Monday, October 19, 2009

Sibal’s spitball

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.

13 comments:

swatimala said...

yup...i agree wid u...a reformation in the system is necessary

buddy said...

im amazed by the lucidity with which you expostulate your points

of course, you are right!

avalok ishwar said...

at least chetan bhagat writes a good wikipedia stub about himself!! loser! good post liberal!

maxdavinci said...

the so-called youth icon made redeemed his existence by marrying a tam!

yaaro Oruvan said...

that was a good one.i know there are other sales/marketing people from the prestigious institutealso.

rambuna said...

Is Kapil Sibal trying to be in news and be controversial??

Liberal said...

@swatimala
A reform in the system which results in a better use of finances wrt IITs is necessary, but I don't think Sibal has the foresight or the inclination of doing this.

@buddy
Ah! My foulweather friend!

@avalok
Chetan Bhagat is a nut! His books are highly bourgeoisie in taste

@max
Amen to that!

@rambuna
Seems like it! Someone needs to tell him that spouting off contrarian viewpoints is not the only way to contribute

Liberal said...

@yaaro oruvan
That's what I mean...it is one thing for people from regular engineering colleges to do whatever they want (many of them are private colleges and these people are not benefiting from the government much, but when people study highly subsidized programs and then do something completely unrelated to them, it is a travesty.

avalok ishwar said...

@liberal
Sibal has "foursight" only if you are referring to his glasses! I'll have a blog soon on Raj Thackeray, the other greenhouse-gas producing gasbag that has taken Bombay (my-ass-I-am-calling-it-Mumbai-you-ghhatis) hostage !

Anjana R said...

a very good read. :)

Anjana R said...

and Chetan Bhagat is just irritating.

Liberal said...

@Anjana
Thanks

Perception said...

like all others i too agree with all your points. re-evaluate and improvise the system someone...nice read as always