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ganpat1956

Explain JEE cut-offs, CIC warns IIT

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ganpat1956

New Delhi, Aug. 7: The Indian Institutes of Technology still cannot explain the method they followed in setting the admission criteria in 2006 — a whole year after the process.

 

They have so far given four answers, some contradictory and some impossible to verify.

 

The Telegraph had on Monday reported an allegation by some candidates’ parents that the IITs had flouted their stated procedure — divulged under the Right to Information Act (RTI) — for setting the cut-off marks for physics, chemistry and math.

 

That procedure was one of two contradictory explanations the IITs have given the parents. They have now given a third explanation to Calcutta High Court, where one parent has challenged the 2006 admissions.

 

An IIT administrator involved with the 2006 Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) took position No. 4 when contacted by The Telegraph. He said “some fixed process had to exist” but had no idea what it was.

 

Replying to the parents’ RTI application last December, five months after the exam was over, the IITs had said there was “no fixed procedure” to determine cut-off marks. That reply was issued by D. Gunasekaran, registrar of IIT Kharagpur, the institute that oversaw the implementation of JEE 2006.

 

The second answer came five months later after the Central Information Commission (CIC) intervened. The parents were given a definite formula, explained in this newspaper on Monday.

 

Calculations based on that formula — and checked by this newspaper — show the cut-offs for physics, chemistry and math should have been 22, 26 and 24. But the cut-offs the IITs had actually used were 48, 55 and 37. They had also set an aggregate cut-off of 154.

 

The explanation to the high court tries to address this problem by offering a slightly amended version: formula II.

 

According to this, the marks of students who scored zero or less in any subject — the JEE awards negative marks for wrong answers — were not considered while determining the subject cut-offs. This would raise the cut-offs.

 

But one cannot verify if formula II exactly explains the gap between the official cut-offs and the parents’ cut-offs unless the IITs reveal the marks scored in each subject by all two lakh candidates.

 

The institutes had flatly refused to do so when the parents asked for it under RTI, later releasing only the marks of the top 32,000 under CIC pressure.

 

Several independent statisticians told this newspaper that neither formula I (the one provided under CIC pressure) nor formula II “seems feasible”. Both methods could —and probably would — allow the majority of candidates who sat the exam to qualify.

 

This is because either formula would let in “nearly 70 per cent” of the candidates considered while calculating the subject cut-offs, said Anish Sarkar, who teaches at the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi.

 

Ravindra Bapat, who heads ISI Delhi, and his Chennai-based colleague B.L.S. Prakash Rao gave a slightly different figure: “definitely over 50 per cent”.

 

Since the first formula considers all two lakh who sat the exam (as explained in Monday’s report), this means up to 1.40 lakh students could make the subject cut-offs. The second formula only leaves out those with negative scores, and unless their number runs into several tens of thousands, even this amended procedure would not help.

 

Since the IITs cannot have known in advance how many students would end up with negative marks, why would they choose this method prior to the exam, the experts asked.

 

With such huge numbers clearing the subject cut-offs, it would be the aggregate cut-off — based on the around 6,000 seats available — that alone would make the difference.

 

Why should the IITs then set subject cut-offs at all, saddling themselves with a useless and cumbersome intermediate process, the statisticians asked.

 

A selection process that initially weeds out less than 50 per cent seems incongruent with the objective of choosing 6,000 students, which is just 3 per cent, they said.

 

Shishir Dube, who headed the Joint Admission Board that decided the policies for JEE 2006, initially said the cut-offs were set by another body, the Joint Implementation Committee.

 

When told that all policy matters are decided by the board, the former IIT Kharagpur director agreed that a definite procedure “must” exist.

 

“But that must have been set before my time (as board chief). We didn’t decide any procedure,” said Dube, now a faculty member at IIT Delhi.

 

Gunasekaran declined comment.

 

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sidmis

How does the IIT-JEE, one of the most respected competitive examinations in the world, determine who makes the cut-off for admission?

In response to notices sent by the Central Information Commission (CIC) on an RTI application, IIT authorities have given conflicting versions, putting the JEE under a cloud.

 

CIC member O P Kejariwal has threatened to take an "extremely serious" view if IIT Kharagpur, which conducted the JEE in 2006, did not disclose by January 15 how exactly it had calculated the cut-off marks in that test in each of the three subjects: mathematics, physics and chemistry.

 

This is the third non-compliance notice issued by CIC to IIT Kharagpur, which was found to have given two different versions of the statistical procedure for the cut-off. Worse, neither of those versions was found to tally with the cut-off marks admittedly applied in the 2006 IIT-JEE.

As per the system, every year a different IIT conducts the JEE by rotation but now RTI has put a question mark on the credibility of what is considered a global brand.

 

Consider the sequence of events that led to such a pass:

  • In October 2006, the parent of an unsuccessful candidate filed RTI applications asking for cut-off marks, procedure for arriving at them and marks of the students above the cut-off marks in the IIT-JEE held that year.
  • -In December '06, IIT Kharagpur gave an evasive reply saying there was "no fixed procedure or technique" for deciding the cut-off marks. It said the decision is made each year "depending on the overall performance of the candidates".
  • -In May 2007, after hearing an appeal filed by the aggrieved parent, CIC directed IIT Kharagpur to disclose all the information sought under RTI and issued notice on why penalty should not be imposed for its failure to do so till then.
  • -The same month, IIT Kharagpur, besides disclosing the cut-off marks and marks of the students above those levels in each of the subjects in the 2006 JEE, came up with the first version of the procedure for arriving at the cut-offs.
  • -In June 2007, CIC issued a non-compliance notice as the stated procedure did not tally with the cut-off marks.
  • -In July 2007, IIT Kharagpur said the information provided by it was correct.
  • -In August 2007, CIC issued a second non-compliance notice.
  • -The same month, IIT Kharagpur came up with a second version of the procedure for determining the cutoff marks.
  • -In September 2007, CIC closed the case on the basis of the second version.
  • -In October 2007, the appellant asked CIC to reopen the case saying that even the second version did not tally with the cut-off marks.
  • -On December 7, CIC, reopening the case, directed IIT Kharagpur to comply with its directions "in full" by January 15.

NEW DELHI: 6 Jan 2008

Manoj Mitta ,TNN

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karira

Here is a more detailed version of the same story.

IIT-Kharagpur puts JEE under cloud

 

New Delhi: How does the Indian Institute of Technology’s Joint Entrance Exam, IIT-JEE, one of the most respected competitive examinations in the world, determine who makes the cut-off for admission? In response to notices sent by the Central Information Commission (CIC) on an RTI application, the IIT authorities have given conflicting versions, putting the JEE under a cloud.

 

CIC member O P Kejariwal has threatened to take “extremely serious” view if IIT-Kharagpur, which conducted the JEE in 2006, did not disclose by January 15 how exactly it had calculated the cut-off marks in that test in each of the three subjects: Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.

 

This is the third time CIC issued a non-compliance notice to IIT-Kharagpur, which was found to have given two different versions of the statistical procedure for the cut-off marks. And, worse, neither of those versions was found to have tallied with the cut-off marks admittedly applied in the 2006 IIT-JEE.

 

The system, in which every year a different IIT conducts the JEE by rotation, is hard pressed to come clean on the procedure for cut-off marks as RTI has put a question mark on the credibility of what is considered to be a global brand. Consider the sequence of events that led to such a pass:

 

In October 2006, a parent of an unsuccessful candidate filed RTI applications asking for cut-off marks, procedure for arriving at them and marks of the students above the cut-off marks in the IIT-JEE held that year.

 

In Dec. 06, IIT-Kharagpur gave an evasive reply saying there was “no fixed procedure or technique” for deciding the cut-off marks. It said the decision is made each year “depending on the overall performance of the candidates.”

 

In May 2007, after holding a hearing on an appeal filed by the aggrieved parent, CIC directed IIT-Kharargpur to disclose all the information sought under RTI and issued notice on why penalty should not be imposed on its failure to do so till then.

 

The same month, IIT-Kharagpur, besides disclosing the cut-off marks and marks of the students above those l evels in each of the subjects in the 2006 JEE, came up with first version of the procedure for arriving at the cut-off marks.

 

In June 2007, CIC issued a non-compliance notice as the stated procedure did not tally with the cut-off marks.

 

In July 2007, IIT-Kharagpur dug its heels in saying that the information provided by it was correct.

 

In August 2007, CIC issued a second non-compliance notice.

 

The same month, IIT-Kharagpur came up with a second version of the procedure for determining the cut-off marks.

 

In September 2007, CIC closed the case on the basis of the second version.

 

In October 2007, the appellant asked CIC to reopen the case saying that even the second version did not tally with the cut-off marks.

 

On December 7, CIC, reopening the case, directed IIT-Kharagpur to comply with its directions “in full” by January 15.

 

CONFLICTING VERSIONS

 

How the two official versions of calculating the cut-off marks for IIT JEE 2006 submitted consecutively before CIC were found to be conflicting and erroneous

 

The cut-off marks were stated to be 37, 48 and 55 for Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry respectively.

 

The first version of the procedure given in May 2007 for arriving at those figures was given as “mean marks minus one standard deduction.” But the cut-off marks by this method work out to 24, 18 and 22, respectively.

 

When those discrepancies were pointed out, IIT came up with the second version in August 2007 claiming that for this computation, “only scores of those candidates who have secured minimum one mark in each of the three subjects have been considered.”

 

But it was found that even this method of calculation led to some other cut-off marks — 24, 22 and 26, respectively. This puts a question mark on the credibility of the famed IIT-JEE as the administration has yet not been able to provide a scientific explanation for why the cut-off marks in the 2006 examination for Mathematics, for instance, was as low as 37 while they were as high as 55 in the case of Chemistry

 

Welcome

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maneesh

I believe all such procedure should be the part of the prospectus only so that the candidate knows in advance what is coming.

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geminite

Hi !!!

 

I wud like u to keep us informed of the latest developments in this case as i myself am a qualified candidate of JEE-2007 and hence, am very much interested in this case...

 

Thanx again for highlighting this case...

 

Geminite

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karira

As reported by CHARU SUDAN KASTURI in The Telegraph on January 16, 2008

The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Nation | IITs keep cover on cutoff formula

 

 

IITs keep cover on cutoff formula

CHARU SUDAN KASTURI

 

New Delhi, Jan. 15: The IITs today refused to provide complete data on their controversial 2006 admissions under the Right to Information Act, citing an argument that the country’s transparency watchdog has repeatedly called invalid.

 

The Central Information Commission (CIC) is likely to call a special hearing where the Indian Institutes of Technology may face embarrassing questions and a possible fine, sources said.

 

On August 6, 2007, The Telegraph had reported the wide mismatch between the highest possible cutoffs calculated using the IITs’ own formula and the ones actually used in the 2006 Joint Entrance Examination.

 

The parents of that year’s applicants had used the act to obtain the formula and had noticed the discrepancy. Statisticians had confirmed the findings for this newspaper.

 

However, at Calcutta High Court, which some parents approached, the IITs presented a formula different from the one they had disclosed under the act. This formula, too, does not entail the cutoffs used in 2006, the statisticians confirmed.

 

When the parents asked the IITs to explain the sudden change in formula, the institutes told the CIC they could not reveal any more information since the matter was in court. The new statement came in response to a “non-compliance” notice from the commission.

 

The CIC had clarified in 2006 that public authorities could not withhold information using this argument.

 

Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act says: “Information which cannot be denied to Parliament or a state legislature shall not be denied to any person.”

A sub judice matter cannot be revealed before legislatures; but the CIC has repeatedly clarified that the RTI Act doesn’t lay down the converse. So, information that cannot be disclosed to legislatures is not exempt from disclosure under the act.

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karira

As reported by Manoj Mitta on timesofindia.com on 17 March 2008:

Welcome

 

Global brand IIT is losing its mark

 

 

New Delhi: For all its reputation as one of the toughest competitive examinations in the world, there is a dramatic fall in the standard of IIT-JEE. Or so it seems from the steep fall in the cut-off marks of each of the three subjects in the last examination as compared with those of the previous one.

 

In 2006, the cut-off marks in mathematics, physics and chemistry were 37, 48 and 55, respectively. The corresponding marks for IITJEE 2007, in a bizarre twist, went down 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 cut-off marks thanks to applications under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The reduction of cut-off marks to single digit figures has made a mockery of the concept, which is meant to ensure that selected candidates displayed 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 IITJEE despite scoring nearly zero in the crucial test in mathematics. The fall in the cut-off marks 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 responses given by IITs to RTI applications show that the cut-off marks declined in that manner because of a radical change in the procedure for calculating them.

 

IIT entrance cut-off marks system comes under cloud

 

New Delhi: The steep fall in the cut-off marks of IIT-JEE was because of a radical change in the procedure for calculating them. The change was introduced in 2007 after the authorities failed to explain to the Central Information Commission how they had arrived at the cutoff marks for the previous year’s examination.

 

The exposure of the 2006 examination, which was the first one to be held after RTI came into force, puts a question mark on a much-touted system that had been in existence for over four decades.

 

IIT-Kharagpur, which conducted the 2006 JEE, was found by CIC to have given two different versions of the procedure and, worse, neither of those statistical methods led to the stated cut-off marks. The authorities were hard pressed to explain why the cut-off marks for mathematics, for instance, was only 37, but 55 for chemistry.

 

Since IIT-Kharagpur was also forced under RTI to give a break-up of the performance of all the candidates of 2006 JEE, several instances of more meritorious students becoming casualties of arbitrarily-fixed cut-off marks came to light. Given the impetus provided by RTI, IIT-Mumbai, which conducted the 2007 JEE, came up with yet another cutoff procedure.

 

Under the new procedure, the cutoff mark is the highest scored by the bottom 20% of the candidates in each subject. But since such candidates are mostly non-serious, the cut-off marks in mathematics, physics and chemistry worked out to no more than 1, 4 and 3, respectively. Thus, the 2007 procedure has lowered the bar to the point of rendering the cut-off marks meaningless.

 

Yet, IIT-Roorkee, which is holding the 2008 JEE next month, said the same procedure would continue to be in force. This means, the cut-off marks this year are likely to be as abysmal as those of last year.

 

Despite being world-renowned centres of excellence, IITs are still far from fixing the problem that has been brought out in the open by RTI.

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karira

As reported by Manoj Mitta of TNN on timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 19 April 2008:

On quota, IIT cutoffs may go negative-India-The Times of India

On quota, IIT cutoffs may go negative

 

NEW DELHI: If subject-wise cutoff marks for general candidates in the just-held IIT-JEE are, as in last year's examination, likely to be in single digits, how will the system have scope to relax the qualifying marks, as announced, by 10% for OBCs and 40% for SCs and STs ?

 

Chairman of IIT-Jee 2008, Prof N M Bhandari, admitted to TOI that the subject-wise cutoffs for reserved candidates may turn out to be less than one mark which was the level to which the bar was lowered last year in one of the subjects for general candidates.

 

Speaking from IIT Roorkee, Bhandari hastened to clarify that since subject-wise cutoff marks for even general candidates have become so low, a further reduction for reserved candidates would be of 'little significance'.

 

The ridiculous cut-offs are thanks to a rather liberal ranking procedure adopted last year by the IIT system, stung as it was by an RTI application seeking statistical basis for the cut-off marks of the 2006 examination.

 

In a blow to what is regarded as one of the toughest competitive examinations in the world, neither of the statistical formulae given by IIT Kharagpur to the Central Information Commission tallied with the stated cutoff marks for 2006 — 37 for mathematics, 48 for physics and 55 for chemistry.

 

The more transparent procedure adopted in 2007 reduced the corresponding cutoff marks to 1, 4 and 3, making a mockery of their purpose of ensuring that selected candidates displayed a certain minimum level of knowledge in every subject.

 

In the new procedure, the cutoff marks are pegged to the best marks obtained by the bottom 20% of the candidates in each subject.

 

As a result, 91% of the candidates cleared the cut-off marks, for instance, of chemistry in 2007 as compared to no more than 6% the previous year.

 

Since subject-wise cut-off marks have been rendered meaningless in the new procedure, the selection of the candidates, whether general or reserved, now depends entirely on their aggregate marks.

 

The number of candidates making it to the merit list will be 1.15 times the total number of seats available in each of the categories.

 

According to Bhandari, it is at this stage that the reserved candidates will get a more substantial benefit as the aggregate cut-off (the aggregate of the last general candidate to have been selected) will be relaxed by 10% for OBCs and 40% for SCs and STs.

 

Bhandari is at pains to explain that, though subject-wise cut-off marks are likely to in single digits for everybody, "the emphasis we place on the aggregate marks for ranking candidates ensures that we still get the best in the country".

 

All the same, if they persist with the present policy of selecting candidates essentially on aggregate marks, IITs will sooner rather than later have to do away with subject-wise cutoff marks given the farce they have been reduced to.

 

 

 

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karira

As reported by Manoj Mitta of TNN in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 8 May 2008:

CIC summons IIT professor to explain cutoff formula-India-The Times of India

CIC summons IIT professor to explain cutoff formula

 

NEW DELHI. It is a testing challenge to the fairness of what is considered one of the most competitive examinations in the world, IIT-JEE. The chief organizer of the 2006 examination, Prof V K Tewari of IIT Kharagpur, is due to appear on Thursday before the Central Information Commission to account for his failure to explain the basis on which he had arrived at subject-wise cutoff marks.

 

Tewari has been summoned to show cause why, as "the custodian of the information," he should not be penalized as neither of the versions he gave of the statistical formula tallied with the cutoff marks that had been applied to filter out candidates in the 2006 IIT-JEE.

 

In response to an RTI application, the information officer of IIT Kharagpur first said that the cutoff formula was "mean minus standard deviation" for all the candidates who had appeared in the examination.

 

But when the figures that emerged from this formula turned out to be at variance with the cutoff marks that had actually been announced, IIT changed its response and said that the performance of only those who obtained at least one mark in each of the subjects had been taken into account. As it happened, even the second version of the formula did not yield the official cutoff marks, which were 37 in mathematics, 48 in physics and 55 in chemistry.

 

Worse, because of the vast and unexplained variation in the cut off marks, the less meritorious qualified even within the general category candidates at the expense of those who performed better.

 

IIT Kharagpur was hard pressed to justify the anomalies that came to light: For instance, a candidate who scored an aggregate of 250 marks failed to qualify simply because he got 52 in chemistry (three less than the cutoff marks in that subject) while another qualified with an aggregate of just 156 marks simply because he happened to get 55 in chemistry.

 

The summons for Thursday's hearing followed the Calcutta HC's rejection of Tewari's plea to stop CIC from proceeding against him. Information commissioner O P Kejariwal has served a penalty notice on him despite his contention that he has already complied with CIC direction "in letter and spirit" to disclose the cutoff procedure for the 2006 examination.

 

Since the 2006 examination was the first IIT-JEE to be held after RTI came into force, IIT Kharagpur's inability to come up with a plausible explanation for the cutoff marks of that year cast a shadow on a much-touted system that had been in existence for over four decades.

 

This prompted the seven IITs to adopt such a liberal approach that for the 2007 examination the subject cutoff marks, as reported first in The Times of India, plunged to single-digit figures (1,4 and 3), making a mockery of their purpose of ensuring that selected candidates displayed a certain minimum level of knowledge in every subject.

 

In the new procedure, the cutoff marks are pegged to the best marks obtained by the bottom 20% of the candidates in each subject.

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karira

Finally, both IIT and CIC seem to have given up.

Since no conclusion could be reached, the appellant asked for the complete data in the form it is available and he himself would compile it in a meaningful manner, so as to get his answer regarding "cut off" marks for IIT-JEE 2006.

 

CIC has allowed the disclosure of complete data of JEE 2006, subject to Sec 10 of the RTI Act (severability clause).

 

The full decision is attached to this post.

OK-26052008-03.pdf

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karira

As reported in hindu.com on 03 June 2008:

The Hindu News Update Service

 

CIC asks IIT to reveal cut-off marks for JEE 2006

 

New Delhi (PTI): The Central Information Commission has directed the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) to provide details to one of its professors on his RTI plea seeking information relating to cut-off marks for the Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE) 2006.

 

Information Commissioner O P Kejariwal, however, asked the Institute to delete the names and personal details of the candidates, who had appeared in the JEE 2006.

 

Prof Rajeev Kumar, through his three RTI applications, had wanted to know the cut-off marks for the JEE 2006 -- the procedure and the formulae for arriving at them for each subject.

 

During the hearing on the matter, he submitted that he would himself compile the data in the format if he was provided with the entire list of candidates with the subjects and the marks obtained by them in the examinations.

 

The apex information panel had earlier expressed its displeasure with the Institute after the applicant submitted before it that he was made to wait for two to three hours for meeting the Chairman, JEE, who allegedly provided him a casual reply on the matter.

 

He was asked by the Institute to contact the Chairman for the reply on his queries regarding the procedure and technique followed in determining the cut off marks for each of the three subjects -- Maths, Physics and Chemistry in JEE -- besides the number of students who scored the cut off marks or scored more than that.

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sidmis

994 miss IIT chance - Disclosure raises questions

by CHARU SUDAN KASTURI Telegraphindia.com, June 13 , 2008

 

New Delhi, June 12: Nearly 1,000 candidates who were denied admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology in 2006 might have cleared the entrance exam that year had the institutes had followed their stated method of determining subject cutoffs.

 

After 20 months of denial, the IITs have revealed the marks obtained by all general-category students who appeared for the 2006 exam to some parents who have been persistently arguing for greater transparency in the tough-as-nails exam.

 

But the scores, revealed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, have thrown up more questions than they have answered, and shown up contradictions that the IITs appear unwilling to explain.

 

The cutoff marks for math, physics and chemistry — the three subjects tested in the IIT Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) —should have been 7, 4 and 6, respectively, in 2006 using the IITs’ stated formula.

But the institutes, in response to an earlier RTI application, had disclosed to parents that the cutoffs they used for the same subjects were 37, 48 and 55.

 

Clearing all three subject cutoffs entitles students to be considered for the final cutoff, based on their aggregate scores. Students with the top aggregates among those who have cleared all three subject cutoffs are selected to the IITs. In all, 5,479 seats were available in the general category that year.

 

The aggregate cutoff of 154 used by the IITs in 2006 would have risen to 178 had they used the formula they claimed to have employed, the analysis shows.

 

In all, 994 general- category candidates who cleared subject and aggregate cutoffs determined from the formula declared by the IITs were not called for pre-course counselling by the institutes, analysis of the marks of all the students has revealed.

 

The Telegraph, on August 6, 2007, had first reported the discrepancy between the cutoffs actually used by the IITs in 2006 and the ones obtained through the formula cited by the institutes.

At the time, the IITs had only disclosed the marks of 33,364 top students, and parents had found that cutoffs determined through the formula given by the institutes came below the ones they claimed to have used.

In all, 2,55,890 general-category students appeared in the exam. The cutoffs are dependent on the overall performance of all students, so after considering the marks of all candidates -- including those with poorer scores -- the cutoffs automatically drop.

 

The analysis -- based on a simple statistical calculation -- has been conducted by the parents, and independently verified for The Telegraph by two professors of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) who are not linked to the case.

 

The formula declared by the IITs before Calcutta High Court -- a parent filed a case there -- was used in this analysis. The court is expected to announce its judgment tomorrow.

 

Asked to explain the mismatch between the two sets of cutoffs, V.K. Tewari, JEE boss that year, said he did not want to comment.

“The case is sub judice, and in any case we have nothing to say,” Tewari said. Tewari teaches at IIT Kharagpur, which was the institute in charge of the entrance exam in 2006.

 

Of the 994 who qualified for admission according to the cutoff formula cited by the IITs, but were never called, one candidate would have ranked among the top 500 students, the analysis shows. Another eight students would ranked between 500 and 1,000, and so on (see chart).

Former IITian and Magsaysay Award winner Arvind Kejriwal called the findings shocking. “This really shakes the faith of the people in exams like the IIT-JEE,” he said.

 

13elbow.jpg

 

The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Frontpage | 994 miss IIT chance

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karira

This is a good lesson for RTI Applicants:

 

Whenever the PIO does not accept application, hesitates in replying, delays, gives wrong information...the applicant should start smelling bad fish !

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sidmis

IIT admissions faulty, deserving students fail: Prof

 

AS Reported by Shreya Dhoundial in CNN-IBN Jun 18, 2008

 

New Delhi: A Right to Information (RTI) query filed by an IIT Kharagpur professor has revealed that deserving students have not been able to make it to IIT.

 

In 2006, nearly 994 deserving students did not make it to the IIT merit list because of complicated and faulty admission procedures.

 

To clear the IIT-JEE examination, a candidate has to get a minimum cut off in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics because these subjects form the basis of the IIT Curriculum.

 

The top aggregate scorers then qualify for the 5479 seats. However, professor Arvind Kejriwal who himself is from IIT Kharagpur filed an RTI wanting to know how these minimum cut-offs were calculated and the marks of all the two-lakh fifty-thousand plus students who appeared in the 2006 examination.

 

The computer engineering professor then computed this data using the IIT's own formula and found that the cut off's for the three subjects come to seven, four and six. Two other independent statisticians verified this as well.

 

However, the cut-off's that the IIT's used were strangely, much higher at 37, 48 and 55. And it is somewhere between this gap of the IIT and the professors calculation, that the 994 deserving students lost out on their chance to get in the premier institute of technology.

 

Strangely enough, the RTI revealed that there was one candidate who should have figured in the top 500 of the merit list, however, did not manage to get in.

 

“This shakes the faith of people in the best institute of technology. Now, one should investigate as to why such a thing happened. The best way to deal with this is to make the admission procedures completely transparent,” says RTI activist, Arvind.

 

Interestingly enough in 2007, the IITs tried not to repeat their 2006 mistake. They changed their formula to compute the minimum cut-off and based it on the highest marks of the bottom 20 per cent students.

 

However, again by this calculation the cut off's came to be ridiculously low at one, four and three in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. This year a candidate who scored twelve in mathematics but scored high marks in Physics and Chemistry got in.

 

The IIT'S have, however, refused to comment on the admission procedure.

 

For the last 40-years, IIT's admission procedure has been a closely guarded secret. However, because of the Right to Information, its is apparent that the toughest exam in the world may have been going terribly wrong in it's selection procedure.

 

However, what is even more worrying is talks of the procedure being deliberately flawed to accommodate influential candidates. Perhaps, it is now time for the HRD ministry to verify facts and set right a mistake that has repeated itself at the cost of thousands of meritorious students.

 

IIT admissions faulty, deserving students fail: Prof

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sidmis

CIC mulls disclosing names of 'affected' JEE 2006 candidates

 

AS reported in Times of India 20 Jun 2008\TNN

 

NEW DELHI: The evidence that came to light of 994 meritorious

candidates being hit by arbitrarily fixed cutoffs in IIT JEE 2006 has

prompted the Central Information Commission (CIC) to order a special

hearing on whether the system could be forced to disclose the names of

the affected students.

 

Given the gravity of the matter, CIC member O P Kejariwal decided on

Wednesday to review the order he had passed on May 26 directing IIT

Kharagpur, the organizer of JEE 2006, to "delete the names and

personal details" of the candidates while disclosing their marks.

 

The May 26 order imposed such a restriction on the extent of

information that could be disclosed because the appellant, Rajeev

Kumar, professor of computer science in IIT Kharagpur, had himself

conceded that he was only concerned with the marks in order to

establish that the stated subject cutoffs in 2006 JEE did not tally

with the stated procedure for calculating them.

 

Subsequently, from the data supplied by IIT Kharagpur, Kumar

discovered that because of the arbitrarily fixed subject cutoffs, as

many as 994 candidates of the general category had been "illegally

excluded" from the merit list of 5,480 although their aggregate marks

were well above those of the last qualified candidate. He found that

at least nine of those candidates should have been in the top 1,000

ranks.

 

In a letter to CIC on Wednesday, Kumar said that he now wanted IIT

Kharagpur to provide him with the names and contact details of the

candidates so that he could identify the affected ones from their

marks and bring to their notice the injustice that had been done to

them. It was in such circumstances that Kejariwal, in an unusual

instance of activism, decided to hear IIT Kharagpur on Kumar's quest

for the names of the "victimized candidates" as part of his larger

plan to mobilize a collective fight for justice.

 

If he does finally direct IIT Kharagpur to disclose the names and

contact details of the candidates, Kejariwal would be within his

powers to do so as the confidentiality clause in the RTI Act on third

party information applies only to situations where the information had

been "treated as confidential by that third party."

 

It remains to be seen whether Kumar, who is himself an aggrieved

parent, succeeds in his effort to seek a remedy for an injustice done

to candidates two years ago. But he has already succeeded in using RTI

to expose anomalies in the JEE of the last two years.

 

This is despite the reforms introduced by IIT Bombay in the 2007 JEE

organized by it. Since IIT Kharagpur could not demonstrate the basis

on which it had arrived at the subject cutoffs in the 2006 JEE, IIT

Bombay adopted a radically different procedure for the following year.

 

But, as reported first by TOI, the new procedure led to yet another

anomaly as the subject cutoffs dropped to single digits which in turn

allowed low scoring candidates to slip into the merit list of JEE

2007.

 

CIC mulls disclosing names of 'affected' JEE 2006 candidates-India-The Times of India

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karira

As reported by Charu Sudan Kasturi in telegraphindia.com on 9 July 2008:

The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Frontpage | IIT selection under lens

 

IIT selection under lens

- Govt to quiz Kharagpur institute on 2006 admissions

 

New Delhi, July 8: The human resource development ministry has asked IIT Kharagpur to explain discrepancies in the 2006 admission process of the Indian Institutes of Technology that may have denied seats to 994 deserving candidates.

 

Top officials said the ministry’s move to seek an explanation on the selection procedure from the Kharagpur institute, in charge of IIT admissions that year, followed concerns raised by a Parliament committee.

 

The IIT is also expected to be quizzed on the controversial admissions at a meeting of the board of governors on July 9, ministry sources said.

 

“We have, in more ways than one, indicated our unhappiness over the controversy. We have also asked IIT Kharagpur to explain its position,” a senior official said.

 

The ministry is likely to be represented by higher education secretary R.P. Agrawal at the July 9 meeting, sources said. Agrawal is a member of the IIT Kharagpur board of governors.

 

“The contradictions in the admissions thrown up by news reports are part of the agenda for the board meeting,” the official confirmed.

 

On August 6, 2007, The Telegraph had revealed that the IITs used cutoffs different from the ones thrown up by using the formula that the institutes claimed to have used.

 

In response to Right to Information Act applications filed by candidates and their parents, the IIT had said it used 37, 48 and 55 as cutoff marks in math, physics and chemistry in 2006.

 

But the formula that the IITs said they used to arrive at the cutoffs actually threw up 7, 4 and 6 as the minimum marks required in the three subjects to be eligible for the second round of qualification.

 

Students who clear all three subject cutoffs are selected on the basis of their aggregate score — the total of the three subjects. Failure to meet a subject cutoff rules out a student even if he has a high aggregate cutoff.

 

As many as 994 candidates who were denied admission in 2006 might have cleared the IIT entrance exam that year had the institutes followed their stated method of determining subject cutoffs, calculations later revealed.

 

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, which has Rahul Gandhi among its members, expressed concerns over the controversy surrounding IIT admissions at its last meeting, documents available with The Telegraph show.

 

The committee, at its meeting in late April, asked the HRD ministry to explain how the IITs arrive at their cutoffs.

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sidmis

IIT physics cut-off down to zero as seats increase

 

As Reported in Times of India, 2 Aug 2008, 0025 hrs IST,TNN

 

MUMBAI: Getting into the IITs just got a tad easier. With the increase in the pool of seats, the final cut-off score dropped to 180 as compared to last year's 206 out of a total of 489 marks. Similarly, the cut off for reserved category students —Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) — fell from 126 to 104.

 

On Friday, the IITs for the first time made their performance card public. As reported by TOI on May 31, the Joint Admissions Board, which comprises the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) chairman from each IIT, had agreed on making the cut-offs of JEE-2008 public after their offices were bombed with Right to Information (RTI) applications. The IITs also released the stream-wise opening and closing ranks for this year, as also the answer key to both JEE papers.

 

Most IIT heads put the dip in the aggregate cut-offs down to the larger population of students they admitted this year to the 13 campuses across India. The total seats across the technical institutes went up from 5,537 to 6,992 this year.

 

Subject-wise cut-offs for the top 80% qualifying students stood at 5 for maths, 3 for chemistry and 0 for physics. For SC and ST candidates, the respective subject-wise cut-offs stood at 4.5 for maths, 2.7 for chemistry and 0 for physics. Last year, these qualifying cut-offs for the top 80% in the general category stood at 1, 3 and 4 correspondingly. Since the last two years, these rock-bottom qualifying marks have rendered meaningless the minimum subject-wise scores to be achieved.

 

However, these scores are just half the story. As the JEE has a negative marking for every wrong answer, these scores are merely set to eliminate the lowest 20% candidates. "In the JEE, the lowest score is not zero. It stretches to negative 38," explained IIT-Bombay JEE chairman N Venkatramani.

 

Though the IITs have not relaxed marks for OBC candidates this year, they have decided to allow a 10% relaxation — they can score 10% lower marks than the last general category student admitted.

 

IIT physics cut-off down to zero as seats increase-India-The Times of India

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sidmis

Hearing on request for IIT names

as reported by CHARU SUDAN KASTURI | The Telegraph | New Delhi, Sept. 16

 

The Central Information Commission has ordered a hearing with the IITs to decide if contact details of students, denied seats because of discrepancies in the 2006 admissions, can be disclosed.

 

The apex umpire on the under the Right to Information (RTI) panel has called the registrar and a former director of IIT Kharagpur — the organising institute for the 2006 joint entrance examination — to appear for the hearing on September 19 at 3pm, sources said.

 

The RTI Act prohibits the disclosure of personal details, especially of those who are not direct parties to a case — as the appellant or the respondent — without their consent.

 

But the father of an aggrieved student approached the commission to identify others who, too, may have suffered in 2006 because the IITs did not use the cut-off determination procedure they claimed to have implemented.

 

The Telegraph had reported, on August 6, 2007, the discrepancies between the cut-offs used by the IITs in 2006 and those arrived at using the formula the institutes claimed they used. As a result, 994 students who merited a chance to study in the IITs were denied seats.

 

The IITs disclosed marks of all students who appeared in the 2006 JEE. The appellant has requested contact details of the 994 students.

 

The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Nation | Hearing on request for IIT names

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karira

The IIT's should write to ALL third parties (994 students) who were wrongly denied admission and ask for their objections in writing to disclosure of the names under Sec 11. Why have they not done that till now ?

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karira

As reported by Manoj Mitta of TNN in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 16 November 2008:

IITs tinker with JEE cutoffs to save face-India-The Times of India

 

IITs tinker with JEE cutoffs to save face

 

NEW DELHI: Stung by the flak they got for having single-digit subject cutoffs in JEE for two years running — as was reported by TOI in a series

of stories — IITs have come up with what seems to be an ad hoc attempt at raising the bar for the next entrance examination due to be held in April 2009.

 

The formula for calculating the cutoffs has been changed from the needlessly low 20 percentile (the best of bottom 20% candidates) to the more respectable "average of the marks scored" by all candidates in each subject.

 

In an image makeover to the cutoff procedure, IITs have also changed the nomenclature: the subject cutoff will hereafter be called the "minimum qualifying mark for ranking (MQMR)".

 

The new procedure announced last week however smacks of adhocism as, far from being a systemic change based on a coherent policy, it seems to be more a frantic attempt to break out of the single-digit syndrome of the last two years.

 

The application of the MQMR formula to the data of the two years in which JEE had single-digit cutoffs does indicate that the cutoffs in JEE 2009 could just about enter double figures.

 

If the cutoffs in JEE 2008 were 5 in mathematics, 0 in physics and 3 in chemistry, the MQMR in those three subjects would have been 19, 12 and 18, respectively. Similarly, if the cutoffs in JEE 2007 were 1 in mathematics, 4 in physics and 3 in chemistry, the MQMR in those three subjects would have been 17, 19 and 21, respectively.

 

Gautam Barua, director of IIT Guwahati, which is conducting JEE 2009, concedes that the cutoffs based on the new procedure "may not turn out to be dramatically higher." Asked why IITs have settled for a marginal improvement in the cutoff procedure, Barua told TOI: "Seeing that the cutoff formula of the last two years produced very low cutoffs, we have attempted to make the screening more meaningful in 2009. We didn't want the cutoffs to be too high or too low. So, after much discussion, we chose the middle path."

 

The saving grace of the new procedure is that, since it is expected to yield slightly higher cutoffs, JEE 2009 may avert extreme examples like candidates getting admission into IITs despite scoring single-digit marks in one or the other subject.

 

In JEE 2008, for instance, one general category candidate made it to IIT Kharagpur despite scoring 8 marks in physics.

 

The new cutoff procedure is the latest in a series of changes IITs have been forced to make ever since they were unable to explain under RTI the basis on which they had fixed much higher cutoffs in their 2006 examination: 37 in mathematics, 48 in physics and 55 in chemistry.

 

The RTI applicant is a professor of computer sciences in IIT Kharagpur, Rajeev Kumar, who was able to demonstrate before the Central Information Commission that the statistical formulas cited by them for JEE 2006 were wrong and contradictory.

 

It was on the rebound that in 2007, IITs resorted to the 20 percentile formula, which plunged the cutoffs to single-digit marks. Such low cutoffs in turn allowed less meritorious students to slip into IITs in 2007 and 2008, as reported first in TOI, on the strength of their aggregates even when they scored miserably in one of the three subjects.

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karira

Unfortunately, the matter has still not been resolved.

 

The appellant again filed a complaint against IIT KGP for non-compliance of its orders. IC OP Kejariwal heard the matter and once again granted time to IIT till 27 February 2009 to provide the information.

 

Strangely, this much time has been provided because the Hon'ble IC has reasoned:

While giving this time, the Commission has kept in view the fact that another case filed by the same Applicant against the same Respondents is pending in the Court of IC(SG) and in this case too a much mass of data has to be collected for which they have received time upto 30 January 2009. It is, therefore, understandable that they will apply themselves to collect material for this application only after completing the former exercise.

 

As readers will note from the date line of various events (as per the datelines of various posts in this thread), the matter has been dilly dallying for a long time. What was IIT doing all this time ?

 

Another important point is that applicants should keep a record of all correspondence and the proofs of postal receipts, etc. so as to prove everything before the CIC/SIC...

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karira

Unfortunately, the matter has still not been resolved.

 

The appellant again filed a complaint against IIT KGP for non-compliance of its orders. IC OP Kejariwal heard the matter and once again granted time to IIT till 27 February 2009 to provide the information.

 

Strangely, this much time has been provided because the Hon'ble IC has reasoned:

While giving this time, the Commission has kept in view the fact that another case filed by the same Applicant against the same Respondents is pending in the Court of IC(SG) and in this case too a much mass of data has to be collected for which they have received time upto 30 January 2009. It is, therefore, understandable that they will apply themselves to collect material for this application only after completing the former exercise.

 

As readers will note from the date line of various events (as per the datelines of various posts in this thread), the matter has been dilly dallying for a long time. What was IIT doing all this time ?

 

Another important point is that applicants should keep a record of all correspondence and the proofs of postal receipts, etc. so as to prove everything before the CIC/SIC...

OK-23012009-12.pdf

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Atul Patankar

As reported by CHARU SUDAN KASTURI at www.telegraphindia.com on 11 March 2009

 

New Delhi, March 10: Organisers of the 2006 IIT entrance exam have revealed that they shredded answer scripts of students even while some candidates were pursuing allegations of manipulations in their scores.

 

IIT Kharagpur, which organised the exam that year, has said it destroyed answer scripts that could have helped establish whether scores in that subject were manually altered after the test.

 

The revelation, made in a Right to Information reply available with The Telegraph, also discloses that the IITs chose to break with their own tradition in 2006 to destroy answer scripts earlier than they normally do.

That year, the IITs used subject cutoffs starkly different from the ones they claimed to have used. The irregularities, reported first in this newspaper, led to a denial of opportunities to 994 students who had cleared the cutoffs the IITs claimed to have used.

 

The difference fuelled allegations that marked answer scripts may have been manually doctored to help some candidates, especially in chemistry, where the discrepancy between the cutoffs used and cutoffs claimed was the widest.

 

JEE answer scripts are Optical Mark Reading (OMR) sheets — the answers are read by a special device and no manual involvement is allowed in evaluation.

 

The IITs have denied any such manipulation. But the revelation that the institutes destroyed the most direct evidence of any possible manipulation even as candidates were alleging wrongdoing raises the question whether the 2006 irregularities were indeed completely unintentional.

 

The minutes of a 1967 meeting of the IIT Kharagpur Senate — the highest executive body of an IIT — say that all exam-related documents, including answer scripts, are to be preserved “for a year”.

 

But on August 24, 2006, within days of releasing detailed mark sheets to students, the Joint Admission Board (JAB) of the IITs decided to destroy the answer scripts in 2006 itself, according to the RTI reply. The JAB is the top IIT body responsible for conducting admissions.

 

The admission process was challenged first in August 2006, more than three months before the answer scripts were destroyed on December 12, 14 and 16, according to the RTI reply.

 

The father of one student had approached the Prime Minister, President and the central vigilance commission seeking an inquiry into the case by September 2006. The vigilance commission is still probing the case.

 

In October 2006, the parent had appealed under the Right to Information Act, seeking details of the cutoffs used by the IITs in the 2006 entrance exam. One of his charges related to fears of manual manipulations of chemistry marks.

 

Records show that the IITs retained answer scripts pertaining to an unrelated case that too had been filed before the dates when the remaining scripts were destroyed.

 

The scripts related to this other case were produced before Gauhati High Court in February 2007.

 

The central information commission, which oversees the implementation of the RTI Act, has the powers of a civil court.

 

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Atul Patankar

As reported by Manoj Mitta, TNN at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 07 April 2009

 

NEW DELHI: RTI applications of a computer science professor of IIT Kharagpur, Rajeev Kumar, might have forced a change in the procedure for determining cut-off marks in the JEE due to be held on April 12, but the administrators have remained silent on another serious deficiency pointed out by a mathematics professor of IIT Bombay, K D Joshi.

 

On the basis of the model-answer sheet that was made public after the 2008 test, Joshi wrote to the JEE administrators in August that there were five major mistakes in maths questions, which could have cost a candidate 18 marks even if he had solved those problems correctly.

 

Since the model answer sheet was disclosed after the admission process for 2008 had concluded, the administrators did nothing on Joshi's shocking disclosure, as a difference of even one mark could have dramatically changed the ranks of the candidates, and the options that would have been available to them in terms of branches and institutes. If a candidate lost 18 out of 161 marks for no fault of his, the wrong evaluation of those questions seems all the more unfair considering that the cut-off in maths in JEE 2008, as reported earlier in TOI, was no more than five marks and that somebody with just 10 marks in that subject could get admission into IIT Kharagpur.

 

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.

 

Consider the five blunders in the maths papers of JEE 2008 exposed by Joshi, one of the senior faculty members of the IIT system:

 

Question 7 of Paper 1:

The accompanying instruction indicated that out of the four given choices, one or more could be correct and that the candidate would be given four marks for the complete correct answer or zero for an incomplete one. While the model answer sheet said that the complete correct answer was options B and D, Joshi discovered from his calculations that the correct answer was only D.

 

Question 23 of Paper 1:

The instruction on the question paper said that ‘‘only one'' out of the four given choices was correct. This turned out to be misleading as the model sheet conceded that there were actually three correct answers. So, if a candidate rightly chose more than one correct option, the examiner was obliged not only to give him no marks but also penalize him by deducting one mark.

 

Question 7 of Paper 2:

Though the model answer was given as option A, Joshi found that the ‘‘complete correct answer'' was missing from the four given choices. Since the question itself had a mistake, a candidate after doing his calculations might have avoided answering it lest he attracted negative marking for a wrong answer.

 

Question 17 of Paper 2:

Joshi found that due to omission of plus/minus sign, the correct option was not the ‘‘complete solution''.

 

Question 21 of Paper 2:

The official answer was that Statement A in Column I matched with Statement R in Column II. With detailed calculations and drawings, Joshi showed that there was actually no match for Statement A in the other column. The candidate who figured that out would have however lost three marks

 

Source: IITs won't fix blunders in JEE question paper - India - The Times of India

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