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'IIT reforms have failed to achieve desired results'

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Intermediate Board comes under fire Chances of AP students switching over to other states high Round-table conference vows to launch a...

  • Intermediate Board comes under fire
  • Chances of AP students switching over to other states high
  • Round-table conference vows to launch a protracted battle
IIT The raging controversy over JEE percentile system has intensified with more and more academicians, students and institutions raising their voice against the erroneous methodology which deal a body blow to many a meritorious student from the state. At a round-table conference on "Effect of IIT reforms on AP students" organised by AP Junior College Lecturers Association in Hyderabad on Wednesday, all of them strongly flayed the IIT-guided system and demanded total review of it immediately. They have also urged the central decision- making authorities to dispense with the 40 percent weightage norm in JEE Mains and 20 percentile norm in JEE Advanced as both of them lack rationality and harming the prospects of meritorious students from AP. It was decided at the conference to launch a concerted battle through courts and other means besides exerting pressure on the political leadership and the CBSE, IITs etc. All the participants have lambasted Board of Intermediate Education for not enlightening the student community over the possible repercussions and the ways to counter them. "No official from the Board or government has conducted any meeting nor did they send any data on the JEE reforms till date. More than 80 percent of the students do not actually know what the percentile system is all about" Dr Krishna Chaitanya of Nano Institute criticised. For full one year, our officials and ministers have slept, he remarked. Dr Raghunath of Narayana Group, who explained about the percentile system, expressed apprehension that the new methodology may trigger exodus from the state. "Since there is a lot of variation between the cutoff marks of AP and other smaller states like Assam, Tripura, Nagaland etc, our students may go over there for plus two study. This will destroy the state's education system" he warned. Stating that one small clause in the JEE notification has altered the entire scene, Raghunathi said- "There was a sharp decline in the number of successful candidates after the introduction of new system. Earlier, our students were one fourth of the total number of successful candidates i.e. more than 2,400 out of 10,000. Now, this figure dropped to just 1,700. Similarly in NITs, the number dropped from 35 percent to 14 percent. Why? Just because of the erroneous system" Prof Venugopalarao of Foreign Relations wing, Osmania University, who has been waging a relentless battle in courts on the new system said the reforms initiated by Kapil Sibal, the then Minister for Human Resources Development have totally failed to achieve the desired results. "The ego clash between Sibal and the IITs has damaged the careers of thousands of students. The change of pattern was aimed at reducing the necessity of coaching institutes. But in practice, it was not so easy given the complexity of syllabi. The other aims viz bridging the rural-urban divide, male-female divide, providing equal opportunities to all states in a federal set up etc have also not materialised" he said. He also alleged that the new system might have conceived to damage the prospects of AP students, B Sriramachandra Murthy, father of B Satvik who narrowly lost seat by just five marks said it was never heard that a seat was denied after informing the ward initially. C Kaushalya, who came from Visakhapatnam to narrate her son's story who lost the seat just by four marks because of change of cutoff mark said the Inter Board shall be tasked for not updating the students well in advance. Venkateswarlu, father of Siddarth who missed the bus just by two marks said they would continue to fight in the courts till justice is done to all. All of them felt that there was no coordination between MHRD, IITs, CBSE and Inter Board. The system lacks transparency and the reform-hungry IITs tried to prove their one-upmanship, they castigated. Dr P Madhusudhan Reddy, who organised the conference, demanded scrapping of reforms. "A two-pronged strategy should be adopted. We should continue to fight in courts and pressurise the political leadership" he added.
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