HRD Minister Kapil Sibal chaired yesterday's IIT Council meeting.One of the issues for this September meeting of the august body was how to reconcile IITs' exceptionalist stand on entrance exams with MHRD's keenness on running just one nation-wide test, and on giving a fairly big weight to the students' performance in Board exams.
IITs are too fond of JEE to let go of it, and they insist on the use of Board exams and NAT as filters to get a hundred thousand students who will then be subjected to a JEE.
In a post-meeting interview, IIT-Roorkee director said this:
JEE is a good format and this is helping in filtering students well. Till a suitable system evolves, it cannot be done away with.
There's nothing objectionable about the second statement. But what about the first statement? Wasn't there a Committee of IIT Directors -- including the Director of IIT-Roorkee! -- whose mandate was to establish whether the JEE is indeed "a good format" and if "this is helping in filtering students well"?
Here, then, is the ringing endorsement from the Committee (this excerpt is from Section 6 of the Committee's draft report):
Analysis of JEEs and Suggestions for Change
An analysis of the performance of the relatively few students admitted to the IITs over the last decade in the IIT-JEE and subsequently in the IITs ( 2 tier JEE was conducted between 2000 and 2005 and a single objective-type examination has been conducted since 2006) leads the following broad and somewhat expected conclusions:
There is a strong correlation between the Standard X and Standard XII marks and CGPA including the final performance in IIT.
Both AIR and percentage marks at Standard XII are better correlated to the CGPA only upto the end of the first year.
There is poor correlation between AIR and the CGPA of GE and OBC candidates from 2nd year onwards.
Percentage of marks at XII level better explains group performance in later years.
Students with high AIR (less than 1000) have higher score at XII level while aberrations are more prominent at lower AIRs.
An analysis of the performance of students in the screening and main tests of IIT JEE between 2000 and 2005 showed a considerable overlap between the sets of top 5000 students although their ranks within the sets showed little correlation. Hence it would be expedient to settle for a completely objective single examination.