(A clarification: I am not against JEE being part of college admissions in India. What I am not in favor of is it being the sole criteria for admission and it being the basis of ranking candidates. I am in favor of requiring a minimum grade in a JEE like exam for specific subjects for university admissions in a specific course. For example admission to CS program in IIT Bombay can require an A+ grade in a CS JEE.)
Its a bit disheartening to see India’s young generation which is usually so positive about reforms, get so stuck up about one entrance exam.
What do you think about the internal studies by the IITs that show that IIT GPAs are correlated with board exam marks and not with those sacrosanct JEE ranks ? From the report of a special IIT Madras task force1 (http://www.indianexpress.com/storyOld.php?storyId=80171):
Marks of Classes X and XII, All India Rank (AIR) in the JEE and Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) at IIT of several batches of students were analysed. The conclusions:
• ‘‘There is a strong correlation between the marks of Classes X, XII and the CGPA during B Tech. The correlation factor is close to 1.’’ This means, the chances of a good student in school doing well in B Tech is almost 100 per cent.
• ‘‘There is little correlation between marks in Class X, Class XII and AIR.’’ That is, good performers in school are not likely to get good AIR in the present selection system.
• ‘‘There is little correlation between AIR and CGPA.’’ This means, toppers in the JEE are not at the top during their B Tech programme.
What do you think about the fact that more than half of IIT students come from the CBSE board where
less than 1% about 5% of Indian students study2 ? The 2011 JEE report (http://www.iitsystem.ac.in/academics/JEE-Report-2011.pdf) mentions:
It is observed that 20315 out of 468280 (4.34%) of the appeared candidates were from ICSE and 49% were from State Board, whereas 45.7% appeared candidates were from CBSE board. Out of the 13196 qualified candidates, 543 were from ICSE (4.11%), 7396 from CBSE (56%), and 5195 from State Board (39.4%).
Invariably, the kids going to CBSE schools are children of government employees or well-off urban families. Is such a system really fair ? My question to the people opposing the new entrance system is what proportion of your IIT buddies are ‘poor rural kids’ ? Almost all the IIT graduates I have met are smart, hardworking folks who come from a comfortable middle class family. I am not saying the new system will solve all the problems of inequality, but please stop acting like JEE was the greatest thing in the world.
1: For some unfathomable reason, this report has not been made public. Perhaps we can make it public through an RTI. Why this secrecy ?
2: See Table 1 in http://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/ExamResults-2008.pdf