Several alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) feel that the new entrance exam format for admissions to the prestigious institute will dilute the IIT brand and pave the way for exam scams that have beset other educational institutions.
Of the 994 IIT alumni (937 from IIT-Bombay and 57 others) who took part in the poll, 93% said that with the control of the exams no longer with the IITs, there was a great danger of scams and scandals dogging the exams.
In all, 1,765 votes were polled online, including alumni, students, faculty members and others. The results of the poll were released in the September issue of the alumni quarterly, Fundamatics, last month.
From next year, entry to the IITs will be through a two-stage process, with the first exam to be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education, and the second by the IITs. The IITs accepted the ‘compromise solution’ of a two-part exam with board exam marks as eligibility and not admission criteria, in July.
90% of the alumni surveyed and 89% of the entire polling population said the reforms would dilute the IIT brand. “We are proud of the JEE system as it exists,” said Bakul Desai, chairperson of the IITB Alumni Association. “It has been completely fool-proof and has a certain integrity. The natural fear is the exam will be compromised. The decisions by the human resources development ministry are also seen as interference.”
The online poll was conducted through June and July, around the time the proposed reforms were being debated and opposed, with some of the poll results also submitted to the IIT-B senate for its special meeting to discuss the revised exam format.
Respondents also expressed concern about the subversion of institutional autonomy, with 93% saying dissenting senate voices were not taken into account when the reforms were announced.