Friday, August 03, 2012

IITs still not agreeing for the common entrance exam

Despite recent setbacks, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is not ready to give up the idea of 'one nation, one test' but getting the IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) on board is unlikely to be easy. The ministry is set to put in place a committee, which is likely to be headed by Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, CNR Rao. Even before the committee has been set up, IITs are questioning the need to revisit the 'single test' proposal, saying that it is "not a good idea".

Having learnt from its mistakes, the ministry is planning to include members from IIT faculty in the committee. While the IIT faculty is 'appreciative' of the decision to include them, there appears to be little support for the idea. The president of the All India IIT Faculty Federation (AIIITFF) K. Narasimhan said, "I appreciate that fact that the ministry wants to involve the faculty." But appreciation doesn't translate into agreeing to the idea of single test.

"I am not sure whether the single test is something we should move towards. What we now have in the IITs is a two-stage process, this is what the Senates wanted and approved. We had this system till 2005, when the two-stage process was discontinued. Getting back to that practice is something that the IITs, most of them, are happy about. I don't see the IITs agreeing to give up on this," Narasimhan said.

The proposed committee will look into the modalities for the 'one nation one test' and recommend ways to implement it across disciplines in a phased manner, beginning with engineering.

There is considerable apprehension about the fact that the proposed committee already has a 'final conclusion' - giving a sense of 'working backwards' and not towards a goal of addressing infirmities in the admission examination system. Not wanting to be seen as obstructionists, Narasimhan said that the inclusion of faculty would mean that "there is at least the possibility of exchange of thought".

There is a reason that the IIT faculty is dead against a single test. They see the 'single test' for all undergraduate engineering programmes as putting restrictions on the type of test that can be administered. "If you have some 20 to 2.5 million aspirants, then the only option is an objective machine readable test. Our belief is that you can't differentiate among students on the basis of such a test," the IIT Bombay professor said.

What the IITs argue is the need for a test that assesses "deeper thinking, and analytical skills" of the students. This, they say, is only possible through a traditional subjective test. "For that you need manageable numbers, and therefore the big exam can be a coarse filter while the second exam can be more challenging to bring out the best students."

Source: The Economic Times (Online Edition), August 3, 2012
IITs still not agreeing for the common entrance examSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive