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As reported by Aditi Tandon in tribuneindia.com on 20 may 2011: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110521/main6.htm IIT Kharagpur chargesheets whistleblower prof Reason: He talked to the Press; Charge: He violated conduct Five years ago when Rajeev Kumar, a professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department of IIT Kharagpur took the RTI route to expose irregularities in the conduct of Joint Entrance Examinations, he knew the opposition he was pitched against. Having exposed many a shocking manipulation in the JEE system and driven the mighty IITs to the Supreme Court for lack of transparency in the conduct of the entrance exams, Kumar today received a five-page chargesheet from his parent institute which initiated disciplinary proceedings against him. It said: “You are alleged to have had unauthorised interaction with the Press for injuring and damaging the reputation of the institute and for bringing unsubstantiated allegations of mass copying in the conduct of IIT exams, thereby deliberately tarnishing the image of the institute, its students, past and present, and its faculty,” reads the first charge against a man whose struggle began when his son took the IIT-JEE but failed, even though he had cleared all the major technical college entrance exams. Kumar, who has been working on draft after draft to reform the IIT system, has been accused: “Often directly and indirectly, through your personal acquaintances, you used your access to both electronic and print media on issues of personal interest without seeking the permission of authorities. Thereby maligning the institutions and exerting huge mental pressure on the faculty and administrative staff. This is a serious violation of conduct rules,” reads the chargesheet. IIT Kharagpur has given Kumar 10 days to respond.. Kumar is famous for exposing the faulty system the IITs had been adopting for fixing cut-offs for JEE. This system resulted in the best scoring students being dropped from the list of successful candidates whereas the low scoring candidates emerged high rankers. He also questioned the validity of Optical Response Sheets used by the IITs, and said they were vulnerable to tampering.
New Delhi, Aug. 7: The Indian Institutes of Technology still cannot explain the method they followed in setting the admission criteria in 2006 â€” 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 candidatesâ€™ parents that the IITs had flouted their stated procedure â€” divulged under the Right to Information Act (RTI) â€” 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 â€œsome fixed process had to existâ€ but had no idea what it was. Replying to the parentsâ€™ RTI application last December, five months after the exam was over, the IITs had said there was â€œno fixed procedureâ€ 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 â€” and checked by this newspaper â€” 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 â€” the JEE awards negative marks for wrong answers â€” 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 parentsâ€™ 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 â€œseems feasibleâ€. Both methods could â€”and probably would â€” allow the majority of candidates who sat the exam to qualify. This is because either formula would let in â€œnearly 70 per centâ€ 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: â€œdefinitely over 50 per centâ€. Since the first formula considers all two lakh who sat the exam (as explained in Mondayâ€™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 â€” based on the around 6,000 seats available â€” 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 â€œmustâ€ exist. â€œBut that must have been set before my time (as board chief). We didnâ€™t decide any procedure,â€ said Dube, now a faculty member at IIT Delhi. Gunasekaran declined comment. The Telegraph - Calcutta : Nation