IIT panels lie dormant to overhauling

New Delhi: Kapil Sibal, the Human Resource Development (HRD) minister had in October 2009, formed a series of committees during a meeting of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Council - the highest decision making body, to look into the functioning of various IITs which now lies dormant.

It has been reported that various reforms, which were to be inculcated by these committees at the IITs, are on a standstill since its formation.

A committee, on which it was entrusted to recommend the new cut-off for the IIT's Joint Entrance Exam (IIT-JEE) and new curricula, is yet to meet.

The panel, which was assigned the reformations, comprises of secretary of science and technology, secretary of biotechnology and director general of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

It was expected that this panel would submit its report within three months while suggesting reforms in the IIT-JEE but it was not.

Most of the reforms, assigned to two other exam panels still lie unimplemented.

A panel, for example, set up under IIT-Madras deputy director, V.G. Idichandy in 2008 suggested scrapping JEE and considering school marks. The council, under former atomic energy chief Anil Kakodar, formed a second, five-member panel outlining a vision for the future of IITs.

The panel is expected to submit its report within six months. It has been four months now, the scenario is clear with the panel not having even met since then.

Following a Right To Information (RTI) exposure of the faculty selection in the previous JEEs, the reform process at the IITs, both for JEE and selection procedure, needs an urgent change.

The RTI exposure, which was filed by an IIT-Kharagpur professor Rajeev Kumar revealed that 994 candidates who were denied admissions in the year 2006 might have made it to the premier institutes had the IITs followed their stated method of determining subject cut-offs.

Although the IITs have revised their cut-off formula thrice but the need of a more transparency persists.
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