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Monday, June 4, 2012

JEE 2013: Why I feel cheated

We all feel cheated. We had a meeting with the Minister in April. He asked all the seven Senates (of the older IITs) to give suggestions on JEE 2013 and beyond. He suggested a methodology for incorporating their views into the final decision. He said that once all the Senates have given their views, there will be an IIT Council meeting which will come up with a proposal that is based on the feedback given by the seven Senates. This proposal was to be shared with all IITs. This was to be discussed in a second meeting of IIT Council. For this second meeting, each Senate was to nominate 2 persons each who would be invited to this IIT Council meeting. In addition two persons from All India IIT Faculty Federation were to be invited as well. The second IIT Council meeting was to discuss the proposal in presence of these 16 faculty members, and differences were to be ironed out with the help of these 16 faculty members.

What really happened is a very different story. The first meeting came up with a mechanism which most Senates had opposed to. In particular, most of the Senates felt that IITs should continue with their current process of JEE for 2013 and the new process should be adopted only from 2014. This was not only fair to students who have given 12th class already, or have already spent a lot of time in preparing for the JEE 2013, but this was also felt necessary to test various assumptions that the new system makes, and many of those assumptions are simply ridiculous (like every board being equal) and contrary to the data that we have. Even this request was denied. Informally, several Directors have told me that 2014 being the election year, no major changes can be done in that year. Now, are we going to adopt an admission process with so many questions about it, based on political expediency.

There was no invitation to Senates to send two representatives to the next meeting.

I am sure a lot of persons pushing their agenda are congratulating themselves on their smart moves and strategies, and they would have stories to tell their grand children, how they made fool of more than 1000 IIT faculty members. I have only this to say to them: It is possible to win by cheating. That is what you have proven. A system created by cheating, cannot but allow cheating. Come 2013 admission time, a lot of hard working, intelligent, honest students of this country will find out, it is possible to win by cheating.


Shishir said...

Dheeraj, I agree with you whole heartedly.
It is the feudalistic mindset which exists over there. Only pressure (of whatever color) actually works.

Since IIT faculties can't make any difference to the government, so their opinion may be damned!

It is surprising that there are no murmurs or press footage yet about IIT faculty members being pro west and working on behalf of some external forces, despite being in disagreement with the minsitry!

Satish Kumar said...

The way MHRD handled IIT to carry out reforms in JEE exam simply pathetic.In media, ministry appeared transparent,announced all stakeholders would be duly consulted.

It appears MHRD has imposed own version of reforms completely bypassing IIT(main party).
I don't know what happened to this goverment,they are treating every institution with disrespect.

Ashish said...

Dear Sir,
Is this the way Democracy works. I have graduated this year from IIT Kanpur and never felt any kind of discrepancy in the system so far. As far as I know, this is the only system in the country which is not corrupted and now we are going to let it die?? Are we so helpless in front of ministry that we can't do any thing. Please sir, only IIT FF can do something about this, don't let it down.

with regards,

Mee said...

This is wake up call for delinking the IITs from the Ministry completely. Although I am sure this decision will not be implemented because too many stake holders are filing PILs, this is not going to be the end. Even if the IIT get a temporary respite this time successive ministries will never leave them alone. Every year will find some new proposals and interferences from them as they have many other agendas, the interests of the students or IITs are of little interest to them.

Prashant said...

I appeared for Class 12 examinations of the ICSE-ISC Board in 2001. Every single paper had been leaked - on top of that, the board exams were conducted in the school itself and the school wasn't very interested in clamping down on cheating. I didn't buy the question papers beforehand, and at an aggregate score of 87.25% ( which isn't really a bad score ) - I was in the last 25% of the students in my class. That is the extent to which scores can swing because of leakages and cheating in a relatively simple paper like the board exams.

I work in the data science space .. out of curiosity, I crawled and scraped through the entire ISC-12 result for this year. Some very interesting trends can be observed in it. Let me know if you'd like a copy of the dataset and I'll mail it to you.

I agree the minister and HRD have cheated the stakeholders, but I think it is also time to ponder about what kind of directors the IITs have, who could not stand up and make a forceful statement against this kind of interference.
I know some directors are real visionaries, but from my stay in KGP, the directors I observed, were unimpressive and un-inspiring men, and some of questionable character ( on the basis of revelations by a certain professor ) and most of them were unfit to address a student or an alumni gathering, forget about being expected to stand up against a dominating minister.

Piyush P Kurur said...

Here are the leasons to learn from this:

(1) We can no longer be the naive academic and will have to fight the fight.

(2) It is easier to build the IIT Brand than to maintain it.

The question is are we fit for the challenges. Time alone will tell.

Thanks Dheeraj for the fight that you along with Neeraj and Deepak put in. I hope it does not go waste.

Piyush P Kurur

Chandra Shekhar Goswami said...

If proposed scheme implemented in IITS then next step may be selection of faculty members through govenment agencies like UPSC and so unite and raise your voice if possible NOW.....

csPD said...

Dear Sir,

I would definitely agree with you. It is very difficult to get a degree from IIT. And JEE is the right entrance test for allowing the deserved students to enter IITs.

Please go through this

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Prashant, Would love to see the data that you mentioned. Thanks.

Chandresh said...

Stanford, MIT and others select students on the basis of marks, SAT, GRE etc. But they also evaluate Statement of Purpose (SOP) and other subjective factors. This system cannot be introduced in India. The only practical solution is to continue with JEE (in some form) as the sole arbitor. Perhaps minimum qualifying percentage can be increased to account for grade inflation.

Saurabh Nanda said...

Are attention grabbing tactics like 'dharna', hunger strikes, and IIT-bands absolutely not possible? Those are the only methods that seem to have any output.

Why not roll-in the coaching classes and the MASSIVE number of students enrolled by them to come onto the streets in protest against this?

Anonymous said...

So the main complaint appears to be not so much against the final solution but against the process followed in getting there. I argue that the structure of the current solution is quite sound, see this:
The JEE is Saved, Long Live the JEE Brand!

Several parameters of the solution can certainly be tweaked, e.g. year of introduction, whether school board marks should have a weightage or just a minimum percentile requirement (say 80 percentile), etc., but that is true with any solution, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
If the major objective of introducing the new system is to push coaching centres out of business, then its absolutely absurd.

Coaching institutes are simply an implication of the ever widening demand and supply gap. Even if some miracle happens and all the schools become efficient and uniform, then too coachings will be there because if 5 Lakh people are fighting for some 9000 seats, why would any one take a chance? Its more of a psychological thing, personally no one wants to play with their or children's future.

Innovativeness and Creativeness are qualities which one nurtures through 14 years of education, 2-3 years of monotonic study cannot possibly destroy it. At least now people who are sound in PCM and who were taught by engineers themselves are entering IITs, the school education can not even ensure that.

The main thing is that the enormous amount of money that the coaching owners are earning with absolutely no political middlemen, that is creating problems with the government.

Shishir said...

Dheeraj, who will set the advanced JEE test paper? Was it discussed in the meetings?
My main concern , apart from unnecessary (and not so holy)hurry to use board marks for admission, is about the control over admission process - starting from setting of advance JEE syllabus and paper to deciding about various cut-offs . If it is taken away from IITs in the name of bringing uniformity (as is the name of the game), we can bid goodbye to a very fine institution called IIT.
With all humility, I must add that it appears that the Directors of IITs have been won over by the ministry (and the directors have allowed it for obvious reasons!). Only faculty members are raising the sane voice in the country.
The sane voice , howsoever weak, must be raised as it has its own DNA of strength.
My congratulations to faculty members , some of them my teachers too, for raising the valid concerns for the sake of reminding the nation that there is a group who thinks and cares about its education system and is ready to even challenge the government for its sake, even when there are no personal stakes involved.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Shishir, It is being said that in 2013, the papers will be set by IIT faculty. But that is only one of the many issues.

Anonymous said...

Promoting this system as 'One Nation One Test' is the MHRD's biggest LIE, they are not bringing the private colleges on board, not even the State entrance exams. If there are just reducing the number of exams by one by combining JEE and AIEEE. And ONE Test is highly risky and stress building.

Soldier Reborn said...

1) This new system will ensure that kids from middle class and lower middle class don't see IIT cause they wont be able to pay both for a good private school and good coaching at same time.
2) Board marks are rubbish, they don't test intelligence.
3) Coachings will never go out of business, they will thrive on changed pattern and will attract more crowd and make use of confusion.

If they really wanted to simplify students life they should have gone with unified CAT exam for MBA college as they have same pattern and cost much much more. A systematic way to destroy everything that is good.

Rohit said...

Students from rural area can say good bye to IIT. When I attended, there were plenty of students from rural area. They had to try twice but they were able to compete. Schools are almost non-existent in rural area of Bihar and UP. How can anyone expect those kids to do well in board exam?

New proposed system will ensure that IIT will take only kids from well to do family. We cannot fix this education system by changing the pattern of IIT JEE. That is an absurd idea. Coaching will always exist due to so many students chasing so few seats. Not everyone was taking IIT JEE earlier but with new this system everyone will be taking the exam. Coaching institutes will get even more students.

I think older subjective test was the best way to provide equal opportunity for all students. Older format ensured that someone from small village could make it if he/she understood the subject. Someone can get better marks in lab subjects due to connections or being liked by teacher. Few can also buy good marks in certain boards. If some board is easier to score on percentile basis, we will see students moving to that particular board. Good schools are located in big cities and students from those schools will get higher percentile. Students from well to do families might be able to overcome all these issues but students from rural area with no money will suffer most. Hopefully some sense will prevails and we don’t implement a system which almost ensures that no one from small towns or village can attend IIT.

Maya (Nand) Jha said...

Dear Sir,

This is so sad. This govt is adamant of ruining a system which has given outstanding results. I remember getting average marks in my +2 exam despite solving 100% questions in Maths. Moreover, the standard of +2 exam was so pathetic. God save IITs!!


Devesh Tiwari said...

How about following select-to-eliminate proposal?

Let IITs fake that they have X number of seats, while they are wiling to have an average population of only X/3.

Admit X students every year, and eliminate 2*X/3 number of students after first year.

Best thing is IIT doesn't have to call HRD minister to decide whom to eliminate, they already have a such system in place. More importantly, this elimination will make sure that guardians get a right message: you can trick board exam, JEE exam but not IIT curriculum. Students will not relax and take things seriously in IIT etc.

Clearly, this proposal doesn't solve all the problems JEE2013 poses and has some non-trivial implementation issues, but it does have some obvious benefits.

I am assuming JEE 2013 is already in place and we need to start thinking how to handle this, while Dr. Sanghi et al. fight and re-instate original JEE by 2025(?)


gautam said...

I think your reaction is unfair. Why are you placing so much emphasis on whether iit faculty were called to the IIT council meeting or not? What have you to say to the compromises that have been made based on the feedback from IIT Senates? Board marks are going to be used for cut-offs, and only the advanced test, to be set by IIT JAB, will decide rankings. These were demands of some of the IIT Senates. The IIT Council has listened and compromised. You cannot expect a consultation process to result in only what you want to be the outcome. Your attitude seems to be the same you are accusing the Minister of: listen to no one else!

To others: I know bashing of IIT Directors is a favourite pastime of many. But please dont impute vague motives ("we know why"). We too have our points of view, and if they coincide with the Minister's on this issue, so what?

Gautam Barua, Director, IIT Guwahati

Prashant said...

Sent the data at your gmail id.

Notice the unusually large blocks of students getting exactly the same score in a school ... 69, 90 etc. Something looks very unnatural about that. Makes you wonder, if each paper was corrected by multiple examiners from the board, what would be the standard devation / consistency and accuracy in the scores each one of them would give the candidate. How does this standard deviation compare with the range of marks which a candidate would require to score in the boards ? Perhaps, you should have some kind of reasonable cut off at the top 30 percentile of the board marks and leave it at that.

something else which might interest you ...

Check out figure 4.

This basically questions the notion that a student with percentile X in one board == student with percentile X in another board.
That just seems intuitively wrong. It is known that nowadays, some of the schools with better students often try to switch to one of the national/international boards.

On the other hand, if raw percentages were taken, the state board students would be at unfair disadvantage.

To calibrate the percentiles between boards, my understanding is that some third party common calibration is needed to make some kind of mapping between Percentile(X) in boardA == what percentile in boardB.

Our country, right from the highest to lowest level is run by ad hoc gut feelings and emotion. Perhaps this JEE issue is indicative of a much larger issue at hand - that we need to be driven less by ego and emotion and more by logic and data ( which is readily available to us ).

IDEA education academy said...

Dear sir I fully agreed what you said...n ...I appreciate your step...

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Gautam, for many objections, you simply say that these are minor. If they are so minor, why not incorporate them. If there was no big deal about inviting Senate nominees to the meeting, then why not do it, particularly when it was a solemn promise of a Minister in front of 50+ persons. And this being a compromise - what compromise - almost all Senates said that there are so many questions every one has that it is not proper to do this from 2013. But it is 2013. Even Roorkee which agreed to 2013 did so on the condition that the semester be shifted by a month, an impractical condition. For everything to argue that we will find solutions in the next 10 months is not right. Why couldn't this be done with AIEEE giving out a normalized 12th class marks, and everybody having freedom to use them in whatever way. This would have had made sure that all ifs and buts have an answer.

Of course, I have problems with the system even in the medium term, some of which I am going to blog about soon. One article on normalization of board marks using percentile, I have already published today.

As far as Director bashing is concerned, I have not allowed comments which are personal in nature, and are irrelevant to the discussion here. And as I have said before, I have full trust in you that you are pushing this agenda because you genuinely believe that this is in the interest of the nation. It is just that I disagree with you on this, and I don't trust that all other IIT Directors are providing tacit or active support for the same reason.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Prashant, Got the data. Thanks a lot. I will read the paper you referred to. As far as normalization is concerned, I fully agree with you, and I have written about it in a blog article published today.

AK said...

Prof Sanghi,

It seems that not all seven IITs (at least at director level) are at the same page. I read this op-ed column from Prof Barua (current director of IITG and a professor for many years at IITK):

I also heard that IITKgp (at least the director) is also not bothered much about it. In fact it looks like mainly IITK is unhappy:

Though, similar views (like those of yours) were expressed by the president of the IITD Alumni Association (who is also a Supreme Court lawyer):


Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@AK, Not all IITs have similar views. But all directors seem to have similar views.

manu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bhupc said...

@Devesh Tiwari: solution to cheating is not cheating. wasting faculty time to eliminate 66% should not be acceptable at all.

Devesh Tiwari said...

I agree that weeding out requires resources, both time and infrastructure being resources. That's why I said in my original comment that this proposal has non-trivial implementation challenges.

To make this solution viable in practice, we will have to see how much to eliminate and how to do capacity planning. I think what struck you hard was 66% elimination. 66% is too high probably, may be 10-12% elimination rate will be enough. The point is that it's x% elimination rate is not a requirement, it's a filter.

I don't think one would perceive this as cheating. It is basically three-pass filter. First filter being JEE-screening, second being JEE-main, and third filter being first year performance in IIT.

Of course, elimination opens up a whole new set of opportunities and challenges for eliminated students. Can eliminated students go to NITs as transfer students? Can toppers from NITs come to IIT? Such a dynamic system may serve society much better where students can flow between NIT and IIT, compared to current rigid system. Yes, again non-trivial implementation challenges but rewards may offset these challenges.

Vishesh Shaurya said...

@Devesh: Dude, why are you considering NITs as second grade Engineering college. We might not be as good as IITs but top NITs are very good in providing technical education.
What I feel is that, NITs should uplift its standard and make it as good as IITs.

@Post: This country doesn't have enough quality institutions for the amount of quality institute it holds.
IITs have certainly created a royal brand of itself and that's what I am also proud of it, and so do every Indian.
Similarly, NITs and IIITs should also evolve.
The current examination pattern is alright with JEE and AIEEE.
Instead they should club all private colleges under one exam and they should be regulated. The amount of money being transferred as donation is way greater than the fees in coaching institute.

These education ministers never talk about RESERVATION. Instead of reservation in Graduate college there should be reservation in schools and that too on basis of INCOME not caste.

Reservation is removed then automatically all NITs will grow fast and will match up with IITs.

P.S.: I a student of NITK Surathkal.


Vishesh Shaurya said...

@Devesh: Dude, why are you considering NITs as second grade Engineering college. We might not be as good as IITs but top NITs are very good in providing technical education.
What I feel is that, NITs should uplift its standard and make it as good as IITs.

@Post: This country doesn't have enough quality institutions for the amount of quality institute it holds.
IITs have certainly created a royal brand of itself and that's what I am also proud of it, and so do every Indian.
Similarly, NITs and IIITs should also evolve.
The current examination pattern is alright with JEE and AIEEE.
Instead they should club all private colleges under one exam and they should be regulated. The amount of money being transferred as donation is way greater than the fees in coaching institute.

These education ministers never talk about RESERVATION. Instead of reservation in Graduate college there should be reservation in schools and that too on basis of INCOME not caste.

Reservation is removed then automatically all NITs will grow fast and will match up with IITs.

P.S.: I a student of NITK Surathkal.


saksham91 said...

Well, when I look back when I was studying for admissions in a good technical institute, I feel that those were the worst two years of my life. The pressure of performing well in so many exams with so much competition and so many expectations is just too much!

In the end I missed a merit rank in the JEE by a few marks, but did make it through to a top NIT. I am going in my final year and am very glad to be a part of this great institute.

Well, I feel it is a good decision to give weight to boards marks as well. Other-wise, why study for boards at all?

However, as Dheeraj sir pointed out, there are still many loop-holes in this system and proper thought needs to be given as it concerns the whole nation.

I am very glad that IIT K has taken this step. Politicians will try to mend their way by hook or crook, but its very nice to see that there is someone to stand up to them. There is still hope...

Saurabh Joshi said...

@saksham91 : Nobody puts a gun on your head to give JEE or other exams. Board is kind of a mandatory exam if one wishes to graduate ( any stream) where as JEE or AIEEE is only for engineering. It is optional. If it is so stressful you have a choice not to take the exams. Board exam has much more purpose than getting into IIT. IIT JEE is given by only 5 lakh students as opposed to crores of students who give boards exam because they have ambitions other than IIT. Even UPSC exams are stressful, I dont see people making hue and cry about it. This is just a political move for vote bank.

Devesh Tiwari said...

@Vishesh: I apologies, but I didn't intend to rate NITs as second grade, neither have I ever felt so. In fact, I have met some very well rounded NIT students who are better than some of IITians. When I say better I mean not just academically but as a whole package..

Priyadarshan said...

As an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and former senate member, I would definitely give thumbs-up for the recent decision taken by the IITK senate.

Govt. intervention in IIT autonomy through IIT council is tricky! and is disappointing as it sounds like breaking the trust on IIT entrance exam.

Talking about the brand --

An excerpt from Wikipedia - " The IIT brand was reaffirmed when the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution honouring Indian Americans and especially graduates of IIT for their contributions to the American society.[9] Similarly, China also recognised the value of IITs and planned to replicate the model.[69]"

An example for how brand name hurts:

‎" Password breach: LinkedIn brand hurt "

analogously: -----------

"JEE is like password which allows students to enter IITs"

if there is a breach in JEE i.e, like CET etc then IIT brand might get hurt!

Govind Gangadhar said...

Iam also preparing for IIT JEE 2013 but I don't have much hope of getting a good but iam capable of cracking the exam no matter what rank I get.I always felt that by studying for IIT I'll be able to crack AIEEE with good marks and get into one of the top NITs.But now everything has changed ,not only the 40%weightage of 12th board marks and this top percentile stuffs I don't think there's any hope left for me.Now there's only one possible way.2013 IIT and AIEEE aspirants should protest and take it to the street.And also the parents should file PIL to put a stay at the high court so that in 2013 the exams should be conducted in the same manner as in 2012(I'm talking about both IIT-JEE and AIEEE)Please consider this.There should be silent protest or case should be filed against this new norm.NGOs should be brought in.

Govind Gangadhar said...

Why don't the parents of 2013 IIT and NIT aspirants file PIL at courts.They can rope in NGOs aswell.There should be protests and they should take it to the streets!

Rajeev T. said...

I respect your thoughts and of all those who objected CET, but sadly that wasn't enough to challenge MHRD. The new system implemented is a complete rubbish, the ministers say they want to get rid of the high profit making coaching institutes and make students concentrate more on schools and board exams. But before that, they should have peeped into the school atmosphere, and should have tried to improve that.
If you take my case, I faced some seriously bad teachers in my +2. Though I had targeted JEE as my main aim, I was unable to crack it in my 1st attempt. And in the boards too, I scored 73% in PCM (CBSE). So I dropped one year, joined a good coaching institute, and the result was there. I got a rank around 1800 in the 2nd attempt. The school teachers were shocked. The main reason was, the teachers were highly discouraging and demoralizing. If they saw us studying from JEE level books, they laughed it off, and said JEE is impossible for kids like you. They concentrated only on those students who topped in and school tests and exams. Even the school topper, who got 94% in boards, was unable to clear JEE in both attempts. And it was one of the best school in the city.
So the question arises, According to new criteria, was I unfit for studying in IIT due to bad performance in boards? I guess not.
IITs should find a way so that they get the same students as they have been getting till 2012. We haven't lost all hopes, still something is possible, after all it's the faculty who have to make the question paper, not MHRD.