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Thread: Explain JEE cut-offs, CIC warns IIT

  1. #25
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    Explain cut-off formula, high court tells IITs


    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



  2. #26
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    Re: Explain JEE cut-offs, CIC warns IIT


    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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  3. #27
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    Re: Explain JEE cut-offs, CIC warns IIT


    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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  4. #28
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    Re: Explain JEE cut-offs, CIC warns IIT



    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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  5. #29
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    Re: Explain JEE cut-offs, CIC warns IIT


    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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  6. #30
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    Re: Explain JEE cut-offs, CIC warns IIT


    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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  7. #31
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    Re: Explain JEE cut-offs, CIC warns IIT


    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

  8. #32
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    Re: Explain JEE cut-offs, CIC warns IIT


    So, what did Mr Shailesh Gandhi say in this matter ?
    Did he order and enquiry under Sec 18 ?
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