Saturday, February 10, 2007

Higher Ed Links ...

Kirit Parikh, Member of India's Planning Commission, offers yet another nuanced alternative to reservation. It is based on rescaling one's entrance test scores based on individual as well as group disadvantages.

Take the school-leaving exam as the starting point. Then take the average of each subgroup of students. One can differentiate many such groups.

Then take the difference between the highest average scoring subgroup and the average of a particular subgroup and add that difference as a nurture handicap to the marks of all those who belong to that particular subgroup. After this the admission is strictly on merit.

Parikh's proposed scheme depends heavily on entrance exams, without questioning their design nor their fairness. We know all (well, sort of!) about the limitations of the current set of exams, don't we?

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In other news:

Urmi Goswami reports that accreditation of colleges and universities is to become mandatory.

Harvard is on the verge of making history:

[The selection of Drew Gilpin Faust] by a search committee, if ratified as expected by the Board of Overseers on Sunday, would make Harvard the fourth Ivy League university to name a woman. It comes two years after Lawrence H. Summers, then president of the university, set off a storm by suggesting that a lack of intrinsic aptitude could help explain why fewer women than men reach the top ranks of science and math in universities.

A controversial Princeton lab, on the other hand, becomes history.


  1. Pratik Ray said...

    We all know of the fairness of the JEEs, but perhaps it is also worthwhile to examine the fairness of the other exams, namely, the board exams. The way I see it, one of the reasons we needed a JEE was because the board exams are failures in terms of gauging a student's mastery over his subject. Then of course, comes the issue of evaluation of the answer scripts, which in many instances are marked by sheer callousness.

    Parikh also mentions the use of IQ test. I seem to recall that quite a few people have been advocating them. But then, every system has its pitfalls. With regards to IQ tests, I will just leave an interesting link over here.