Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Unsung Heroes of modern India: Prof Rajeev Kumar

There are people who give so much to society but society does not even acknowledge their efforts. We have one such person Prof. Rajeev Kumar, a Professor of Computer Science at IIT Kharagpur who falls in to unsung heroes category. He is alone person who is responsible for bringing the major reforms in IIT JEE admission process. His untiring fight for transparency in the JEE admission process has benefited thousand of students who themselves are not aware about this efforts.
A Brief Background of his efforts
Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are established by the central government under the IIT Act, 1961. Admissions to IITs flagship undergraduate (B.Tech.), integrated M.Sc. and dual (B.Tech. with M.Tech./M.B.A.) degree courses is done based on the merit list prepared on the basis of the performance in Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), which are routinely being conducted by IITs for the past 50 years. JEE had been completely black boxed and nothing was revealed to candidates, e.g., students were not allowed to carry question papers after examination; model solutions were never revealed at any stage after the examinations; marks obtained by a candidate were never informed to the candidate. At the time of result declaration, a student simply gets a rank, if ‘qualified’ else a ‘not-qualified’ status.

With the enactment of RTI Act 2005, candidates received the marks sheets, in 2006. Then, bizarre facts came to surface that students with as high as 279 as the total marks scored were rejected while with as low as 154 marks were declared qualified’; all in the same general category on the RTI application filled by Professor Rajeev kumar. Later, it was revealed that there were such 994 high scoring candidates who were excluded due to subject cutoff discrepancies arbitrary and illogically; their exclusion remained unexplained yet in spite of IITs submitting four different cutoff procedures by now.
On being challenged by the Professor Rajeev Kumar, the main selection criterion, i.e., the cutoff decision procedure was made public in JEE 2007, and the correctly calculated subject cutoffs fell down to {1, 4, 3} from {37, 48, 55} of 2006, respectively in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.
By detailed analysis and research being carried out, by Professor Rajeev Kumar, of the past 4 JEEs data (2006 to 2009) which was disclosed under RTI Act, many discrepancies and irregularities have been revealed, namely, ad hocism in cutoff determination, unattended errors in question settings/evaluation, tampering/shredding of ORS in undue haste, promoting coaching institutes, lacking effective transparency and accountability, having a heavily skewed marks distribution, selecting IIT administrators’ wards in some IITs, closed admission counseling resulting in irregularities in admissions and seats lying vacant, zero accountability for attending to apparent errors, poor ethics in JEE administration etc.
He has been instrumental in bringing the transparency in JEE admission process; he is also instrumental in sacking of Tainted IIT Prof Ghosh. To read the complete story please click on the following link

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