
I will be graduating from IIT after 2 months, and would like to share my experience.

As far as incoming student quality is concerned, I don't see any improvement after the implementation of new admission process. I am not saying that JEE was the best selection procedure. But, the problem lies elsewhere. Many of my batchmates had got more than 96% in boards( even in 2007). But after coming to IIT, none of them even made a small effort to understand the subjects. The reason is whatever may be the selection procedure, the campus atmosphere will remain the same. Nobody can guarantee that as the incoming students have gud % in boards, they will not listen to their seniors. And believe me, this senior junior interaction has a devastating effect. As far as I know, in the first month, everybody regularly attended classes, solved the assignments. After we interacted with our seniors, we were told that if you participate in extra curricular activities, you would get lucrative jobs. So, the students started taking their academics very lightly and just devoted last 7 days before the exam to their studies.

Now, I would like to talk about teaching standards. Except very few courses, we were not given weekly assignments, even if they were given, the teachers did not even bother to check them. Therefore, the students copied the solutions from 2/3 guys. Some courses were too easy that people got full grades just by devoting 1 day to studies. Therefore, other students also followed the same procedure for other courses, but suffered a lot.

The third and the most important thing, there is no incentive for a student who wants to pursue research. It is the finance/management oriented students, who became famous in the campus. The hardworking students were branded as unsocial people. In the placement also, the cgpa or academic projects played no role. So, whatever may be one's gpa, he/she is not losing anything as a high salary job is guaranteed. Also. the professors don't take research or students seriously. We were never told what is the scope in our field/ graduate school after we graduate. Howcome they expect the students in a third-world country (who would naturally look for a good job to lead a better life) to become interested in research. In top notch universities, in 1st year, many seminars are organized to let me them become aware of the possible career paths. Also, students can get double major there. Here the number of compulsory courses is very high.

Frankly speaking, after 2014, the professors will find a new reason to account for the poor quality of incoming students. Nobody seems to understand the root of the problem.

rahul said...

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Shishir, I agree with you that IITs have not moved with times, not just on admission front but on many other issues as well, and if you don't fix your own house, some one else will. But what is surprising is that the Directors, who constituted Joint Admissions Board, and had the responsibility of coordinating and suggesting changes to JEE, did not take any leadership role for so many years in changing JEE. I don't know if various Directors even took the suggestions received internally to JAB for discussion. And now, suddenly, they all seem united to bring about a major change without even talking to their colleagues in their respective IITs.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Shashi, you are absolutely right that we need to focus a lot more on what happens after admission and not before admission. The thing is that most changes are planned changes, and uninteresting to discuss, but that does not mean that no changes are taking place. When sudden changes are thrust upon you and you think that both the content of the change and the manner of the change was wrong, then you must protest.

For your information, we have been increasing faculty strength every year, sponsored research grants, industry grants, infrastructure (square feet of space), number of conferences organized, number of PhD students - every single parameter has increased this year over the last year, and the same can be said about the last year as well.

It is not to say that everything is alright.

rahul said...

What is being done to encourage undergraduates to take up research/engineering as a career (as IITs are mainly famous for its undergraduate students)? I think the motive behind this change in admission process is to get better students. (IIT Directors and the ministers think so.)

The funniest part is most of the professors believe that people who do well in board exams will pursue research, and those who solve problems to clear JEE will sell soaps.

Shishir said...

Dheeraj, Yes, I agree that IIT administrators don't seem to represent IIT in MHRD, rather MHRD in IIT.
I believe that co-opting academic fraternity in IIT for arriving at at any decision for any improvement, will go a long way in making IIT Directors' voice heard. It is difficult to ignore the whole fraternity's view as compared to one individual's (assuming he stands up ).

I am sad, but I have to say IIT Directors (well,most of them)seem to think on the following lines : that IITs are Govt bodies and hence well within control of MHRD. And therefore there is nothing wrong to be advised by MHRD bosses on the affairs of IIT, including academic ones.

What they (IIT administrators) mistakenly forget is that IITs have their own DNA , and a very unique one at that , which need to be carefully handled , nurtured, preserved and the like. This was done in 60s and 70s. In early days, IITs were path breakers. It showed to the nation how science and technical education should be imparted.

It should always be remembered (by the administrators) that financial assistance may not necessarily mean academic control. Brand 'IIT' or 'IIM' were built upon the twin foundation of academic freedom and fairness of systems.

It is in this respect that a right kind of lobbying for IIT is very essential. Lobbying is a fair practice for putting across your view and generate a force of opinion in your favour.

Chandresh said...

For any action, you have two types of consequences…. Intended and unintended. In the case of IITs the intended consequence was to produce outstanding engineers, the unintended consequence is IITs have produced leaders in many spheres including management and administration. There is no discredit in positive unintended consequences. The success achieved should be encouraged actively.
Certainly, at least the brightest but easy going students can be pushed harder during their stay at IIT. The key to bringing out the very best is to throw stiff challenges during the student's four years stay at the college. At least some of the students should get the ‘Eureka’ feeling in whichever sphere they venture into as at the undergraduate level it will be difficult to predict whether the ‘Eureka’ for a student will come from Engineering, Management, Science, Sports, Liberal Arts, Social Service or some other extra-curricular field. However, it is the faculty’s task to create proper learning atmosphere to trigger excellence at the campus. Perhaps a 4 year degree with dual specialization in two branches is the answer. Or Joint degree in two streams, Engineering degree by IIT and Law awarded by National Law University is the desired challenge. Public Administration, Humanities and Niche Medical Science are also interesting opportunities. Perhaps allowing a break year is the answer. Or fast track degree in three years is the answer. Or teaching assistantship from first/second year onwards will spur the students. Ultimately, each IIT will need to figure out what will work for them and it should be for the student to choose from the offerings, depending upon his interests, family circumstances and job market trends, subject to rules imposed by the institute.

For research and other laudable goals, IITs as “Institutions” should feed of the success in undergraduate education. IITs might not become mini MIT, Caltech or Princeton by flogging the undergraduate students. To achieve success in applied and fundamental research new interventions need to be designed. Perhaps, IITs should introduce a ‘Research oriented’ Graduate Entrance Test (‘PG-JEE” equivalent to IIT-JEE). Students selected through this process would know upfront that they are entering into serious academic research at graduate and possibly doctoral levels. Maybe, the intake of students through this route will be kept flexible. Maybe some of the research oriented faculty could be given tenure positions. Perhaps Research chairs would be instituted by private institutions for graduate student research. Hopefully, in a few years time the ‘PG-JEE’ could grow into a gold standard for entry to high end research and IITs would rank with the very best in graduate studies. Incidentally, measures like the IITB Monash partnership and Research Parks are welcome steps in the direction of fostering research.

mcenley said...

The lines "Today, in the country, mediocrity has become a much bigger virtue than excellence, since mediocrity is misunderstood as equality, and excellence is misunderstood as discrimination." hit the nerves of some people. I like it!

ved prakash said...

In whole of the discussion basic issue is getting diverted

1) Is the proposed system (iseet) indirectly promotes state wise quota in IIT.?
Taking percentile across 30 odd boards(most of the bds are state wise only) will push the doctrine of state wise quota in it assumes that all boards are equal.small board eg assam or H P may gain and large bd eg CBSE may loose.However damage will be known only much later.
If decision maker want state wise quota in IIT as a hidden agenda ,,My self being obedient govt servant have no problem.It seems same is the case with other also.I can understand their constraints.

Thanks dheeraj, at least you have courage to speak on these keep writing .i hope decision maker read your blog and take corrective action.

2) I fail to understand as why decision maker plan to take input from a system (boards marks in this case)which is full of leakage at all level.How IIT directors can close their eye on malpractices in bds. Malpractices in board can not be taken care of by any normalization or percentile formulae.

3)If lack of general knowledge of IIT student is concerned, a paper in general studies may be included.(as is being done by UPSC).if lack of English knowledge is concerned than any way aptitude is being planned. Taking bd marks will create more problems in view problems highlighted above

Vedprakash btech iit k (82-86) chief engineer central railway mumbai.

Anunaya said...

Sir, I came across your blog few months ago, but due to some reasons I was not able to follow the posts.

I really appreciate that you take some time out of your busy schedule to discuss on such important topics pertaining to IIT's and studies in general. Also, the discussions here are much more detailed and interesting than on any other social networking sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook.

Sir, please keep writing.


I would also suggest to take into account the structure and focus of the multiple available exams. If there exist exam schemes that maintain different patterns and have upheld those well for long enough, this could be a genuine reason for conducting multiple exams. For example, for medical entrance the stature and flavour of multiple exams like AIPMT, state-level PMTs, AFMC, BHU, AIIMS, JIPMER,etc. has long been appreciated. Indeed, there could be several metrics to measure - understanding, depth, rigor, comprehension, balance of coverage, awareness, regional tinge, passion to design, additional aptitude skills,etc. I would
certainly suggest, however, that the syllabi should converge and the interest of an ordinary student without access to expensive/exhaustive resources be considered.
An important thing to check is the burgeoning number of entrance exams by private colleges - wherein many are simply back-door to illicit admission. It is my experience that in a competitive exam, the bulk of competition is not with the peers but rather within the candidate itself. Which is why, I believe, that to be successful an exam should have a clear and accessible objective. The deeper the examiners ponder over this issue, the more successful they will be at setting a good exam.