Sunday, January 25, 2009

Higher Ed links

Hemali Chhapia has a report in which Prof. Damodar Acharya, Director, IIT-Kharagpur, is quoted as saying that JEE is a 'flawed system' of selecting students, and that it "hurts the high school system".

The start of Techfest's 2009 edition was not all fun and games. The controversial issue of scrapping the IIT-JEE came under the spotlight when IIT-Kharagpur director Damodar Acharya pointed out the "flawed system'' of selecting students with an objective type entrance examination. ...

He told TOI, after the discussion, that JEE in a way was hurting the high school system as IIT aspirants focused only on JEE. "I am against JEE and feel it should be eliminated. Why can't we take students on the basis of Std XII marks? Anyway, we take in less than 1% of our top science students after 10+2 and these are very bright children."

In expressing these views, he joins Prof. M.S. Ananth, Director, IIT-M.

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Shafi Rahman has short piece in India Today about how the National Knowledge Commission, the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the University Grants Commission have been fighting over the autonomy levels at the new Central Universities. since this government is in a hurry to set the ball rolling, and since the next session of the Parliament may be too late (the General Elections may be announced anytime soon, and the government may not be able to announce any new policies), it has gone with the ordinance route. This bit in an otherwise bleak report is genuinely good

As a first step, the ministry has decided to do away with the tag of World Class University, an idea which has won it the NKC’s applause . The Act will now be termed the National Universities System Act instead of the World Class University System Act. “We can’t name a child ‘genius’, who is at risk of growing up clueless,” says a ministry official.


  1. Anonymous said...

    i don't know how "necessary" or "unnecessary" are those squabbles when the all important terms (maybe US style capitalist hype/bubble) should be "game-changing" and "disruptive" steps forward.
    there is no doubt that institution building in india should come under this category.

  2. Anonymous said...

    additionally building/starting these new institutions should be treated as a skunkworks project

  3. L said...

    Regarding JEE-
    I have been teaching students who have just passed their XII and entered college. Believe me in state boards, getting 98% or 99% is a matter of memorising answers to all possible questions that can be asked. There is a question bank. This effectively means the child memorises about 1000 answers and then can get 99% marks. I and my colleagues find that mostly (very few exceptions)those who get 95% or above in their +2 exams, can learn only if each topic is stated as a question with an answer or at least as notes with a subheading.
    It is usually those with marks 75%--85% who are fairly good and are able to learn and can think independently-- at least to some extent.
    JEE must be made analysis based -- conducted early to give a lot of time to do the correction and evaluation. There should be a shifting pattern and it should be made "coaching impervious".

  4. Winnowed said...

    Entrance exams became vogue in India because the 12th standard exams are very unreliable. However, we now have a situation where students prepare only for the entrance exams and ignore the 12th standard syllabus. We ought to reform the 12th standard exam system and make it more reliable. Also, the syllabus should be more or less the same throughout India. Once this is done, we can and must do away with all entrance exams.