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Explain JEE cut-offs, CIC warns IIT


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Atul Patankar

As reported by CHARU SUDAN KASTURI at telegraphindia.com on Thursday , July 16 , 2009


New Delhi, July 15: Calcutta High Court has ordered the IITs to explain how they arrived at the cut-offs used in the 2006 joint entrance exam that do not match the cut-offs calculated by a formula the institutes claimed to have used.

The high court has also asked parents, who challenged the admission process used in 2006, to obtain expert verification on the mismatch in cut-offs that they have alleged.

A division bench on July 7 ordered that the IITs “prepare and submit a report regarding the working out of cut-off marks of chemistry”, effectively asking the institutes to prove their cut-offs.

As reported by The Telegraph on August 6, 2007, the IITs in 2006 employed subject cut-offs that did not match with the formula they claimed to have used to arrive at those figures. The mismatch in the chemistry marks was particularly startling.

Parents of aspirants had obtained the cut-off marks the IITs employed as well as the formula the institutes claimed to have used to arrive at these numbers using the Right to Information Act.

On simple statistical calculation, it emerged that the cut-offs thrown up by the formula provided by the IITs were significantly different from the cut-offs the IITs actually used, by their own admission.

The IITs used 48 in physics, 55 in chemistry and 37 in math as cut-offs. The formula they claimed to have used threw up negative cut-offs, with -8 for physics, - 6 for chemistry and -3 for math.

The revelation meant that the IITs — deliberately or unconsciously — effectively denied admission to 994 students who would have qualified had the institutes actually employed the formula they claimed to have used.

The Telegraph, at the time, had verified the mismatch in the cut-offs — itself, and through independent statistical experts.

The IITs twice changed the formula they said they had used in 2006.

After the initial formula provided under the RTI act, a second formula was presented to the Central Information Commission and then yet another version to Calcutta High Court.

But statistical calculations on the formulas subsequently provided showed that none of these tallied with the cut-offs used by the IITs.

The latest formula cited by the IITs before the high court showed the 2006 cut-offs as 4 for physics, 6 for chemistry and 7 for math.

Students appearing for the JEE are required to sign a statement saying that they will not challenge any decision of the Joint Admission Board of the IITs — the highest body in charge of the entrance tests. The formula for determining cut-offs is set by the board.

The IITs argued before the court that students, by signing the statement, had forfeited their right to challenge the cut-off determining procedure. The high court had, on this argument, earlier dismissed the petition of the parents.

The division bench hearing the review petition has, however, accepted the petitioners’ plea that they were not challenging the board’s decision. The petition did not challenge the formula set by the board for determining cut-offs but questioned the use of that formula in determining the correct cut-offs, the court said. “It is not the decision, but the decision-making process (that) has been challenged,” the order said.



Source: The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Nation | Explain cut-off formula, high court tells IITs

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As reported by Charu Sudan Kasturi in telegraphindia.com on 12 August 2009:

The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Nation | Judges different, IIT cutoffs too


Judges different, IIT cutoffs too




New Delhi, Aug. 11: The IITs have altered for the third time the formula they claim they used to determine cutoffs for the controversial 2006 entrance examinations, submitting different formulae to two different Calcutta High Court benches.


Two IIT directors — Guwahati chief Gautam Barua and Bombay boss Devang Khakhar — have placed before the high court a formula at variance with a procedure submitted under oath by another senior IIT official.


Since only one formula could have been used that year, at least one of the two procedures submitted by the IITs to the high court has to be inaccurate. The court is expected to hear the case tomorrow.


The fresh alteration in the formula follows failure by the institutes to justify the cutoffs they used in 2006 based on any of the three previous formulae they said they had used.


Appellants — parents of candidates — have already placed before the high court a report by statistics experts establishing that the earlier formula submitted by the IITs to the court cannot yield the cutoffs used in 2006.


IIT Kharagpur’s V.K. Tewari, who was organising chairman of the 2006 Joint Entrance Examination, had in 2007 submitted an affidavit to Calcutta High Court detailing what he claimed was the formula used the previous year.


The formula stated in the affidavit says that the scores of all students who secured at least one mark in physics, chemistry and mathematics each were considered for determining subject cutoffs.


The average score of all these students was calculated in the three subjects. The standard deviation — a statistical measure of the variations in scores of students — was then calculated for all these students in each subject.


In each subject, this standard deviation was subtracted from the average score to determine the cutoff for the subject. This procedure was submitted to the single-judge bench of Justice Biswanath Samaddar.


But the formula now submitted by the IITs to the bench of Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice Mohammed Abdul Ghani is significantly different.


This formula also starts by considering the scores of all students who secured at least one mark in each of the three subjects, and calculates the mean and standard deviation in each subject.


But instead of setting subject cutoffs by simply subtracting the standard deviation from the average in each subject, this procedure uses a series of iterations. Unlike the procedure submitted by Tewari, the final cutoff for one subject depends on the scores of students in another subject in this procedure.


The procedure submitted by the directors of IIT Bombay and IIT Guwahati is the fourth different formula the IITs have cited in explaining the cutoffs used in 2006.


The first formula was released under the Right to Information Act by IIT Kharagpur, the organising IIT, in 2006. This formula was later changed in a fresh submission by the IIT before the Central Information Commission.


Tewari’s affidavit provided the third distinct formula before the latest submission to the high court.

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As reported by Manoj Mitta in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 27 August 2009:

Single-digit cutoffs continue to dog IIT - India - NEWS - The Times of India


Single-digit cutoffs continue to dog IIT


NEW DELHI: In an unforeseen effect of RTI, globally respected IITs have been stuck in a spiral of low cut-offs in their joint entrance examinations (JEE) for the last three years even for general candidates.


Despite all their efforts to pull out of the single-digit cut-offs they had fallen into in 2007 and 2008 (1,4 & 3 and 5,0 & 3 in Maths, Physics and Chemistry, respectively), IITs could improve only marginally this year, as evident from the marks announced earlier this month.


Out of the maximum possible marks of 160 in each subject in 2009, the cut-offs in Maths and Chemistry barely broke into double digits (11 marks each) while it remained a single-digit score in Physics (8 marks).

This is even after IITs abandoned the cut-off formula they had adopted in 2007 and 2008 (20 percentile or the best of the bottom 20 per cent of the candidates) and tried a new one in 2009 (average or mean of the marks of all the candidates).


Such ridiculously low cut-offs have been dogging IITs ever since they found themselves at a loss to explain to the Central Information Commission the basis on which they had arrived at the respectably high cut-offs of 37, 48 and 55 in the 2006 JEE, which was the first to be held after RTI came into force in November 2005.


In their third and latest attempt to explain the 2006 cut-offs, they set up a committee last month consisting of directors of IIT Guwahati and IIT Bombay, Gautam Barua and Dewang Khakhar, to submit a report to the Calcutta high court showing the exact calculations.


The calculations contained in the 11-page report reveal that, in a major departure from the norms of fair selection, IITs had in the 2006 JEE excluded hundreds of high-aggregate scoring candidates even before arriving at the subject cut-offs, which was meant to be the first level of screening.


It is because of this serious flaw in the implementation of the 2006 formula that IITs, in their two earlier attempts before the CIC and high court, could not account for the major mismatch between the stated cut-offs (37, 48 and 55) and those yielded by the two different formulas claimed by them (while the first formula produced cut-offs of -8, -3 & -6, the second resulted in 7,4 and 6).


In a bid to bridge this wide gap, the Barua-Khakhar committee took recourse to the "iterative process", which is used to increase the cut-offs "with every iteration" to get the desired number of candidates. But while determining the cut-off of one subject through the iterative process, the committee eliminated the candidates who had high marks in the other two subjects.


Thus, although they were supposed to be calculated separately through the iterative process, the cut-off of one subject affected the cut-offs of the other two subjects. The committee did not however admit this paradox anywhere in its report.


Had the IITs implemented their belatedly-disclosed iterative procedure in a fair and transparent manner, the cut-offs would have actually been 42, 44 and 51, thereby reducing the deviation among the three subject cut-offs to 9 marks instead of 18 marks. This would have very significantly changed the composition of the merit list in 2006.


And had they applied the iterative process in the JEE of the past three years as well, the IITs would have been able to take their low cut-offs to a more respectable level and spared themselves the embarrassment of admitting general candidates who got, for instance, 5% in Physics in last year's JEE.

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As reported by Shamsheer Yousaf in expressbuzz.com on 27 August 2009:

Calcutta HC orders scrutiny of cut-off formula


Calcutta HC orders scrutiny of cut-off formula


BANGALORE: How did the IITs calculate the cut-offs for IIT-JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) 2006? The search for the formula that determined the fate of about 3 lakh students continues with the IITs submitting a third formula before the Calcutta High Court.


A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on August 12 ordered the scrutiny of the latest formula by an independent expert, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, a retired Head of Statistics department, Calcutta University, within three weeks.


The High Court was hearing a petition filed by parents of students who are questioning the way cut-offs for JEE 2006 were calculated by the IITs. This is the third formula submitted by the IITs in three years.


Calculations done using the previous two formulae submitted before the Central Information Commission (CIC) and the High Court, had thrown up different cut-offs from the ones revealed by the institutes in response to a Right to Information application.


While cut-offs for Maths, Physics, and Chemistry were declared to be 37, 48, and 55 respectively, the first formula submitted to CIC shockingly produced cutoffs of -8, -3, and -6 for the subjects. The second formula threw up cut-offs of 7, 4 and 6 for Maths, Physics and Chemistry respectively.


The latest formula submitted by IIT Bombay director Dewang Khakhar and IIT Guwahati director Gautam Barua on August 12, is arrived at by appending a set of intricate iterative procedures to the second formula. The new formula has come as a surprise to appellants as it is being revised almost one year after the second formula was presented to the High Court.


The controversy arose in 2007 after it was found that the declared subject cut-offs varied widely from the ones computed using the first formula. According to the appellants, 994 eligible candidates were illegally excluded from the IITs due to miscalculation on its part.


The latest submission has also raised the question of IITs misleading the CIC and the Calcutta High Court.

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As reported by Shamsheer Yousaf in expressbuzz.com on 13 October 2009:

Ask for data on JEE and mum?s the word at IIT-G


Ask for data on JEE and mum’s the word at IIT-G


BANGALORE: The bungling of the 2006 Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) may have undermined the reputation of Indian Institute of Technologies for holding one of the toughest entrance exams in the country; but the premier engineering institutes have decided to fight tooth and nail against any measure to open JEE to scrutiny.


Misuse of data by coaching centres has now become the latest ruse which IIT-Guwahati (IIT G)— which organised the 2009 JEE— is using to refrain from full disclosure of JEE 2009 data.


In an email to Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi on October 2, IIT G director Gautam Barua said, “We (IITs) are apprehensive that this request for electronic data is to profit from it by using the data for IIT-JEE coaching purposes (planning, targeting particular cities, population segments, etc).” Subsequently, on October 3, Barua wrote, “If private details of all candidates appearing in exams are to be released as a matter of course, then there will be serious repercussions on privacy, issues of profit-making, possibly even property rights may come in.” On property rights, he said that the JEE data has monetary value, and the “IIT system may wish to price it.” Barua was responding to a charge that IIT G had failed to comply with a Central Information Commission order to release JEE data to Right to Information applicant Prof Rajeev Kumar of IIT Kharagpur.


Prof Kumar had sought data of marks secured by candidates in individual subjects along with personal details such as name and address to be provided on a compact disc (CD).


Responding to the points raised by Barua, Prof Kumar wrote to Gandhi “Making an argument that IIT wishes to make profit, and thus IIT is against disclosure of data, is against transparency and the RTI Act.” The case is being viewed as an important test of IIT-JEE’s credibility, as disclosure of the 2006 JEE data showed that formulas for calculating subject cutoffs did not tally, and answer sheets were destroyed earlier than required, despite pending appeals.


Interestingly, Barua has said that they are ready to show the running of the software which calculates the cutoff procedure with the original data, but expressed reluctance to provide an electronic version of the data to the applicant.


In his e-mail to CIC Gandhi, he said “...the appellant could come to IIT Guwahati and view the data, see the software being run.” Further, Barua wrote, “In case... the CIC insists on our giving the data, we will wish to provide the data in hard copy form, the costs of printing having to be borned (sic) by the appellant.” With data of nearly 4 lakh candidates, this would be a mountainous amount of data, making any analysis practically impossible.

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As reported by Swaha Sahoo in hindustantimes.com on 14 February 2010:

Flawed IIT admission process set for overhaul- Hindustan Times


Flawed IIT admission process set for overhaul


Ten days ago, the government set up a committee headed by IIT Kharagpur Director Damodar Acharya to suggest reforms to the admission process for the Indian Institutes of Technology. It is expected the committee will look at ways to incorporate Class XII exam marks in the selection criteria.


This comes after revelations that the process used in the past is flawed.


An RTI application by a professor at IIT Kharagpur filed in 2007 revealed that in 2006, 994 students with low aggregates in maths, physics and chemistry in the Joint Entrance Exami-nation qualified, though around 4,000 others who had higher aggregates than them did not.


For example, a student with 37 in maths, 48 in physics and 69 in chemistry made the cut, while another with 36 in maths, 116 in physics and 127 in chemistry did not. This was because the cutoff mark for maths that year was said to be 37. However, when the cutoff was calculated according to the stated formula, it came out to be 7.


A student challenged the admissions in the Calcutta High Court. Last month, the court said it had no expertise in the matter and declined to interfere. Professor Rajeev Kumar, who had filed the RTI application, said he will challenge the decision in the Supreme Court.


Professor Acharya said the formula for determining cutoffs had already been decided. It is the existing flawed formula.

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Atul Patankar

As reported by CHARU SUDAN KASTURI at telegraphindia.com on March 29 , 2010


‘Threat’ to whistleblower IIT teacher


New Delhi, March 28: An IIT Kharagpur administrator has warned a professor who revealed discrepancies in the 2006 admissions that he was “cutting” his hand by challenging the institutes, triggering charges of threatening the whistleblower.

The “threat” was made before the Central Information Commission (CIC) as it heard Right to Information appeals by the professor, Rajeev Kumar, and has been recorded in the CIC’s order — a copy of which is with The Telegraph.

It is extremely rare for the CIC — India’s apex RTI Act umpire — to record specific comments made by parties during hearings.

“By doing this, you are cutting your hand,” IIT Kharagpur officiating registrar T.K. Ghoshal told Kumar at the March 19 hearing at the CIC here, according to the order.

The case is being heard by information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi.

The admission discrepancies revealed by Kumar — a computer science professor at IIT Kharagpur — denied at least 994 deserving students seats at the IITs in 2006, as was exposed by this newspaper.

Ghoshal claimed that his comment was not intended as a threat, and merely represented his defence of the IITs. “I believe that if I am a part of an institution, I am hurting myself if I tarnish the image of that institution. It was with that meaning that I made the comment,” he later said.

Kumar, who has repeatedly said he is merely pointing out problems with the JEE with the aim of “improving the system”, however, argued that the statement was very much a threat. “This was a very direct threat suggesting that I would be harmed if I continued to challenge wrongdoing that is hurting the IIT system. The threat is a result of fear because many more dirty secrets could spill out,” Kumar said.

The IITs in 2006 violated their own stated procedure for determining subject cut-offs — for physics, chemistry and math — and instead used cut-offs that were starkly different and which they could not explain.

As a consequence, at least 994 students, who would have got seats had the IITs followed their own stated admission procedure, were denied the opportunity to study in India’s premier engineering schools.

Grilled by the CIC, Calcutta High Court and the media, the IITs repeatedly changed their version of the cut-off determining procedure after it was pointed out that the calculation did not yield the cut-offs that were finally used. After presenting one procedure to Kumar in response to his RTI application, the IITs gave the CIC a second, different procedure.

Next, the IITs gave a third procedure, different from the first two, to Calcutta High Court as part of a signed affidavit. But even the commitment in the form of the affidavit to the high court did not deter the IITs from changing their account of the claimed procedure once again before a review bench of the court.



Source: The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Bengal | ‘Threat’ to whistleblower IIT teacher

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So, what did Mr Shailesh Gandhi say in this matter ?

Did he order and enquiry under Sec 18 ?

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As reported in telegraphindia.com on 07 April 2010:



IIT rejoinder and reply on ‘threat’




Dr T.K. Ghosal, registrar (officiating) with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, has sent a rejoinder to a news report carried in The Telegraph on March 29.


The news report had said that at a Central Information Commission (CIC) hearing of RTI appeals by an IIT professor, Rajeev Kumar, who exposed discrepancies in the 2006 admissions, Dr Ghosal warned Prof. Kumar against challenging the IITs, telling him that “by doing this you are cutting your hand”.


The report had added that the CIC, in an unusual move, had recorded the comment in its order and stated that Prof. Kumar saw the comment as a threat and that Dr Ghosal had said that it was not intended as one.


Dr Ghosal’s rejoinder sent to The Telegraph states:


Dear Sir,


We express our anguish over the reporting of misleading and baseless information published in your esteemed Newspaper on 29th March 2010 Edition under the heading “Whistleblower warned over JEE case. Threat to IIT teacher”….


The fact of the case is that the complainant Mr. Rajeev Kumar filed a complaint in the Central Information Commission. The Commission allowed the appeal on the basis of a letter dated 02-02-2010 from the Public Information Officer, IIT Kharagpur. The decision is available in the Website of Central Information Commission (decision No. CC/SG/C/2010/000001/6934 Adjunct dated 19.03.2010). It is evident that the decision does not carry a single word of JEE-2006. Hence, we feel that the stated news item is not a proper representation and has unnecessarily cast aspersion on our Institute.


As regards your reporting on JEE 2006 admission, your attention is invited to the judgment of the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ashim Kumar Banerjee and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Kalidas Mukherjee, High Court Calcutta in regard to case F.M.A. No. 1424 of 2008 in the matter of Shri Sanchit Bansal, son of Shri Rajeev Kumar and Another Vs. the Joint Admission Board (JAB) and others. The Hon’ble Court through their final judgment has disposed the said appeal. The same was reported to many leading Newspapers and also included in AIR. That being the position… (the) report has given a different news to confuse the readers of The Telegraph. As such I am directed to contradict the same.


We hope that considering the gravity of the situation, you would be kind enough to publish this Rejoinder or publish the same in The Telegraph as a letter to the Editor.


Our Special Correspondent replies:


The news item factually reported what transpired at a hearing of the CIC on March 19, 2010, as recorded on the same day in an order of the CIC.


In his letter, Dr T.K. Ghosal does not at any point challenge the factual contents of the news report. Instead, he has cited unrelated facts and claimed the report is “misleading and baseless”.


The CIC order explicitly says that Prof. Kumar pointed out to the commission that Dr Ghosal had during the discussions told Prof. Kumar “that by doing this you are cutting your hand”. Dr Ghosal’s warning is specifically mentioned at the end of paragraph 3 of page 2 of the CIC order. This was perceived by Prof. Kumar as a threat — and the CIC viewed this as significant enough to be recorded in its order.


The Telegraph report had given the versions of both Prof. Kumar and Dr Ghosal.


The news report states that Dr Ghosal warned Prof. Kumar in relation to the latter challenging the IITs. It nowhere states that the March 19 hearing in particular was on the 2006 JEE or that the order mentioned the admissions fiasco that year.


The report correctly states that Prof. Kumar revealed the discrepancies in the 2006 JEE that denied 994 deserving candidates seats at the IITs. The March 19 hearing pertained to information that Prof. Kumar had sought and which the IIT was denying him — in other words, Prof. Kumar was challenging the IIT.


While the March 19 order did not mention the year 2006, the information sought by Prof. Kumar is intrinsically associated with his fight to bring justice to the victims of the JEE 2006 scandal.


Dr Ghosal’s rejoinder misleadingly cites the high court dismissal of a petition filed by Prof. Kumar in the 2006 case even though that high court order is not related to the facts reported in The Telegraph report.


The high court order in the case very clearly explains that Prof. Kumar’s petition was dismissed on a technicality.


The parliamentary standing committee on human resource development too has observed that the technicality on which the high court dismissed Prof. Kumar’s petition does not exonerate the IIT from answering questions about the 2006 JEE discrepancies.

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News Report on The Telegraph :The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Frontpage | IIT rejoinder and reply on ‘threat’










Club Building (Near Post Office)

Old JNU Campus, New Delhi - 110067

Tel: +91-11-26161796

Decision No. CIC/SG/C/2010/000001/6934Adjunct

Complaint No. CIC/SG/C/2010/000001

Complainant : Mr. Rajeev Kumar

B-26, IIT Campus

Kharagpur, West Bengal-721302

Respondent : Mr. A. Patra

Public Information Officer &

Assistant Registrar (Audit)

Indian Institute of Technology

Kahragpur, West Bengal-721 302


The complainant had filed a RTI application with the PIO, IIT , Kharagpur on 04/10/2009 asking for certain information. On not having received the information within the mandated time of 30 days, he filed a complaint under Section 18 of the RTI Act with the Commission.

On this basis, the Commission issued a notice to the PIO, IIT, Kharagpur on 01/01/2010 with a direction to provide the information to the Complainant and further sought an explanation for not furnishing the information within the mandated time.

Commission’s Order dated 22/02/2010:

The Commission allowed the Appeal on the basis of a letter dated 02/02/2010 from the PIO, IIT, Kharagpur to the Commission. It was stated therein that information has been provided to the Complainant vide letter(s) dated 06/01/2010 and 01/02/2010. Further the PIO had given a written explanation for the delay in providing the information. However, the explanation did not appear reasonable to the Commission.

Facts leading to the show cause hearing on 19/03/2010:

The issue before the Commission is of not supplying the complete, required information by the PIO within 30 days as required by the law. From the facts before the Commission it appeared that both the PIO is guilty of not furnishing information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of Section 7 by not replying within 30 days, as per the requirement of the RTI Act. It appeared that the PIO’s actions attract the penal provisions and disciplinary action of Section 20 (1) and (2).A show cause notice was therefore issued to the PIO vide Commission’s decision dated 22/02/2010 with a direction to serve the same to such person(s) who are responsible for this delay in providing the information, and direct them to be present before the Commission along with the respondents.

Relevant Facts During the Show Cause Hearing on 19/03/2010:

The following were present.

Complainant: Mr. Rajeev Kumar;

Respondent: Mr. A. Patra, Public Information Officer & Assistant Registrar (Audit);

Mr. T. K. Mukherjee, OSD; Mr. T. K. Ghosal, Registrar and FAA;

The RTI application was received by the PIO on 06/10/2009. PIO states that he sought the assistance of Dr. V. C. Vivekanand, Dean & Professor of Law, Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property under Section 5(4) of the RTI Act on 07/10/2009. He sent a reminder on 16/11/2009 to Dr. V. C. Vivekanand to provide the information. The PIO states that on 23/11/2009 Prof. S. Motilal forwarded an Email with a request to cross check the data with Account Section but the PIO could not open the attachment with the email. After this Dean Prof. V. C. Vivekananad send the information on 06/01/2010 which was forwarded to the Complainant. This information did not provide the actual honorarium paid to the people which has been originally sought in the RTI Application thus partial

information was provided. On 15/01/2010since the Complainant complained about receiving incomplete information the PIO requested account section to provide the information and gave a reminder on 01/02/2010 to the Assistant Registrar Accounts. On 01/02/2010 the amount of honorarium paid to those who worked in RGSOIPL was provided to Mr. Rajiv Kumar of 48 pages. However, Prof. Rajiv Kumar points out that this list does no tally with the list earlier provided to him in terms of names. In the first list Justice Pratap Ray and Mr. Anjan Sen have been mentioned but there names do not occurred in the list showing the honorarium paid. There is a very large number of names to whom honorarium has been paid which do not occur in the first list. The PIO is asked to explain these anomalies and give the complete list to the Complainant before 30 March 2010.

From the statement of the PIO it appears that Prof. V. C. Vivekanand was guilty of not giving the information within the time of 30 days, since his assistance was sought under Section 5(4) by the PIO. Further the PIO knew that the amount of honorarium paid was not supplied to him and that he should have sought the assistance of the Account Department atleast on 06/01/2010 when he forwarded the list to the Complainant. However, he sought the assistance of the accounts department on 15/01/2010. Information from a computerized accounts system about amount paid to people whose names are known should be available within minutes. Yet it is claimed that the Accounts Department took 15 days and a reminder from the PIO to give this information. The Commission recommends to the Director of IIT, Kharagpur to train people within IIT who are dealing with RTI and setup some proper system where people understand what information is to be given and how can be obtained.

Prof. Rajiv Kumar pointed out to the Commission that Dr. T. K. Ghosal has during the discussions told Prof. Rajiv Kumar “that by doing this you are cutting your hand”. Prof. Rajiv Kumar feels that this is a threat. Dr. Ghosal states that it was not intended as a threat.

Adjunct Decision:

The PIO is Director to explain these anomalies and give the complete list to the Complainant before 30 March 2010

The Director of IIT, Kharagpur is recommended to train people within IIT who are dealing with RTI and setup some proper system where people understand what information is to be given and how can be obtained.

The issue before the Commission is of not supplying the complete, required information by the deemed PIO Prof. V. C. Vivekanand within 30 days as required by the law.

From the facts before the Commission it is apparent that the deemed PIO is guilty of not furnishing information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of Section 7 by not replying within 30 days, as per the requirement of the RTI Act. It appears that the deemed PIO’s actions attract the penal provisions of Section 20 (1). A showcause notice is being issued to him, and he is directed give his reasons to the Commission to show cause why penalty should not be levied on him.

Prof. V. C. Vivekanand will present himself before the Commission at the above address on 19 April 2010 at 4.00pm alongwith his written submissions showing cause why penalty should not be imposed on him as mandated under Section 20 (1). He will also submit proof of having given the information to the appellant. If there are other persons responsible for the delay in providing the information to the Appellant the PIO is directed to inform such persons of the show cause hearing and direct them to appear before the Commission with him.

Shailesh Gandhi

Information Commissioner

19 March 2010

(In any correspondence on this decision, mention the complete decision number.)(SP)

CC: To, Prof. V. C. Vivekanand through Mr. A. Patra, Public Information Officer & Assistant Registrar (Audit)

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As reported by Akshaya Mukul in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 26 August 2010:

SC notice to HRD ministry, IITs on JEE irregularities - India - The Times of India


SC notice to HRD ministry, IITs on JEE irregularities


NEW DELHI: Admitting a Special Leave Petition seeking reforms in the Joint Entrance Examination conducted for admission to 15 IITs and other institutes, Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to HRD ministry, IIT Council -- the apex body managing IITs -- and Joint Admission Board, which conducts IIT-JEE, for alleged irregularities and largescale bungling in the exam.


The SLP, filed by IIT-Kharagpur professor Rajeev Kumar, challenged the June 2010 order of Delhi High Court which had dismissed a PIL by Kumar on the ground that he had no locus standi to challenge the validity of JEE. The SLP sought directions from the apex court for comprehensive reforms in the conduct of JEE to enhance transparency and accountability.


The petition requested the SC to make specific directions for probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into irregularities, tampering, fraud and abuse in the conduct of JEEs. It also sought constitution of a committee of independent experts to formulate a single examination for entrance to engineering institutions rather than having a committee of four IIT directors.


The petition said JAB should be asked to release model answers immediately after the examination was over. It sought additional safeguards to prevent tampering of the optical response sheets, not to repeat same set of persons as question setters or JEE administrators for more then two years and also to ensure strict vigilance, publish status of vacant seats and filled-in seats on day-to-day basis during admission counselling, set conceptual & analytical questions, and evaluation based on differential grading in lieu of binary grading.


Arguing on behalf of the petitioner, senior counsel Prashant Bhushan told the apex court that the PIL in Delhi HC was a comprehensive one based on extensive research and analysis of past five years' JEE data by Kumar. The data, Bhushan said, was otherwise kept secret by IITs. The data came to light as under RTI Act, IITs were forced to reveal various aspects of JEE results. In fact, many queries under RTI were answered only after the Central Information Commission passed strict orders.


Bhushan also said Kumar had established many irregularities and discrepancies which had come into the IIT-JEE examination system in the past 50 years but were kept a secret. It was also argued that detailed analysis of previous JEE data had revealed many discrepancies and irregularities, like ad hocism in cut-off determination, unattended errors in question settings/evaluation, tampering/shredding of optical response sheet in undue haste, promoting coaching institutes, lacking transparency and accountability, selecting IIT administrators' wards in some IITs, closed admission counselling resulting in irregularities in admissions and seats lying vacant, zero accountability for attending to apparent errors and poor ethics in JEE administration.


The petitioner also pointed out that JEE 2010 was marred by different kinds of errors in question papers, like ambiguous instructions, wrongly printed instructions, mismatch of subject headings in question papers and optical response sheet and printing errors.

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As reported by Akshaya Mukul in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 22 October 2010:

As JEE head, tainted prof tweaked cutoffs - The Times of India


As JEE head, tainted prof tweaked cutoffs


NEW DELHI: Running a fake institute from within the IIT-Kharagpur campus is not the only way in which Amit Kumar Ghosh of the aerospace department made his name.


From 2006 to 2008, Ghosh was chairman of Joint Entrance Examination, Kharagpur, when the maximum number of bunglings took place. Documents with TOI show that he not only gave false statements but on his charge, material related to JEE was destroyed despite clear rules that it be retained for a year.


Ironically, he remained the chief vigiliance officer of IIT, Kharagpur till recently.


On August 24, 2006, much after students had taken admission in IITs, as individual marks of candidates were released, it was found that students scoring just 154 marks were declared qualified though students with 279 marks were disqualified. If this was not enough, Ghosh's response to a student who had not qualified despite scoring 231 marks (104 in physics, 75 in maths and 52 in chemistry) was that "he has not satisfied the marks eligibility criteria laid down for individual subjects as well as the aggregate marks in JEE 2006".


This was a factually wrong statement as it was revealed in May 2007 that the cutoffs for maths, physics, chemistry and aggregate were 37, 48, 55 and 154 respectively for general category students, and the candidate in question scored much higher marks. But the procedure for cutoff calculation revealed by IITs showed that for maths, physics and chemistry, it should have been 7, 4 and 6 respectively instead of official figure of 37, 48 and 55.


Four different cutoff procedures submitted by IITs could not come to the stated official cutoffs. It also came to light that 994 candidates were deprived of admission due to discrepancy in calculation of cutoffs.


Even as pressure was mounting on IIT directors, chairpersons of board of governors and council members about irregularities, Ghosh sought an approval on October 31, 2006 for shredding of JEE specific material, including ORS scripts. The IIT statute clearly states that JEE papers will not be destroyed for a year.


Ghosh got approval from a committee that included Madhusudan Chakraborty, then deputy director (now director, IIT-Bhubneshwar) and Sishir Kumar Dube, then director IIT, Kharagpur. Records with TOI reveal that while Chakraborty's son was admitted to IIT-Kharagpur under the board of governors' quota, Dube's son was caught for impersonating in JEE.


Records also show that JEE material was finally shredded on December 18, 2006. But the very next day, principal information officer of IIT-Kharagpur, while responding to an RTI query on supplying question papers, said the Joint Admission Board 2006 had decided not to give away the question paper of JEE 2006 to the candidates. He did not reveal that all JEE material of 2006 was already destroyed a day earlier. As a result of destruction of material, IIT till date has not produced the original JEE cut-off procedure for verification.


Repeated phone calls at Ghosh's residence went unattended.

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As reported by Chetan Chauhan in hindustantimes.com on 12 Oct 2011:



Top court calls IIT whistleblower prof an unsung hero


Suspended IIT professor, Rajiv Kumar, has been described by the Supreme Court as an “unsung hero” who helped make the entrance examination to premier institutions more transparent. IIT-Kharagpur had on May 13, 2011 suspended Kumar on charges of damaging the institute’s reputation by



constantly filing RTI pleas and then appealing to the Central Information Commission (CIC) against the institute’s view.

Kumar’s five-year tirade started when his son failed to clear the 2006 IIT-JEE. He used the RTI Act to get information on the IIT-JEE selection process and claimed his son, who now works with Microsoft, had been wronged owing to the selection criteria.


The SC on Tuesday, after listening to IITs, dismissed his claim observing it does not have technical know-how to challenge the IIT experts, but said Kumar should be satisfied with being one of the many “unsung heroes who helped improve the system”.


SC judges RV Raveendran and AK Patnaik said: “IITs and the candidates, who now appear for the examinations must, to a certain extent, thank the appellants (Kumar) for their effort to bring such transparency ... in the ranking procedure.”


Kumar’s RTI application triggered a storm, with the CIC asking the IITs to give the information sought.


Kumar obtained data of all JEEs since 2006 and analysed them for claiming discrepancies in the examination system.

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