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  1. Came across this very strange case, while going through the CIC orders. Found i interesting to mention on the forum for further discussion of members. http://www.rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/CIC_WB_A_2010_000446_M_51201.pdf Applicant filed RTI with IIT Mumbai in April 2010 asking for: a) Provide*certified* list*of*committee*members*of* IIT*JEE*2010*representing*each* IIT.*Also provide*copies*of*executive*order,*if*any,*appointing*such*committee.***Also*indicate*how*the Chairman*is*appointed. b) Provide*certified*copies*of *representations*received*regarding*errors* in*paper*of * IIT*JEE 2010. *Also*provide* copies*of *decisions* taken* to*normalize* the*effect * to* such*error * in publishing/interpretation. c) Provide*certified*copies*of*file*with*file*notings*where*the*decision*to*delete*any*centre()**as designated*centre*for*conduct*of*IIT*JEE* *2010*was*taken.* *Kindly*also*provide*copies*of any*inquiry*conducted*in*this*regard. d) Provide*certified*copies*of*minutes*of*meeting*of*IIT*JEE*2010*committee. The Public Information Officer, IIT Mumbai replied: a) &*d)*Application*has*been*forwarded*to*IIT*Madras. b) These*details*can*not*be*provided*as*these*are*personal*information*of*candidates*and*can*not be*revealed*without*prior*permission.*Decision*by*JAB*on*these*errors*is*pending*as*of*today, thus*the*information*is*not*available. c) Decision*to*add*or*delete*any*centre*for*JEE*is*taken*by*Chairman*and*Vice*Chairman*of*JEE keeping*in*mind*the*logistics,*number*of*candidates*writing*from*that*city,*safety,*security*and sanctity*of*JEE*operation.**Since,*these*details*are*very*center*specific,*general*reply*can*not*be provided.**However,*for*any*specific*center*these*details*can*be*provided*on*request. Further, the Public Information Officer of IIT Madras replied (for the transferred part of the application): enclosing*List*of*JIC**members*of*IIT*JEE**2010**. He*stated*that*the*Chairman*is*appointed*by*the*Director*in*consultation*with*the*Dean*Academic Courses*and*with*regard*to*point*d*)*he*stated*that*as*the*information*called*for*is*confidential*under*8 (1)*(e)**of*the*RTI*Act**is**fiduciary*in*nature*and*hence*exempted*from*disclosure The representation of IIT Mumbai and Madras, during the second appeal, went off at an tangent: a)The*JEE*examination* is*conducted*on* the*second*Sunday*of *every*April.*The*operations* for* the same*starts*in*the*first*week*of*August*of*the*previous*year.*For*eg.*the*operations*for*JEE*2011 started*on*first*week*of*August*2010. b)The* JEE* committees * among* other * things, * discusses * the* detailed* logistics * of * holding* the* JEE examination.*The*sequencing*and*scheduling*of*each*operation*are*required*to*be*confidential*to protect*the*security*&*sanctity*of*the*JEE*exam.* c) The*modus * operandi * regarding * question* paper * setting, * production* – * printing, * proof * correction, bundling,*packing*etc.,* transport* to*various* Institutes*and*such*other*details*as*associated*with these*operations*are*a*part*of*the*minutes*as*are*software/server*details*for*result*preparation*and Counseling.*These*are*highly*confidential*in*nature,*and*other*than*finer*details,*may*not*change on*a*yearly*basis.* d)A*public*disclosure*of*these*details*for*any*of*the*previous*year*may*jeopardize*future*conduct*of*the JEE*examination.*For*example*even* the*dates*of *shipment *of *confidential *materials*cannot*be made*public.*These*are*currently*part*of*the*JEE*2010*minutes,*and*for*JEE*2011,*as*dates*do*not change*by*more*than*a*day,*the*same*shall*hold*good.* e)Similarly, * the * details * of * our * computer * servers * etc * used * for * confidential * operations * and * data transmission*are*not*to*be*made*public.*These*are*indeed*part*of*the*JEE*committee*minutes.** f) The*JEE*committee*minutes*are*circulated*only*to*the*committee*members*with*mutual*trust*that*it*is not*disclosed,*as*if*it*is*disclosed,*everyone*can*be*held*responsible.* g)The*final*recommendations*of*these*committees,*which*are*necessary*for*public*consumption,*are made*public*through*the*Information*Brochure,*Counseling*Brochure*and*periodical*updates*which are*uploaded*on*the*website.** h) It*may*be*mentioned*here*that*as*observed*in*the*Right*to*Information*Act,*2005,*Sec*8,*pg*39,*para 3,* in* the*case*of*Selection*of*candidates,* that* *"Recommendations*of * the*Committees*may*be provided*but*not*their*detailed*report*for*they*are*of*fiduciary*nature",*In*the*present*instance*also, it*is*emphasized*that*the*non*disclosure*of*JEE*Committee*meetings*is*covered*under*Section*8 (1)*(e)*of*the*RTI*Act.* i) Further,*it*is*also*the*case*that*the*Sections*8*(1)*(a),*8*(1)*(g)*and*8*(1)*(d)*are*applicable*in*this context,*as*these*are*information and the CIC ordered: The*Commission*on*careful*consideration*of*the* *submission*of*the*Respondent*is*of*the*opinion*that the*disclosure*of*information* *containing*details*as*given*in* *points*b,*c,*d,*e*is*indeed* *confidential*in nature,*the*disclosure*of*which*is*denied*under*Section*8(1)(a)*of*the*RTI*Act*as*it**has*the*potential*to lead*to*incitement*of*an*offence*and*may*also*adversely*affect*the*economic*interests*of*the*state*if there* *happens* to*be*a* * *breakdown*of * the*examination*system. * * * It * *was*also*observed* that * the disclosure*has**no*relationship*with*any*public*activity*or*interest.***The*Public*Authority,*therefore*may not*disclose*the*minutes*of*meeting*of*IIT*JEE*2010*committee*to*the*Appellant.*However,*the*final recommendations*of*the*Committee*if*the*Appellant*so*desires,*may*be*provided*to*him*by*3*March, 2011. ======= How are minutes of meeting "fiduciary" in nature and covered under 8(1)(e) ? Does the suo-motu disclosure of IIT say under Sec 4(1)(b)(viii) that such minutes will not be disclosed ? How does 8(1)(a) come into the picture ? What imaginary economic interests of the state are affected by disclosing the information asked by the applicant ? How does 8(1)(g) come into play when the IIT JEE exam was over and finshed even before the RTI Application was filed ? This decision at least beats me completely. There is something much more here than meets the eye. Either someone trying to hide a big blunder or trying to shield a corrupt practice.
  2. As reported by Shamsheer Yousaf in expressbuzz.com on 19 October 2009: Should IIT aspirantsâ?? details be disclosed? Should IIT aspirants’ details be disclosed? BANGALORE: The Central Information Commission (CIC) will now decide whether details of candidates appearing for the IIT Joint Entrance Examination such as marks, names, addresses etc can be exempted from disclosure under the Right to Information(RTI) Act. The CIC will tackle the question on November 6, when it will hear a case to decide whether IIT Guwahati — the organizing JEE for 2009 — should disclose this data. The case is being viewed as an important test of IIT-JEE’s credibility, as disclosure of 2006 JEE data showed that formulas for calculating subject cutoffs did not tally, and irregularities were alleged in marks scored by wards of faculty members. Barua responds Meanwhile, responding to TNIE’s report (Ask for data on JEE and mum’s the word at IIT-G, Oct 13) on the nondisclosure of JEE data , IIT Guwahati Director Gautam Barua has said that he had offered the appellant data for scrutiny with the names made anonymous. IIT Guwahati, the organizing JEE for 2009, had refused to provide marks and personal details of candidates on a CD as requested by Prof Rajeev Kumar of IIT Kharagpur under the Right to Information Act. Barua’s response referred to an offer made by him, in an email to Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, to make available five fields for each candidate -- candidate serial no,candidate category, marks in physics, chemistry and mathematics. He also clarified that the registration number would not be provided as this could be used to identify which region the candidate was appearing from. Earlier Barua claimed that the data could be misused by coaching centres for planning and targeting students. In response Kumar said that the disclosure of similar data in the past had revealed bungling/ irregularities, which showed that wards of influential people including faculty wards had scored very high marks. The Central Information Commission has now scheduled a hearing for November 6 to hear the case. Email interaction A summary of emails between IC Shailesh Gandhi, Kumar and Barua On October 2, Prof Rajeev Kumar files non-compliance of CIC order with IC Shaliesh Gandhi against IIT-G IIT-G Director Dr Gautam Barua respoonds with apprehensions of misuse of data by coaching centres. IC Shailesh Gandhi asks Barua to provide the fields of data that IITG has in its possession, and asks disclosure of which fields would constitute invasion of privacy. Barua suggests making available only marks of candidates, candidate serial number, and category. No registration number will be provided. On October 3, IC Shailesh Gandhi tells Barua that in light of previous decision, there was no case for not disclosing fields. Tells Barua a hearing can be scheduled. Barua cites privacy violation, issues of profit-making, and property rights. Kumar replies that making an argument that IIT wishes to make profit and therefore against disclosure of data is against the RTI Act and transparency.
  3. As reported by Manoj Mitta of TNN in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 11 October 2008: Bad to worse: In IIT with just 5% in JEE physics-India-The Times of India Bad to worse: In IIT with just 5% in JEE physics More Pictures NEW DELHI: In the IIT joint entrance examination of 2007, a score of 15% in mathematics was enough to make it to IIT-Kanpur. If you found that shocking, look at this year's figures. In 2008, students could join IIT-Kharagpur despite scoring no more than 5% in physics. For the second year running, the reduction of subject cutoffs to single digits under a procedure introduced in 2007 has allowed less meritorious candidates to slip into IITs even in the general category. This flies in the face of the seemingly reassuring statistics put out by IIT-Roorkee on its website in August stating that in the 2008 JEE conducted by it, the marks obtained by the last admitted candidate in the general category were 63 out of 162 in maths (39%), 72 in physics (44%) and 45 in chemistry (28%). The website glossed over the fact that some of the admitted candidates who obtained higher aggregates (and, therefore, higher ranks) actually scored much lower marks in one or the other subject than those scored by the last admitted candidate. The lowest marks in individual subjects among the candidates admitted to IITs this year are 10 in maths (6%), 8 in physics (5%) and 15 in chemistry (9%), an RTI query has revealed. Consider a sample of the anomalies that have emerged from the latest JEE following the drop in subject cutoffs (the first filter in the selection process) to 5 in maths, 0 in physics and 3 in chemistry. * If the last admitted candidate had an all-India rank (AIR) of 6,773 scoring respectable percentages in all three subjects, the one who scored just 6% in maths obtained a much better AIR, 5,308, which was good enough to get him admission to IIT-Kharagpur or Roorkee. * The candidate who scored just 5% in physics attained an AIR of 4,999, which could get him into IIT-Kharagpur, Guwahati or Roorkee, missing out on Kanpur by 3 marks and Bombay by 6 marks. * The candidate who scored 9% in chemistry obtained an AIR of 2,903, which could help him join any of the more sought after IITs. Several such anomalies have come to light because of the data disclosed by IIT-Roorkee in response to the RTI application from a computer sciences professor in IIT Kharagpur, Rajeev Kumar. Though the subject cutoffs in the much-touted JEE have been in single digits since 2007 (as reported first in TOI), the compromise in the quality of intake has worsened this year. A comparison of the lowest marks obtained by admitted candidates in individual subjects shows a drop across the board in these two years (see Table I). If such ridiculously low marks have been fetching IIT seats in the last two years, it is because, under the procedure introduced in 2007, the subject cutoffs are 20 percentile, which means the best marks obtained by the bottom 20% of the candidates in each subject. The 2007 procedure followed IIT Kharagpur's embarrassment before the Central Information Commission because of its inability to explain the basis for the much higher subject cutoffs in the previous year's JEE, which had been conducted by it. Adopted as it was on the rebound, the 2007 procedure adopting 20 percentile as subject cutoffs has turned out to be imprudent as there was no dearth of candidates in 2008, for instance, scoring much higher marks in each subject (see Table II). Since JEE involves negative marking, the 20 percentile formula has yielded single-digit cutoffs which have opened scope for candidates performing disastrously in one of the subjects being admitted on the strength of their marks in the other two. This has proved to be unfair to those who performed consistently in all the three subjects and yet lost out simply because their aggregates were slightly less. From the data that is available on all three JEEs held since RTI came into force, IITs could have easily averted such incongruities in their admission procedure had they taken the subject cutoffs as the least marks of the top 20% candidates instead of the highest marks of the bottom 20% candidates (see Table III). This is because when the 80 percentile formula is applied to the data of the last three years, the subject cutoffs turn out to be more meaningful (as they range from 21 to 37 marks) and at the same time they yield more than enough candidates to be included in the AIR list on the basis of their aggregates (since about 8,000 are currently ranked, IITs will have almost three times that many to choose from). Given their global reputation, IITs would do well to rationalize their cutoff procedure for the 2009 JEE in the light of the anomalies that have surfaced in the last two years with the 20 percentile formula.
  4. In a recent decision/order, CIC seems to have allowed the disclosure of IIT-JEE key and the answer sheets. The order is not very clear. It is attached to this post. Members can read it and decide for themselves. OK-15052008-20.pdf
  5. ganpat1956

    Explain JEE cut-offs, CIC warns IIT

    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. The Telegraph - Calcutta : Nation
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