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Thursday, March 26, 2015


Smriti Irani's human resource development ministry has told Delhi High Court that common counselling for admission into IITs and National Institutes of Technology would begin from the 2015-2016 academic session.
Last week, the IITs were criticised by the court for saying it would not be possible to begin the process this year as the software would not be tested and ready for use before admission counselling starts in June-July.
During counselling, students are asked to furnish their choice of institutes and courses on a priority basis. Top rankers in entrance exams are called first and allotted seats in their preferred institutions.
At present, the IITs and the NITs do their counselling separately, which means a candidate who gets an offer from both institutes can block seats in both and dump one at the last moment. In case of common counselling, a student will get an offer from only one institute - either an IIT or an NIT - at a time.
Last August, the high court had directed the Centre to ensure common counselling for the IITs and NITs from 2015-16 while hearing a PIL filed by Rajeev Kumar, an IIT Kharagpur faculty member.
The HRD ministry had then set up a technical committee to suggest the modalities for common counselling. The committee backed the proposal with a few riders.
But last week, the IITs filed an affidavit saying common counselling may not be possible this year. They suggested the IITs could hold "synchronised admission counselling" with the NITs, so that counselling for both institutions was conducted at the same time but separately.
This prompted the court, which was critical about the delay in fixing the software, to comment: "it is a pity that in the last nearly seven months, the needful has not been achieved." This led the HRD ministry to overrule the IIT decision, sources said.
NIT sources claimed the IITs were deliberately delaying common counselling to perpetuate the public hype about the IITs. Software was not an issue, they alleged.
"The IITs would like to perpetuate in government and the public mind a special status and consequent enhanced funding to the IIT system. In reality, like the caste system, it is hurting Indian technical education," claimed the NIT Rourkela director, Sunil Kumar Sarangi.
But H.C. Gupta, a former chairman of the IIT-JEE (Advanced) exam, said the software was key to common counselling and was not ready.
"Is the software ready? If ready, please demonstrate it to show that it works. The problem is if it does not work, it will give a bad name to IITs," Gupta said.
He said similar efforts had been made in 2013 when he was the JEE-Advanced chairman. But the software could not be tested and the plan had to be deferred.
About 45,000 students get admission to 30 NITs, four Indian Institutes of Information Technology and a few other institutions every year. About 10,000 students are admitted to the IITs and ISM Dhanbad.
Source:Telegraph India

Its true that software has to be tested thoroughly before implementation but with this issue in focua from last 2-3 years it should have been ready by now. It seems IIT s are bit reluctant as it might be embarassing especially for newer and lesser prefeered IITs if actually students opt for better NITs before them in a common  councelling.

Monday, March 23, 2015

CBSE's 'surprise' may be a signal for reforms in exams: Hindustan Times

The ‘tough’ mathematics paper in the CBSE’s Class 12 exam has again brought to the centre stage the wisdom of making optional the Class 10 board exam for students. It was the UPA government’s decision.
The minister concerned, Kapil Sibal, had then said that the board exams were not always the “right measure” of a student’s talent. It is true students of the age of 15-16 are temperamentally not often suited to appear for a very important exam on which much of their future depends. This is particularly true for students with a less affluent background.
Many of them tend to give up education after failing in the Class 10 exam. But there can be a counter-argument also.
The Class 10 exam is a relatively simple affair, not only in the case of the CBSE but some other state boards also. And it was seen to prepare the soil for students to get ready for tougher exams, including the competitive ones. It is for this reason that there are reports of making it mandatory again.
The general complaint about the Class 12 maths paper was that it had a high proportion of tough questions, which is against the norm that the board follows in question setting.
If this is a fallout of a change in policy, the board owes an explanation to the candidates because to appear for the IIT entrance exam, a minimum level of marks is necessary. If a student has prepared for his exam keeping a certain format in mind, it is unfair to expect him to perform equally well in a changed format.
Should the CBSE consider bringing back the mandatory Class 10 exam, it can introduce a reformed structure.
For instance, there can be two types of physics courses of different standards, and students can take just one of them though opting for the easier variety may deprive them of the chance to take up science in Class 11.

Similarly, for Class 12 there can be two papers in mathematics, though the courses could be the same. If a student finds at some stage of his plus two course that a career in science or engineering is not up his street, he could appear in the simpler maths test. This way a lot of embarrassment can be avoided.
Source: Hindustan Times

Friday, March 20, 2015

IIT-NIT Common Counselling: Looks Improbable this year

The admission process for IITs and NITs is likely to remain separate for yet another year as the software for the complete database of students who have cleared the entrance exam and are eligible for counselling is not yet ready.
In an order issued in August 2014, the Delhi High Court had directed that common counselling for IITs and NITs should be implemented from the 2015-16 academic year, after a PIL filed in 2010 had pointed out that a number of seats in the institutes were left vacant because students shifted from one to the other.
On Wednesday, the counsel for IIT-Bombay, which is organising this year’s admissions process, informed the Delhi High Court bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw that the common counselling software would take “at least 3-6 months of testing” before it can be implemented.Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, who appeared on behalf of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, also told the court that the National Informatics Center was scheduled to demonstrate the first phase of the synchronised counselling software to the IITs on March 24, which would include a common portal to be used by the IITs and NITs to offer seats for admissions on the same date.
“IITs are not able to solve their own software problem, that does not sound right. What do you say to your clients?” the court observed after the counsel for the IITs said that the delay in implementing the common admission system was because the NIC had not provided proper software.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who had appeared on behalf of the petitioner, also pointed out that the Ministry of Human Resource Development, in its affidavit filed earlier this year, had stated that the joint seat allocation process will be implemented from this year. Bhushan also pointed out that the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) had created a software to manage admissions last year, which had been rejected by the IITs.
The court has now directed the IIT admissions administration and the ministry to submit its report on the NIC demonstration on March 25, and has observed that the “directions” to have a common counseling system “have to be implemented”.

Fear of Maths And English: Ravish's Blog

After the cheating pics from Bihar got into limelight , my favourite anchor Ravish has written a very realistic blog on this issue. Do read it.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Goof-up stumps IIT aspirants

The Central Board of Secondary Education has goofed up its IIT JEE (Main) examination information, purportedly putting up this year’s JEE (Main) question papers on its website. However, it was later found that the question papers were of last year, but were mistakenly dated 2015, instead of 2014.
The CBSE generally puts up the previous year’s JEE (Main) question papers as model question papers for students to familiarise themselves. But this year, the JEE Main website said, “Question Papers JEE (Main)-2015 Paper I” giving the impression that this year’s exam papers have been uploaded.
 “At first, I was shocked because in all the links the year is 2015. But when I checked last year’s question papers it was clear they had uploaded 2014 question papers, but made a mistake by writing 2015,” Rahul Cherukuri, an aspirant, said.
Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle

CBSE MATHS; Grace Marking or Improvement Exam ??

Amidst complaints among CBSE class XII students over the “difficulty level” of their mathematics examination, the board has called some school principals for a meeting to discuss the matter and is also mulling whether to give a relaxation in the marking for the paper.
According to HRD ministry sources, one of the options on the table could also be an improvement exam, on which a broader consensus has to be evolved.
Board officials said there have been some changes in the pattern of the paper and that schools may not have been “intimated accordingly” in that regard.
The all-India exam conducted on Wednesday left students disappointed and concerned as they found the mathematics paper too tough. Teachers also felt that the paper required higher order thinking skills (HOTS) which, as per the examination pattern, forms 10 to 20 per cent of the paper.
“There have been some changes in the question paper pattern and some schools may not have been intimated accordingly. SP we want to ensure that students are not put through any kind of harassment,” said a Central Board of Secondary Education official.
These issues would come up in the meeting with the principals which, the official said, would include “the nature of the questions, the level of difficulty, etc”.
The official also said that an evaluation committee will meet after the exams are over to take stock of the grievances of the students and decide whether any grace marks could be awarded to them. It was also indicated that the question pattern framed was to ensure that there is rationalisation in the marking system.
But some teachers have said that the questions were different from the “traditional pattern“.
“The questions were not out of syllabus, but needed in-depth knowledge and HOTS. It was more of an application-based paper, much different from the traditional pattern of the paper,” said Neha Agarwal, mathematics teacher at The Indian School.
“It wouldn’t be easy scoring a perfect 100, so not only average students, the above average ones too will be affected,” she added.
Radhika Qwatra of Summer Field School, Gurgaon, also shared the concern and said, “A large percentage of the question paper was not from the NCERT textbook, which is the usual pattern followed over years and needed more analytical skills.
Another teacher said, “The high scores achieved by most of the students pose a big challenge for universities during admissions to undergraduate programmes. That could be one of the reasons behind such a question paper.”


A senior Congress member on Thursday raised the issue of the tough mathematics question paper in the ongoing CBSE board examinations and asked the government to consider the issue "seriously".
Speaking during zero hour, KV Thomas, Congress MP from Ernakulam in Kerala, said this affects the future of many students in the country.
Reports said many class 12 students who appeared for their CBSE board exam on Wednesday found the maths paper tough, tricky and too lengthy.
"The government should take it seriously. In future, when question papers are being set, efforts should be made to rope in experienced and senior people," he said.


Again the application based paper designed in Mathematics left students puzzling especially the commerce students. Here are the new reports published regarding this

Times of India Report
CBSE's Class XII mathematics paper on Wednesday was a heartbreaker. Those who didn't do quite well in other papers, were counting on this otherwise scoring paper to make up for the losses. But alas, it was not to be.

"Business studies went a bit badly; Section A in the English paper was tough. We were counting on mathematics to increase our best-of-four aggregates. Now we can't. And I've prepared myself; I know economics will be tough as well," said a Delhi Public School, Dwarka, student, echoing the general sentiment across schools. He couldn't attempt two questions totalling 10 points.

But a few others felt much worse. "I have lost all hope now," said Tushar Vij. He, too, talked about the English paper and the unexpectedly high emphasis on application-based questions in business studies. "But maths has been the worst. My friends were crying and are now nervous about economics. Even our teacher is worried," he said.

The exam schedule isn't giving kids time to recover from this blow - the economics paper is on March 20. "If the same thing happens with economics, where will they take admission? Their averages will suffer," said Naviin Goel, whose son studies commerce at a Rohini school.

Science students launched a petition on social networking sites after the physics paper, urging CBSE to be lenient in marking.

Schools have been foxed by pattern changes and level of difficulty. Minakshi Kushwaha, principal, Birla Vidya Niketan, Pushp Vihar, said students losing confidence won't just affect their performance in subsequent papers but also entrance tests they may take for college admissions. "They think they don't know anything. Physics and business studies both had unexpected questions and about 20-25 marks worth of questions in maths were very difficult."

Indian School principal Tania Joshi is also a CBSE counsellor. "Kids are scared and have been calling up on the helpline, asking me how to study. This sort of exam is very demoralizing for the child. There's a strong rumour that this is meant to get the aggregate percentages down but that doesn't help the morale of the child," she said.

Many schools learnt of pattern and marking changes from CBSE sample papers issued in November when most of the teaching is already over.

"It's been a very recent trend in CBSE to have application-based questions. I am not against such questions, but doing it in such a short notice is very disorienting. It's unnerving for even the high-achievers and is greatly disturbing for those who are average students," said Jyoti Bose, principal, Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan.

"Everything now comes with a twist. Even English wasn't straightforward," Bose said, adding that crucial CBSE circulars signalling change don't reach but every other circular comes.


The CBSE Class XII mathematics paper on Wednesday was extremely difficult and “a torture for students”, leaving many in tears and parents fuming.
This comes days after a really tough physics paper that had left parents anxious about the effect it would have on their wards’ admissions to professional courses.
“Some students began crying halfway through the paper. Many were frustrated and came out of the exam centre in tears,” recalled a furious V Anand, whose ward also gave the exam.
S Srinivasan, another anxious parent, said the maths paper, of “IIT level difficulty”, would affect the prospects of CBSE students during admissions to professional courses.
“We couldn’t comprehend the concept of two six-mark questions asked from application of derivatives and integrals. Those two sums took a lot of time as the steps involved were very lengthy,” said G Vignesh, a student of Bala Vidya Mandir.
Another student, S Latha, said questions for 20-25 marks were extremely tough and incomprehensible, while the remaining questions were also tricky. “Throughout the exam, we didn’t know if what we were writing was right or wrong. Even those students who are thorough with the textbooks will find it difficult to score more than 85,” she said.
A principal of a school in Chennai told Express that there was overwhelming feedback regarding the difficulty level of the exam.
G Balasubramaniam, whose daughter wrote the exam, said that it has left students “completely demoralised”.
Easy State Board Exam
Even as the maths paper made a large section of CBSE Class XII students stumble, their counterparts from the State board had a rather easy day, with many confident of scoring centums. Only one question was a modified version of the problem given in the textbook, which stumped a few.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

CBSE cold to online plea over ‘tough’ physics paper

Unhappy with a 'tough' std XII CBSE physics question paper, over 3,000 people have signed an online petition asking for leniency in marking. Since the marks are clubbed along with the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) for engineering college admissions, it is vital students have good marks in this subject. While the opinion over the difficulty level of the physics exam is divided, it is pretty much clear that CBSE won't be entertaining this online petition. 

A source in the central board said there are multiple inbuilt systems of checks and balances, hence it is unlikely that the online petition will be able to make any impact. The source said, "CBSE has a very democratic set-up and all our systems are in place to ensure that students do not suffer in any way. For every board exam paper schools are asked to send an 'observation schedule', which is a report of any issues they noticed in the paper. If any, this is taken up and a decision is taken." 

The official further added that questions papers are vetted by academic experts to ensure that they fit the norms of the board's blueprint. "What is the locus standi of this online petition? There are set procedures to appeal to the board, which are in place since a long time," the official said. 

The online petition has come up on the website . At the time of going to press 3,537 people had 'signed' it. The idea is to get the names of petitioners mentioned online and take a printout so that it can be given to the decision making authority. This particular petition was started by an anonymous person, yet it continues to gather support. 

While it is not known if any students from Nagpur signed the petition, some students from Nagpur agreed that it was indeed a tough paper to crack. 

Aatima Bhatia, a student, said, "Everything in the paper was out of context. We are taught how to manage our time so that a 3 mark question get maximum 5 minutes, but it took almost 15 minutes of our time. I started from section D but it took almost 2 hours of my time. I feel that this petition is good. What I don't understand is the logic of how the board will mark us leniently when we haven't written much, since we did not understand the questions or the paper was lengthy. However, I do want someone to save us somehow." 

Another student, Aman Agarawal, said, "The paper was very tricky and lengthy. Marks weren't distributed properly. I mean the questions which should have been of 1 or 2 marks were for 3 or more marks, and a 3 mark question was made into a 5 mark question. The questions were difficult and I also felt that the marks distribution of chapters was exchanged." 

A CBSE teacher said, "Students usually find the physics-math-chemistry-biology group tough to crack. It is natural for them to feel that the paper was lengthy but ultimately it all depends on your point of view."
Source : TOI

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Easy Chemistry Paper brings respite

The CBSE Class 12 chemistry paper on Thursday gave students a reason to smile as it was an easy and happy change after the horror of last exam, physics. Students were seen satisfied with the length of the question paper and were able to complete the exam well in time.
Students were under great pressure after the physics exam on March 9 as they found the paper to be of a completely different format which made the students and teacher panic.
"I am feeling so relaxed now as the paper was really easy and nothing was out of syllabus and exactly according to the sample papers. I was expecting the paper to be just as twisted and difficult as the physics exam but fortunately it didn't happen this time," said Brijesh Aggarwal, a Class 12 student.
Kavita Das, principal of St John's High School said though this paper was very easy and simple, the students should have been given more time between the two science exams.
"It is really difficult for the students to prepare well within a mere two-day gap between two science subjects and the board should have taken a note of it," she said.

Source: HT

IITs, NITs to conduct common counselling

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and National Institutes of Technology (NIT) will have a common counselling process for admission from the coming academic year to cut down the tedious process of multiple counselling and start the sessions early.
The technical committee, set up by the Union ministry of HRD to sort out the differences between IITs and NITs counselling, has recommended for joint seat allocation process.
Welcoming the move, chairman of IIT-Kanpur Prof. M. Anandakrishnan said, “We will have separate rankings for IITs and NITs, but counselling would be done on the same platform. IIT-Kanpur will be the nodal agency this year.”
A director of one of the new NITs, on condition of anonymity, said that this help the NITs too as they would get good students. “If a student with rank 3,000 in IIT pool decides to join an NIT, we will be happy to take him rather than a 5,000 rank one from the NIT list,” the director said. He also said that with the new system, both the institutions could complete their admission process early and open commence the classes by August.
Students too are happy with this pattern.
The Technical Committee constituted to sort out the process flow differences between IITs and NITs counsellings has inter-alia recommended for joint seat allocation process, which is likely to be started from the academic year 2015 - 2016. 

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Irani in a written reply to the Lok Sabha question.
Source: Deccan chronicle, ET


Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Going by the reactions on the web it seems that most of the students who didn't prepared for JEE went through a nightmare while attempting the paper.
Now coming on to my view I agree with those students and this paper was definitely friendly to JEE preparing students and its too tough to handle for a simple school going student.
CBSE tricked everyone by silently deleting topics while adding few more silently. The supplementary material was a big issue for students and surprisingly none of the question came. Instead they asked the FM question which was only added in syllabus student didn't had any material to study from NCERT or even refreshers.
It was only meant for JEE students question which they will enjoy. Being a teacher for JEE preparation I liked this paper very much. The questions were regular for a student extensively studying for JEE. For his delight no question from Transistor, Earth's magnetism and related topics,No Ac generator or mcg description. Instead it had lots of questions they have done in JEE preparation.

All in all this was for JEE aspirants and highlighted the fact that JEE coaching is a must for the students. Good for people like me, papers like this will surely benefit us .

The TOI story today on this

 The CBSE Class XII physics board exam left students bitter as questions were a bit tricky and lengthy. According to teachers, the paper was not student-friendly.

Students had six days for preparing for the subject but they claimed the question paper was strenuous. Amandeep Singh, a Class XII student, said "The exam was very tricky. I was not able to attempt all the questions on time. It wasn't what I expected. Many questions were new and complicated."

After a deep analysis of the question paper, Vivek Gulati, a teacher, said "Boards should give grace marks to students. The weightage of questions were less --- derivations that were allotted 2 marks should have been given wieghtage of 3-4 marks. Even after encountering questions out of syllabus, students gave their best attempt. I will pray for the best possible results."

Parents were worried after watching kids coming out of the examination hall with glum faces. "It's really unfortunate when kids study day and night and the question paper comes out to be unexpected. I am still encouraging my daughter and want her to prepare for chemistry strongly," said Aruna Bharti, a resident of Sector 2.

Kavita Das, principal, St John's High School, said, "The physics paper was very challenging for students. Questions were tricky and lengthy as question of 3 marks was divided into parts. The paper was extremely time consuming due to which many students were unable to complete the paper. Even the well-prepared students could not perform properly. The exam was not student-friendly. Bulk of the questions were application-based which further added to the time."

The Hindustan times story on this

Physics teachers from various city government schools held a meeting in Sector 16 on Monday to discuss the CBSE physics question paper of Class 12 , conducted on Monday, which they referred to be difficult and different from the usual pattern followed by the respective board.

Teachers found the question paper tricky and lengthy which, according to them, could not be completed within stipulated time.
They also pointed out errors stating that many three marks questions in all the three sets were not justified.
"The paper was very lengthy and drastically off-track from the previous year's pattern. While the concept of an exam should be 'how much does a person know', the paper seemed to be about 'how much can he write in a speculated time'.
Most questions were beyond the comprehension of students. Even the brightest of my students couldn't attempt any of the three-mark questions due to lack of time," said Chhavi Chopra, a physics tutor in city.
"Students are shattered and depressed, which may affect their performance in the next exam. CBSE should either conduct the exam again or give grace marks to all irrespective of whether questions have been attempted or not," she added.
"The question paper was really difficult and different this time. Students from city's top schools even complaint of facing difficulty in attempting the questions. Paper was not scoring at all", stated Bhag Singh, physics teacher.
Amarjit Singh, another teacher said that CBSE should keep in mind the 40% weightage for JEE (main) while checking the papers and grace marks should also be given to the students for the lengthy paper.
 "Students were seen puzzled at the centers. They were getting confused and anxious as they did niot expect such a twisted and difficult paper. CBSE should stick to its pattern or should release sample papers before following a changed pattern to give a fair idea to the students before,"said Bhag Singh.
Dapinderjeet singh, a Class 12 student said though paper was a bit lengthy and tricky there were some direct questions which could be scoring for the students.

The story in tribune

Students who appeared for the physics paper of the CBSE Class XII examinations today were upset as they found it to be “tricky” and “lengthy”.
Most students demanded grace marks as they felt the question paper could not be solved in the stipulated time. In fact, physics lecturers of government schools have requested the CBSE, through a memorandum, to give grace marks to the students, keeping in view the length and toughness of the paper for an average student.
One of the senior lecturers, Bhag Singh Kairon of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23, said that after analysing the paper, he found that the questions carrying three marks used to carry five marks earlier as their answers were lengthy. Referring to that question paper, he said that in set number 1, questions number 16, 21 and 22, in set number 2, questions number 14, 18 and 22, and in set number 3, questions number 12, 19 and 20 were of this kind.
Savinder Singh, a physics lecturer of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 40, said the pattern of the question paper was quite different from the CBSE sample papers and the papers of the past 10 years. He said it was difficult for an average student to clear this exam, as even the “bright” students of his class called him up to tell that they got confused while writing the paper.
Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, lecturer Mamta Mehta said that value-based questions carrying four marks each had three parts, out of which two were technical and only one value-based. Also, a numerical question in the paper was not as per the CBSE pattern, she said.
Private physics trainer Kunal Singh said students who had done selective study found the paper tough, but those who did exhaustive preparations would score well. He said for an average and below-average student, the paper was tough.
“This is primarily because many of the frequently asked questions were not repeated in today’s paper,” he said.