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Sunday, July 9, 2017

JEE Advanced 2017: Case simplified

Yesterday, I wrote a blog on the mess that IITs have created regarding JEE Advanced and the petition that has been filed in Supreme Court. From the mails that I have been getting and the comments on the blog, it is apparent that people have not understood the case properly. Here is an attempt to simplify matters.

IITs have declared several questions from JEE Advanced 2017 as wrong, and decided to award marks to everyone who took the exam. (It is equivalent to canceling those questions and not awarding marks to anyone, for all practical purposes.) The petition (and I am told that many other students have joined this petition with their own petitions) claims that same treatment to all questions is not fair.

So let us look at different types of errors that seem to have happened.

First, the question had such a serious error that there is no right answer (or at least all the options given in the question are wrong).

There is no dispute about what to do with these questions. Presence of such questions is unfortunate as it wastes precious time of students. And those who don't attempt these at all get benefit in terms of extra time. And there is no way to distinguish between those who attempted and those who did not attempt this. The petition is also not talking of such questions. And whether IITs give 0 marks to all students, or 1 mark or 100 marks to all students, it makes no difference in ranking. But it is desirable that IITs look at their process of paper setting and see if there is a way to minimize the chances of such questions since it does bring in an element of unfairness without any solution. But there is no legal issue as of now, and they are not part of the court case.

Second, a couple of questions had some typing error in some versions of Hindi paper. So 99.5% students have received one question. About 0.5% students have received another question.

IITs argued that since the question is different in two versions, we are canceling it and give marks to all. The petition is saying that a fairer way of doing things is to check 99.5% papers according to their question, and 0.5% papers according to the other question. And it hugely helps that despite the misprint, the question remains a valid science question. I really don't understand why IITs did not do it this way to begin with. Indeed this is the right way to do things. IITs know exactly who had asked for English paper and who had asked for Hindi paper. IITs know exactly who received those Hindi papers where there was a misprint. So where is the issue? This is simple and absolutely fair.

Well, it seems that some of those students who were supposed to read Hindi questions asked for English version during the exam, and if there was an extra English paper with the same code, they were given those English papers. So theoretically it is possible that in IITs' database the student is shown as someone who received that Hindi paper which had a misprint, but actually had taken an English paper. And for some strange reason fairness to such students is much more important for IITs than fairness to all the remaining students.

Third, a few questions which were supposed to have a single answer, it turned out that due to some ambiguity in the language can be interpreted to have an alternate answer.

IITs have declared such questions as invalid and given marks to everyone. The petition in SC is saying that if there can be two or even three potential answers to a question, then those marking those answers should get credit and those who have not given any answer or given the wrong answer should not get credit. Again, sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Most students while trying to solve that question would interpret it in one way or the other, and will solve accordingly. That there are multiple possible interpretations would not bother a student busy giving an exam. And hence it makes sense to award marks to both answers. On the contrary, there is a possibility that someone would be able to figure out that there are two interpretations and decide not to pursue this question because of negative marking. Also, there would be students who have marked an answer through guess work. Their probability of getting full marks would go up if this is accepted.

The question to be asked here is how many students may have left the question after realizing the ambiguity because of the negative marks? If that number is expected to be small, then one can be unfair to them rather than be unfair to thousands others. Also, note that such students actually had more time to solve other questions. So the level of unfairness to them is rather low. And yes, someone doing guess work will have a higher chance of success but giving marks to everyone is much more unfair to those who have solved the question. And this is exactly where the 2005 SC judgment may become relevant which says that only those students who have attempted a wrong question be given bonus marks.

Fourth, there are questions where IITs have declared a unique answer but many coaching institutions have come up with an alternate answers and IITs have decided not to consider them as correct. (These are questions beyond the 18 marks of bonus that IITs have given.)

IITs had sought response to their answer keys, and many coaching institutions and individuals had written to them about the alternate answers. IIT experts have rejected these answers without any explanation. (I wonder if IITs even considered those responses. I had also responded in an earlier year on a question which is in my area of research. Never got an answer either personally or on the GATE website, and my objection was not accepted.) The petition is asking that alternate answers be considered.

I think in all fairness, IITs must either explain why those alternate answers are incorrect or award marks for them. After all, those answers have been written by experts too, and there are only a few questions of this nature. Note that these are questions which are beyond the questions on which everyone has been given the bonus marks. So the total amount of confusion is actually beyond 18 marks.

What has been IITs response so far in the court?

I was not present in the court. So I am only reading the news papers who are notorious for not reporting fully. So take all this with a huge pinch of salt.

None of the news papers have mentioned anything about these questions. I do hope that IITs have an answer to these questions. All the newspapers have mentioned that IITs hired the highest law officer of the land, the Attorney General himself for defending it, and he told to the highest court of the land that since 30,000 students have already taken admission, and since it will take a long time to regrade 2.5 lakh copies, and because IITs have done everything on the basis of expert advice, the petition is not maintainable.

First of all, if the Attorney General claimed that it will take a long time to regrade 2.5 lakh copies, he was misinformed. 2.5 lakh students did not give the exam, and regrading is a matter of changing the key and running a software, which should take a few minutes to give the result.

But let me decode this legalese for you:

If Supreme Court decides to intervene in the matter, IITs have enough arguments to delay admissions by several days if not several weeks. That would cause lots of problems to lots of people. Since IITs are better at media communication than Supreme Court is, one can be sure that everyone in the country will blame SC and not IITs. So the best thing for the court to do is to look the other way, and let IITs continue with its erroneous decisions.

And the courts can easily suggest that since the matter is very technical and the courts are not equipped to deal with such technical matters, and because IITs are our crown jewels who can be trusted with anything technical, we would leave IITs to take a decision.


Rajeev Pathak said...

Sir I am not sure if I would like to agree with you on last 2 paragraphs.

If delay for couple of weeks also would be fine with every one for fairness to prevail.
Court can always form an expert committe containing experts in Physics chemistry and mathematics..that can give their opinion on 6 or seven questions within 3 to 4 days. The committe can not have profs from IITs using the simple principle of justice that accused can not decide the quantum of punishment for himself.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Rajeev, I am interpreting what Attorney General is reported to have said in the court and what IIT would like the court to order. It is not my view that I am writing in the last two paras.

Kandasamy Subramani said...

The contents of the last two paragraphs are unacceptable and probably the cause of IIT's arrogant attitude.

Please read my petition if you have not read it already

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Kandasamy, you are absolutely right that such decisions by IITs stem from the arrogance and courts have been extremely sympathetic to IITs which have made them even more arrogant. I hope this time the case is decided on merit and not under the threat of disruption.

ratan said...

You have highlighted exactly the points glossed over by IITs in pleading against the plaint. I wish IITs have taken JEE as serious business after the warning bells were sounded by series of RTIs starting from 2002. Unfortunately, things didn't shape up till date. I also feel it won't be a big problem to regrade 0.5% of omrs and retabulate the results. Of course, the merit list will change. So, be it. At least it will not be unfair.

Unknown said...

Sir,I think in a prestigious exam like jee advanced such errors should not be acceptable. A differrence of 30 marks(the maximum marks a student can gain through these bonus given by iit madras.At rank about 4k these marks means a lot.A student may not even get a seat that he deserves. All because of administration. He have to pay for the mistake that he doesn't in my opinions jee should take exam again.If there is not fair systems in exams like iit then whatelse we except from our education system and government. I want your views on this

Tarun Gupta said...

Sir,I think in a prestigious exam like jee advanced such errors should not be acceptable. A differrence of 30 marks(the maximum marks a student can gain through these bonus given by iit madras.At rank about 4k these marks means a lot.A student may not even get a seat that he deserves. All because of administration. He have to pay for the mistake that he doesn't in my opinions jee should take exam again.If there is not fair systems in exams like iit then whatelse we except from our education system and government. I want your views on this

ishaan singh said...

its fine but i do not think that supreme court will let go this matter so easily as compensation one attempt must be given to all those like me who missed seats due this mess

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

What is the guarantee that errors won't happen again. I think we need a fair system to deal with the errors while working towards a system where such errors will be minimised.

PAUL MOSES said...

According to me, IIT can cancel those 18 marks question, reduce the total from 366 to 348 then it will have clear sokurion to all the, highly sophisticated mistakes, that should not happen at this level.

arush saxena said...

sir dont you think that this will be unfair to those who somehow got good rank due to bonus and they skipped other options like jac delhi,bits ,iist what will they do if their ranks are degraded.
also sir dont you think that the petitioner has cleverly portrayed questions in which she was getting advantage.why not also see to other ambigous questions.

arush saxena said...

also sir dont you think that the fair decision would be to remove marks of ambigous questions and award ranks on the basis of correct/incorrect ratio keeping in mind different sections of paper and assign the rank

Person said...

With all due respect, Mr. Sanghi, I am afraid you are uninformed about case 3. Let me present you with the following situation.

Assume the following question is in JEE (Advanced).

If f(x) = log (x) to the base (-2), find f(-8).

Now, students who are not conceptually clear in mathematics will think as follows:

-2*-2 =4....4*-2 = -8....The answer must be 3!!!!!

However, we all know that logarithms are not defined for a negative base. Thus, this question cannot have a correct answer. However, anyone who follows the above reasoning is going to vehemently argue for the question to have the correct answer of 3. This is what is happening in the trigonometry question (not the exact mistake). The students who claim to have "solved" that question have not taken care to check whether the question and each option is valid for all cases. They have not proceeded to reread the question and check if their answer makes sense, a fundamental mistake in mathematics - one must always check if the answer obtained is correct. In this way, they are arguing that the question is not worth deleting. However intelligent the teachers in coaching institutes may be, they are not usually the best at English, and most of them have made the same mistake (happened at my institute as well). This cannot be considered valid.

I am sorry if I have been harsh or offensive.

Person said...

I would also like to post something about case 4 - The question included here is NOT ambiguous. The answers given by the coaching institutes to this question are not unanimously in agreement - the institutes have given answers like (ACD OR A), or just A (given by the IIT key). Again, this is due to poor skills in language comprehension. The option saying that 60 J is radiated by the body is wrong - it is actually 520 J radiated by the body, and 460 radiated by the environment for a net loss of 60 J. The option clearly did not use the term NET heat, rather just heat. The students are just raising a ruckus without justification here, and the key provided by the IIT is correct. This year, they have been unusually liberal with the answers, even going so far as to consider the answer to one question as (C or CD), implying that they have discussed the challenges by the students at length, contrary to what you believe.

Balakrishna Potluri said...

sir, we are proud of you.perfect analysis and everyone should go through your take on this issue including petitioning lawyers,judges. The cbi lawyer has asked bench suggest a just solution. Let us wish the petitioning lawyer followed your blog and suggest this fair solution to the bench and he attacks erroneous arguments by iit lawyer. sir i humbly request you please send this blog contents to those lawyers.
If judges slip through the route of the court is not so equipped to deal with highly technical issue like this and let iit,madras win as you suggested may happen. In fact,it is simple common sense, not highly technical excepting possible multiple answers to ambiguous questions.They can take the help of technical experts on this issue.
Personally we are thankful and indebted to persons like you who strive for justice and fairness by using your energy,time,intellect,basic goodness to make things better.
balakrishna potluri, vizag

Venkat, Singapore said...

Prof Sanghi, thanks for simplifying and explaining the errors in the questions lucidly. While I agree with your interpretation and recommendations for the first two types of errors, I am having difficulty in understanding and agreeing with the next two.

For the third type of error, how do you conclude that the number of students who may have left the question after realizing the ambiguity because of the negative marks, is expected to be small? In fact how can we know that number at all? And how can you say they had more time to do other questions? Is it not possible that a student spends more time than is required for the question because of the ambiguity, before recognizing it, and ultimately deciding to not attempt it?

For ambiguous questions you will likely have a range of students --
1. who attempted and got it right without realizing the ambiguity,
2. who attempted and got it wrong without realizing the ambiguity,
3. who attempted and got it right after recognizing and overcoming the ambiguity,
4. who attempted and got it wrong after recognizing and succumbing to the ambiguity,
5. who attempted realizing the ambiguity and hoping to benefit from bonus marks (coaching institutes tell their students to attempt questions that appear incorrect or ambiguous),
6. who did not attempt realizing the ambiguity and hoping to avoid negative marks,
7. who did not attempt without realizing the ambiguity and for an unrelated reason (didn't know how to solve such a question or did not have the time etc.)
8. and so on...

You wrote about fairness in your previous post. With such complexity, pray tell me how can one be fair by simply awarding marks only to the candidates who attempted the question? It is for this reason I feel the 2005 SC judgement is flawed. This is a problem without a solution. There is no way to undo the mistake and there is no way to apply a retrospective remedy that will satisfy everybody.

While the errors can be minimised, we have to understand that it is not possible to eliminate them altogether in future papers. I believe IITs take a bit of a risk in pushing the envelope of testing, knowing fully well that some of the questions may fail to unambiguously communicate, or may yet spring up an alternate answer by a sharper mind. If they do not have that freedom, we would sadly have to rely on standard questions at the end of textbooks for testing.

So rather than striving for the perfect paper with flawless questions, perhaps IITs should accept that every single question can and will be disputed, and find ways of dealing with it in a fair and equitable manner, that is transparent and known upfront.

For example, every question could have its pair (say, across paper 1 & 2) that tests similar concept, understanding, application, synthesis, judgement, and is of similar difficulty level. If one of the questions fails due to an error, the performance in its pair could be taken into account. Or some sophisticated statistical method could be applied to moderate the effect of a failed question, instead of bluntly adding bonus marks. I am sure IITs can come up with a good solution.

But for that to happen, we should first let it happen. The honourable Supreme Court I am afraid is not fully equipped to decide on this. We should trust and empower the IITs to fix this.

prakash chandra said...

The second type of error seems to have become the forte of JEE examination whenever it is organized by IITM. I remember we had the exact same issue when we appeared in JEE 2010.This shows how reluctant the system is to learn from its own mistakes.

Also with respect to the third type of error, there could be some students who realized the ambiguity in the question while attempting (solving) it and left the question unanswered, leading to a waste of their precious time. What percentage of examinees would fall under such category is anyone's guess. But this will surely fit the argument you put forward in your previous blog- filling the bubble is a proof of attempting but not filling a bubble is not a proof of lack of attempt.

Perhaps the only silver lining coming out from this turn of events is that it may provide a much-needed jolt to the IIT system to reform the whole process by which JEE is conducted.

iitmsriram said...

One possible way to deal with errors is to announce in advance what will be the corrective measure taken for each error; this may not be exhaustive, but will come pretty close. This is done in many competitive exams. For example, if multiple answers are correct in a question that is supposed to have only one correct answer, the corrective action might be to give positive score for any of the correct answers. To avoid ambiguities in scoring, we already give right on the question paper what the scoring scheme is for each section (+4 for blah blah, +1 for blah and -2 for all other cases etc etc). This way, candidates will be aware how to deal with some kind of errors on the question papers. And yes, it is more important that we spend more time to ensure that errors do not happen. I personally feel that eliminating Hindi question paper will reduce some errors and carrying it is not worth it.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@iitmsriram, Fully agree that we should have an algo published in advance for cases that happen regularly. Hindi question paper, of course, is a political hot potato. Will discuss that in some other blog.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Tarun, as I have said above in response to @Unknown that I am not in favor of a re-exam. There is no guarantee that there won't be errors again. We need to find an approximate solution now. Re-exam is also an approximate solution. People who did well on one day may not do well again on another day. And re-exam delays the academics by months. So the cost is too high for no or very little gain.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@arush, I agree that there is an unfairness to those who undeservedly got into IITs and rejected BITS/IIITs, etc. But they can certainly get into NITs and Govt IIITs even now, which is only marginally worse than getting into BITS/IIITs. So if I have to choose between being slightly unfair to undeserving students, and hugely fair to deserving students, I would choose the latter. In any case, I have also suggested in my previous blog that to resolve this issue, the court may place a penalty on all IITs by way of forcing them to admit 10% extra students in this batch. That will ensure that those students whose ranks go down somewhat are not affected at all, and those students whose ranks plunge really badly are affected slightly.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@arush, If you think IITM has created a bigger mess than what this petitioner is pointing out, please join the petition. You have not pointed out a single new flaw but are willing to besmirch the petitioner who had the courage to go to SC and spend a lot of money and effort.

Bittu S said...

Sir regrading of upper rankers of 4 times of total no. of seats for each category( gen. sc. bc....) in iits is sufficient . what is the need to regrade all. 2.5l fig. is wrong and not required to regrade I mean no use of re ranking a student of( gen) whose current rank is 20000+

Rajeev Pathak said...

Do not agree. As Dheeraj sir say following could be the solution:

Printing error related 2 questions : Marks should be given to only correct answers as per original key published on 4th June by IIT Madras. For Hindi version of questions for one of the paper codes, answers become different due to printing mistake. So answer key for this specific Hindi paper set with printing mistake should be different. And those few hundred students should be evaluated based on that specific answer key.

Rotation question in Physics : Only two possible answers based on how you interpret the question. So answer key for this question should be either or of these options as given by most coaching institutes.

Maths trigonometry question..there is not much issue in this question. Answers should be C and D as given by almost every coaching institute. If it is proven that it is wrong question - then bonus could be given.

Definite integral question…this is the only question which for sure has no correct answer. So bonus should given to all here or question should be cancelled.

Rajeev Pathak said...

No petitioner has not cleverly portrayed he questions in which she is getting advantage. Petitioner is asking for revaluation of all 5 questions which are given bonus irrespective of the face is he has attempted or done these rightly.

Those who ranks will come down due to bonus will still have IITs to choose based on new ranks, they also have all NITs and GFTIs based on mains rank.

They have even BITS until today evening. Not sure what they will miss.

Basic principle of justice in case like this is that students should get the ranks they deserved based on their performance in the examination.

Rajeev Pathak said...

No, out of 5 questions - only 1 is surely incorrect. Rest 4 should be evaluated based on correct answer key.

Rajeev Pathak said...

completely agree sir.

Rajeev Pathak said...

100% agree with you sir.

Rajeev Pathak said...

completely agree sir.

Bhavesh Parikh Bhavesh said...

Sir, Your views are exactly same as petitioners. You don't seem to have any issues with those students who will get injustice by withdrawal of the IIT seats already offered due to reranking. It was not their fault about the grace marks given by IIT. Now at this stage, it is equally unfair to do reranking and punish them. Imagine the kind of pain they will pass through - they have already informed friends, relatives neighbours... what they will tell them now... you don't understand this... you don't understand this at all.

Person said...

I agree that the court should impose a penalty by allowing extra seats in IITs, but is this a feasible solution. Aren't the hostels in IITs already overcrowded?

As of now, I just hope that the court accepts option (e) - the petitioner herself agrees to it. After all, what's important in a court of law is that both parties reach an agreement, right? No current student involved in JoSAA 2017 would have any problem with this, and since no other petition is being contested in a court, all those who want some change with the bonus marks are supporting this petition only, implying that they too support option (e).

Person said...

Also, if you know, could you please tell us when the hearing starts, and when the verdict will be delivered? Thanks in advance, sir.

Person said...

Also, for the questions which were messed up in the Hindi paper, I think they can consider the answers as (ABC OR ABCD) and (5 or 6). IIT M should have done this before and I think they made a mistake in this. I agree with the petitioner on this point. However, I too agree with an earlier commenter that the JEE paper should be only in English. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, Professor.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

Dear @Person, In public writing (as in preparing question papers for public exams), there is a huge danger of readers misunderstanding the author. And I think that is what has happened here. The case 3 is those questions where IITs believe that there are multiple answers and since the question was supposed to have a single answer, therefore cancel the question. I am not an expert in P/C/M and hence can not discuss specific question's correctness. I can only talk about the general principles which should, in my opinion, guide the decision. And I am only arguing that if there exists a question with multiple answers in the section where there was supposed to be a single answer, and because of that IITs have decided to cancel the question, then it is wrong, and the marks should be given to all correct answers. If there is no such question, and the category 3 is empty, then ignore my suggestion on category 3.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

Dear @Person, in terms of category 4, I am not saying anywhere that coaching center answers be accepted. I am only saying that if there are a few answers (I fully understand that every single email can not be responded to) which some experts have written and are widely believed by candidates, then IITs should either show a fault in those answers or accept those answers. You are saying that those answers are all wrong. May be they are all wrong. As I said above, I am not an expert in P/C/M and therefore can not talk about specific question, but only the principles. And if the answers by coaching centers are all wrong, IITs can explain why they are wrong and close this chapter. Where is the problem?

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Venkat, you are right that we can't have complete data on this. But we know that most questions, most students are unable to do, and hence one may conclude that even this question could not have been done by most students. Further, recognizing that a question has two possible interpretations is generally even rarer. Notice that everything that IITs are saying is also hand-waiving. They don't have data either. So the issue is can there be better arguments about how many people will be affected negatively in one decision or the other. If you insist on exact data, then you shouldn't support IITs either. You should demand a re-exam.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Bittu, Once it has been decided on how to deal with errors, regrading will take minutes. If we do regrading of 40,000 as opposed to 1,60,000, the saving is perhaps in seconds. Why save seconds.

Person said...

Mr. Sanghi, I have just received word that the Court has lifted the stay order. No changes will be made to the admission process. I received this from a secondary source though, so it may contain errors.

iitmsriram said...

@arush has not pointed out, but I saw at least one other question with unintended ambiguity. There is this problem with figure 8 shaped loop of wire with 2A and A areas of the loops and this 8-loop is spinning in a magnetic filed and hence generating a current. The intent is that answer would be emf is difference in area between the loops as the sense of current is opposite in the two loops or 2A - A, or emf numerically equal to that generated by smaller loop. One of the answer choices is emf is proportional to sum of area of the loops which is wrong on principle as the sense of current is ignored. However, in my opinion, this answer is also technically correct as sum of areas is 3A and any emf that is proportional to A is also definitely proportional to 3A; how do I not know that this is a trick question intended to check if I realise that being proportional to A also implies proportional to 3A. Even the coaching institutions do not want to contest this kind of ambiguity, it would appear. These kinds of ambiguities should be caught during whetting but it does not seem to be happening ...

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Person, I think everyone will face some difficulty if 10% extra admissions are done. But not much. For example, IIT Kanpur has a student population of almost 7000. If 83 extra admissions happen, it won't lead to a collapse of infrastructure.

Now, I am told, many other students have joined the petition. And they may not be happy with just another chance to appear in JEE Advanced.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Person, I do not know the time of the hearing. But I am sure as soon as something happens in SC, it will be on every news channel.

Kishore Kapoor said...

another safe decision taken by the court

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Person, we can have a discussion on language politics separately on some other occasion. Discussing it here would dilute the impact of this blog article.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Bhavesh, I do understand that it won't be easy for them. But if they were on the other side, what would they have done. If someone else had a better rank than them because of an error, would they feel happy?

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Bhavesh, and by the way, I did suggest in my previous blog that IITs be forced to admit 10% extra students so that most people of this kind can still be accommodated.

Ranjai Banerji said...

Very thorough write up.

I have a slightly different view with regard to questions with multiple correct answers - some people will leave the question thinking that they've made an error. Pedants would too, and they're not a tiny minority. The type of question would make a difference.

What happened in the JEE advanced this year seems nothing compared to the brazen mismanagement in the Common Admission Test between 2009 and 2013. There was litigation in several High Courts, but the IIMs successfully obscured the issues and confused the courts.

They had the sense to eventually address these issues, though.

Prashant Gupta said...

Every thing finished now।,some if the students will have to learn that despite of their 2 - 3 years long efforts, They have to eat fruits of erroneous systems and last warnings

Prashant Gupta said...

So a student , who got deprived of good rank due to bonus mark has to remember his whole life that the IITM will not repeat mistake.They have been issued warning.And he should hide tears and feel very happy

Kandasamy Subramani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kandasamy Subramani said...

Please see discrepancy in what was given in the instructions and what IITM informed the court (as in part of the judgement copy) about question paper language.

To my knowledge, IITM did not make it public that they would entertain change in Question paper language after registration.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

My information from JEE office is that English students were not allowed to get the Hindi paper. But the first two Hindi students (for each paper code) were allowed to get an English paper.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

Frankly, I am not surprised. I have followed many court cases involving IITs and what I have written in the last two paragraphs has often happened. Those lines were not a joke or sarcasm but reality of our legal system.

This is not the first time nor will it be the last time that IITs would have displayed their incompetence to handle an exam. The undertaking that such errors will not be repeated is unimplementable and everyone in the country except SC knows this.

Kandasamy Subramani said...

Sir, if you had seen me earlier message, they have submitted in the court that (if you did not see the documents attached to the link in my previous message)

"Therefore, a set of Hindi question papers is sent along with English question papers to all the exam centres".

The above statement means to me that if any student who originally opted for English paper wants a Hindi paper, he would get it.

This is contrary to what you have been told (quoting you) - "My information from JEE office is that English students were not allowed to get the Hindi paper"

Do we infer that the flagship engineering college of the country has spelt lies under oath? They will do anything to save their skin. Really shameful.

I had great respect to these institutions, but not anymore.

Yasharth Bajpai said...

Sir,in my opinion the Supreme Court needed a third party expert team,as it itself is not well equipped to challenge the IITs technically or theoretically,experts from IITs would have tried to portray themselves as correct to get rid of the case.However they could have challenged the IITs logically in the case of printing mistakes.The IITs were successful in misleading the court due to the influence of their prowess in the technical world and moreover their law officer,respected Attorney general of India.Looking forward to meet you sir at IITK.Nice to read your blogs revealing the truth that was far from the Court


I had a great hope on honorable SC as my son who has JEE MAIN ALL INDIA GENERAL RANK near 700 and gone down to near 2800 in Jee ADAVNCED. He has consistent in CREDENTIAL KVPY NEAR 300, NEST ALL INDIA within TOP 9, BITP 366/450. I am sure if all will be done he may get back 1200-1500. I prayed a lot at Jagannath temple on previous night. I t is just because as you exactly conveyed the IIT expert committee of Jee-advanced can do the best, and we see what best they have done to us. I still have two objections 1. why those questions which my son finds have some alternate answers differ from official keys, when we submitted for kind re-consideration, if not accepted as correct officially then, reasons must be provided. 2. Some question set in english which are given grace have actually definite answers too. Only Pray God if anybody has done any dishonest to our innocent children and finally stopped them who have all for class 8-class 12, a long five years hard work and dedication, to show that they can conquer such test and get a deserving rank, God will never forgive them. As finally till today, my son understood in IIT, it does not differ much if one get rank 1 till rank 400, as all they are the same as doing a CS in open in any of old IITs or at IIT Gawhati, IITHyderbad are all same. Similarly, it is same 400-1500, Doing any other core at any IITs among this and so on 1500-3000, they all are same. So what, Does anybody will gain from such mistake of the system if at all has been done so far. Only it is between excellent and very good, even grace marks upto 25, they will only remain and wish they will only have bright future.Only difference is her mother will cry for that her son forced to move from his local IIT Delhi Mechanical branch to far Kharagpur or Guwahati for same branch if so interested for that, and he is now forcefully separated by the wrong system(not because of his actual performance) from her mother's love, by could not geting the deserving rank. All such committee will come, finish the exam, rank list, admission and go and then forget everything, but for the sufferer parents and child, it will continue in their mind. The thought will continue, "is this the best system they are so seriously worked for, as both waited for last 5-years years to see the light of success". and also for every day upto next four years then never will be forgiving that how their son really has been a real sufferer for the same reason never explained by the authority "why it was like that type of evaluation or why that answer key/ or a set of answer keys will be correct not this one or those keys are". They will also doubt one major part of the exam system and its evaluation and ask Why then they display answer key and ask for comments of candidates who writes exam and believe us it is only doubts and doubts for JEE-ADVANCED 2017. Pray God all these will go in times to come and not any more get such suffering

Prakhar Srivastava said...

Sir, your third point is wrong ,sorry to say but you are being mislead ,the questions which had multiple intepretations did have different set of answers but the bonuses are given for wrong questions and it can be proved that they were wrong and there was no choice but to give bonus , and for the 4th point you are again being mislead almost all the coachings gave multiple set of answers and one did match the one given by IIT so it was not unique .
And yes IIT M was definitely at fault with that 7 bonus marks.
Sir your words have a huge impact so I beg you please first do thorough analysis of the petition there are many things wrong and it wont be right to mislead the public beacause of that.

Rajeev Pathak said...

I understand your situation fully. There are atleast 1500 to 2000 students whose ranks are reduced by 1000 to 2000 due to blunder by IITM.

IITM will get punishment some day for their incompetence and bad judgement in awarding bonus marks. Where I am appalled is that they had a chance to correct mistake when petition was filed which they did not do.
Throughout students learning of 16 years..teachers tell that you should learn from mistake and correct it. Also we should be truthful.

Sadly profs part of JEE administration this year have proven that they do not deserve to be teacher leave aside being an adminstrator. They did a mistakes, did not correct it and lied at Supreme court.

Respect of IITM and JEE body this year has gone down drastically in eyes of all those deserving students who have lost ranks for no fault of theirs.

Rajeev Pathak said...

One should never ask an accused on what should be your punishment irrespective of reputation of accused.
Sadly SC seems to have missed it this time.

Rajeev Pathak said...

One wonders why should we send our kids to such institutions...
They are so arrogant and incompetent.

Share Barot said...

I am not sure about the quality of students being admiited to the IITs nowadays,but I am sure that the quality of the teachers have gone down tremendously !!I never heard anything like these in our days of 80's IIT-JEE.Seemms Advanced has become inferior.When r the IIT guys switching back to the subjective test?These multiple choice formats seems to be producing more parrots than the knowledge or ski seekers !!

Prashant Gupta said...

It is very difficult to tell the victimized kids that it is not only hard work , but you should be lucky also.It is also very difficult to tell them that those who have not answered those questions are smarter and lucky and despite of digital india dhamaka , and MAN KI BAT , and lot euphoria , there might be some evils of your previous life

Prashant Gupta said...

The Accused IITs got relief, The Students who not attempted questions also got benefitted by SC Decision.Those students who attempted questions of 7 marks in english paper got bad luck and low rank , due to others fault. so At this juncture , the IITs can atleast do something justice to these students , without disrupting counseling or other students.Let such a students got 220 marks and AIR 4500 , and had attempted those 7 mks question.And his freind also got 227 marks , (220+7 bonus) AIr 4300.So after 7th round , The AIr 4500 student *which would have been atleast 4300, should be allowed to change and choose branch at the AIR 4300.This kind of students will not be many and will do justice to them

Saurabh Joshi said...

Since there are so many comments, I could not read all of them. But I saw some very harsh words being used against not only organizing IIT but IITs in general. So let me put my views on this.

I agree that there were many shortcomings and the process needs improvement. Having said that, I can vouch that institute representatives were instructed to allow change of language on either side (Hindi to English and vice versa). Therefore, even though on record someone might have got the erroneous question paper, he/she may not have got it and the students who on record got the correct question paper might have gotten the erroneous one.

Since there is no way to exactly match who got which set of question paper, and also no way to say who did not attempt because of ambiguity in the question, the question boils down to which set of students do you do injustice to. There is no way you can be fair to all in this case. I do not want to go in the debate that which injustice is better than the other.

I again repeat that there should be more rigor to have some quality assurance, and processes in different failure scenarios should have been in place. However, some of the comments insinuating mala fide intentions on part of IITs is not really nice.

Prashant Gupta said...

A candidate gets minus marks and thrown out of the race for a slight error.There is always records ,who changes which paper.Also students have hardly taken exams 2 times, but the institute are experience of atleast 500 cycles of conducting exams.Even , now , they are not willing to correct.They exactly know , thay who are students who do not got bonus marks and got english paper.This student can be given modified rank.But ,. .

Prashant Gupta said...

Moreover, various set of papers are created by extracting single file and copy paste , it is difficult to understand , how two three versions of hindi file was used ,when given for printing?

Kandasamy Subramani said...

@Saurab Joshi. I am an aggrieved parent. I am quoting your observations and try to make sense out of it!

I should admit, that the whole process was transparent till the publication of the official answer key on 4th June 2017. The revised answer key was( I believe put up on 10 night) put up without any announcement and sadly was linked to the official answer key announced on 4th June. One would realise that it is a different file only after downloading. Why was this not announced? I came to know about this only on the 13th June after reading news paper reports.

"I agree that there were many shortcomings and the process needs improvement. Having said that, I can vouch that institute representatives were instructed to allow change of language on either side (Hindi to English and vice versa)."

What is the source of this information? If it is true, it is opposite to what the instructions for filling up applications said. Has this change in the policy of allowing change in QP language made known to all the applicants / candidates by publicising in the media or web site? Was it announced in the examination halls? So one can break protocols because they are an autonomous body and get away with it.

"Therefore, even though on record someone might have got the erroneous question paper, he/she may not have got it and the students who on record got the correct question paper might have gotten the erroneous one."

Do you mean to say that the question papers are not accounted for? The invigilator in any examination is responsible for the material distributed in the examination hall and account every single page.

"There is no way you can be fair to all in this case. I do not want to go in the debate that which injustice is better than the other."

If you take into account that only <10% of candidates who take (what I used to consider a prestigious examination) the Hindi paper, don't you think awarding bonus marks to the ineligible 90% candidates who took the English paper is unfair? This unfairness unfortunately is more so to the Hindi candidates. How was such a simple logic slip the high level committee's brains?

Mistakes do happen and it should be sorted out equitably.

The Supreme court gave relief to the IIT's which were at fault, but failed to redress the Students. IIT's and the Supreme Court should have been magnanimous and created 10-15% extra seats and accommodated more students. Shouldn't the people who did not do their job be taken to task?

The arrogance and incompetence will continue in the years to come and (with all respects to you)will unfortunately be supported by people like you.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Saurabh, Till 10 years ago, I used to have the same feeling regarding IIT system that there can be mistakes but no malafide. Today my stand is that I don't comment on the issue of malafide. I simply don't know.

Saurabh Joshi said...

@Kandasamy Subramani :

The count of question papers are accounted for, but which question paper went to which student was not tracked. Only the last digit of the question paper and the answersheet was supposed to match. On one hand I agree that one should stick to the rules announced a priori, on the other hand it leads to the exam being not so "user friendly" and people will should that the center is following the procedures to the letter and not in the spirit. For example, in the procedure, there was no mention of what to do regarding Bio break if a student asks for it. So should the students not be allowed to go to the bathroom because it wasn't there in the procedure announced a priori? I am sure if protocols are followed to the letter, there will be lot of other complaints. I would like to believe that change in question papers were allowed with the intention of being student friendly. I don't know whether that was really the intention of the organizing IIT or not. But I don't see what other motive could have been behind it.

Again, I do not want to argue which "injustice" would be better. You have one perspective, on the other hand, some other parent would shout, "Injustice!", if the solution proposed by you is implemented. Frankly, I do not know which one would be correct. I feel it's similar to the following ethical conundrum : If someone says that there are 10 people in a queue, either you shoot one of them or he will kill all of them, what would you do? I don't think there is any right answer.

Let me repeat that the quality checks should have been more rigorous, may be announce a priori what procedure would be followed in various failure scenario (including wrong questions, ambiguous questions, multiple correct answers etc.).

I won't post further comments on this topic.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Saurabh, in your previous comment, it was more like I don't want to get into the debate of which injustice is preferable. In this second comment, you are almost saying that since you don't know, it is ok to take a random call, and in that sense supporting IIT system. And the example given is very unfortunate. The reality is much simpler and much more obvious. If you read all the comments, even those who have benefited from IITs arrogance and lying, are saying that they should be protected since they have rejected other options already. Particularly for the question in which the Hindi variant is a misprint, even they are not arguing as to what would be the right thing to do.

And the petition's last point was that those who have missed getting a decent rank in JEE because of this may be allowed to take JEE Advanced next year. Who will be facing injustice if IITs were to allow a few thousand extra students in JEE Advanced 2018. Even this point has been denied by IITs. It is, I am sorry to say, plain arrogance, nothing else.

Prashant Gupta said...

Are recruiters not aware of the happenigs in jee exam this year.Will they still believe in quality , which is synthesized

Ajay Kumar said...

IIT Madras said that they entertain language change option till the last moment of exam. And Our Hon'ble court accepted this argument.
The 7 Zonal IITs send their Professor and Representative to each and every centre in India. And they (Representative) are the Head Invigilator of Exam centre. It is their sole Responsibility of fair conduction of Exam. They are required to follow the guidelines.
See this page from Guidelines given to IIT Representative.

When there is no language change option available for students. (According to Information Brochure)
And also, No language change option were allowed by Invigilator. (According to Guidelines)
Then How IIT Madras could change language of Many students? (Only God knows How.)

Must See this blog :

Krithik Garg said...

Sir , your tweet on news article in telegraph on vacant seats in iits. I want to add that the article heading is totally misleading. So many deserving students are still waiting for allotment of these vacant seats. Many students have sent their request to Josaa chairman to allot these vacant seats on the basis of their merit in Jee Advanced.