Friday, October 9, 2015

Dilemma on IIT JEE Entrance Exam Pattern

In 2005, the then HRD Minister Arjun Singh urged the IIT Council (Apex Body of all IITs) to make changes in the revered Entrance Exam for the IITs called IIT-JEE so that stress on students would be reduced and coaching classes would have to shut shop. 
IIT-JEE was a wonderful system of Subjective Tests which stood the test of time from 1960-2005 and was a key instrument in selecting the best of the best for admission to the hallowed portals of the IITs and catapulting the IITs into world-class educational institutions.
The IIT-JEE underwent a drastic change from 2006 onwards with mixed pattern of Objective questions replacing the Subjective Test. What happened since 2006 ?
Number of IIT aspirants suddenly grew 3-5 fold and so stress on the student increased likewise. You see a student gets stressed more from competitive pressures rather than the difficulty level of the subject. This is my observation having counselled thousands of students in the past 15 years.
According to IIT Professors, quality of students (especially beyond AIR 2000) deteriorated with the new system from 2006-15.
And most interestingly, the coaching industry boomed with enrollments and fees increasing 3-5 times too.
The Govt. and IIT Council tweaked the system almost every 2 years from 2006 to 2015 to arrest or reverse these repercussions which were diametrically opposite to stated objectives of the Govt. in 2005. But to no avail !
History is repeating itself. In the IIT Council meeting which took place yesterday (Oct-6), IIT Council at the behest of the HRD Ministry has formed a committee yet again to devise an Entrance system which will de-necessitate coaching.
I ask unless you make the JEE ridiculously easy or you create a corrupt system of political recommendations by removing any exam for the seats in the IITs, is it possible to stop dependence on coaching ?
Honestly, there is no way to eliminate coaching classes. But there is a way to reduce their sway without diluting the admitted quality of students vis-a-vis IITs.
"Restart the Subjective Test for the IITs. Tougher the exam, lesser the number of aspirants, tougher to coach (so lesser classes) and better the quality of the students admitted in the IITs and lesser the cases of depression, suicides and academic renunciates inside the IITs."
This same system worked so marvellously from 1960-2005. Why not from 2016 onwards as all other systems have failed to deliver ?
Lastly, the real hidden reason for the Govt. to change the system from 2006 was none of their stated objectives !!! The real reason was something else. More on this later....i

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