With this year's JEE just five days away, Manoj Mitta reminds us about the mistakes that crept into the math paper last year. While I did link to the story when it broke, I didn't realize the true magnitude of the errors: five questions worth 18 marks in all.
Given that each mark is worth some 70 ranks (for ranks in the range of 500 - 7500), these errors are horribly costly and unfair.
The high cost of the mistakes were compounded last year by the IITs' policy to not make the answers public immediately after the exam. As a consequence of this policy, they did not eliminate the effects of these mistakes during grading. Clearly, then, the 2008 rank list released by the IITs must have had huge flaws / holes.
Mitta's article alerts us that the IITs have not indicated when they'll make the answers public this year:
Though the Joint Admission Board of JEE 2009 discussed Joshi’s correspondence, as disclosed to TOI by its chairman Gautam Baruah, its information brochure gives no indication whether the model-answer sheet would be made public at least this time, immediately after the exam, so that any mistakes there could be corrected before the damage is done with the announcement of results.