In 2006, the cutoff marks in maths, physics and chemistry were 37, 48 and 55 respectively. The corresponding marks for IIT-JEE 2007, in a bizarre twist, fell to as low as 1, 4 and 3.
Shocking as they are, the figures were kept under wraps in order to protect the credibility of IITs, a global brand. The authorities have, however, been forced to disclose the cutoff marks thanks to applications under the Right to Information Act, 2005.
The reduction in cutoff marks to single digits has made a mockery of the concept which is meant to ensure that selected candidates display a certain minimum level of knowledge in each of the three subjects. This has opened up the possibility of students making it to the merit list of IIT-JEE despite scoring nearly zero in the crucial test in mathematics.
The fall in the cutoffs in last year's examination defies logic as the overall performance of candidates actually went up. This is evident from the fact that the aggregate of the last candidate to have been selected in 2007 is 206, which is up from 154 the previous year.
The first and last paragraphs in the above quote do paint a seemingly illogical picture. It would be great if someone who knows more about this issue comes forward to share some inside info.
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