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IIT-K students question rampant ?F? grade

THE STUDENTS of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, have started raising their voice against the rigid teaching practices that they say are constantly putting them under severe stress.

india Updated: May 05, 2006 01:35 IST

THE STUDENTS of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, have started raising their voice against the rigid teaching practices that they say are constantly putting them under severe stress.

Now determined to bring out a change, the budding technocrats now want the practice of students being awarded ‘F’’ grade (given when a students fails to get the desired marks) to be more realistic.

As a matter of fact, the faculty of IIT Kanpur aren’t liberal like their counterparts in other IITs of the country, believing more in granting the ‘F’ grade in bulk. This was more than evident when the results were announced for the recently concluded semester on Tuesday last. Overall 250 students, including the victim Shailesh Sharma, were given ‘F’ grade by their respective faculty members. Now, the issue has kicked up the most heated debate of recent times in the IIT here. Disturbed as they are, the students have convened an open session late Thursday night for some straight talks with the deans and other faculty members mainly on the two lines.

Student closely associated with the process say the faculty adds F grade even on the slightest of mistake, be it is academic or non-academic. “In the process they don’t assess why the students aren’t faring well in specific subjects or what might be his problem,” they add.

Shailesh for example was getting ‘F’ grade perpetually for the last three semesters with the faculty describing him as a weak student. But his fellow students ridicule the line asking how come then he reached the final year and got a placement. “We blame the faculty for not being attentive towards his problems,” they say.

“The open session will specifically deal with these two issues and we want a positive outcome out of it,” says a member of the Student Senate. Another issue which is likely to dominate is that of teachers being pre-occupied in their projects thus failing to discharge their duties as a teacher towards the students. Even a section of faculty concedes it to be a big problem which is detrimental to teaching.

IIT, they say, may have best of the faculty in terms of their knowledge of their subjects. But they considerably lack skills in passing down their wisdom to the students. “They are world acclaimed but certainly not good teachers. They have a serious problem in communicating with the students,” some students point out. And when they examine the copies, they judge the students calibre with their own level of excellence. Here lies the genesis of the problem related to the F grade. The students are trying to get director of Institute, Sanjay G Dhande, who is currently out of the city, at the open house to ensure some fruitful negotiations.

First Published: May 05, 2006 01:35 IST