Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal wants to give a higher weightage to 12th board marks in the IIT qualifiers. Specifically, he wants to raise the minimum 12th board score from 60% to 80-85% for a qualification to the IIT entrance exams. He says that it will reduce the influence of coaching classes, and focus the students on 12th boards.
When did this man turn into the nut he seems to be today?
First problem: This man has earlier wanted to reduce the stress levels of students by easing the grading system for 10th and 12th exams. Suddenly, he wants to increase focus on these exams.
Second problem: Nearly every undergrad program that is fought for in my wonderful city of Mumbai has a CET. The 12th score has no value, and is a union card.
Third problem: If coaching classes are doing well in predicting your questions, set better questions. You are supposed to be the smartest people in India. If some coaching class hacks can outsmart you, perhaps a re-evaluation is in order. In any case, not all colleges are good enough in training students for IIT JEE (Read: No college is good enough, except if it has some IIT coach moonlighting there!) Also, who do you think prepares students for 12th boards? Coaching classes of course! So what we have here are classes for each exam telling the students that their exam is the most important. Great! Now students can choose whatever is good for them.
If a student cracks IIT-JEE by studying hard, being really brilliant, or with a lot of conniving from his coaching class, what is wrong with that? Instead of overprotecting the JEE system, make it a better system. Bring back the IIT screening, if you want.
Another thing: The IITs have been reduced to a celebration of intellect and the ability to crack the JEE and study super-hard while in IIT. There has been no great innovation from them in recent years, nothing that justifies the amount of taxpayer money being spent on the IITs. Frankly speaking, a lot of the students are going to b-schools and becoming investment bankers and hopelessly mediocre writers. Maybe it is time we added more IITs, reduced the overall cutoff, and concentrated on making decent engineers and not astronauts. The phenomenally bright students will find a way, if they’re determined enough, and if they’re not, well…there’s nothing we can do.
The decision to implement this change, or not, is left to the IIT people. Let’s all remember: whatever decision is taken, it is a lot of time and energy being spent for a crème de la crème of the Indian student population, and clearly an extravagance we cannot afford.