Why Kapil Sibal's common entrance test (CET) Plan backfired?

After the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, IIT-Delhi on Thursday dealt a major blow to HRD minister Kapil Sibal's common entrance test (CET) by announcing that it will be joining the Kanpur institute in conducting its own entrance examination.

With two premier IITs opting our of Sibal's CET plan, a logical question arises: Why Kapil Sibal's common entrance test (CET) Plan backfired?

Th Answer is: As the model appears too eager to make IIT Selection process Democratic -- So that children from poor, less privileged and less represented sections of society make it to India's Elite Technology Institutions.

There's particularly nothing wrong in Sibal Wish:

Why Kapil Sibal Wants a CET?

Because he hopes that a Question paper less trickier than the current JEE will open IIT doors for even those students who can't afford expensive coaching. In addition, he also wishes that his CET model will bring fresh class twelfth pass outs to IITs, which indirectly means IIT getting a child, who is least indoctrinated by parents and coaching institutes to get into IIT.

It should be noted that, in a country where majority of students don't have access to right guidance (Not every parent is capable to guide a child to good marks in +2 or class 12th), best schools and right competitive guidance & assistance (Competitive coaching and counselling) ; Sibal's intent behind a CET, which is a gateway to all Engineering Colleges in India, is not misplaced.

His CET Model may have some flaws though.

Why Kapil Sibal's common entrance test (CET) Plan backfired?

The CET plan backfired, as it provided wrong solutions to rightly pointed at problems.

The problems in JEE Model rightly pointed out by Sibal and team:

1) Tough paper meant more popularity of IIT Coaching.

2) Courtesy excess feeding and smart preparation, Sharp and studious and well guided students are entering IITs. Not a promising picture for India's elite Institution. In contrast, those students should enter IITs whose minds are predisposed or naturally inclined for Engineering. That way, the country will get Engineers who will like engineering new products/concepts and pursue PG in Engineering disciplines and Research after that. Such Engineers will not join IAS or non-engineering fields, only because the job has status or money.

3) The current JEE is not bringing Right individuals to IITs, who love engineering, and as a consequence, IIT as an institution fails miserably when it comes to Engineering Research (Patents, Articles in Reputed Journals etc.).

The Wrong Solutions provided Rightly Pointed problems:

Mr. Sibal and CET proposers may have pointed the problems correctly, but are the solutions correct?

It appears that, they are not. Below are the Reasons:

1) It may be true that with the current JEE -- Highly indoctrinated, best guided, highly assisted, studious & sharp students with least interest in engineering, are entering the IITs. But an absence of interest in Engineer, doesn't make these traits less desirable. It current JEE paper tricks even the best brains, that's an advantage in itself. After all, the country is getting sharp and studious individuals.

2) The CET wants to take into account the class 12th marks. In a country where, there is no normality established in schools and marking, this is highly detrimental step. In addition, parents play a key role in guiding children to good marks in  class 12th. Ask yourself, how many parents will be able to guide their children in class 12th, and the answer is self explanatory.

3) Coaching may be a problem, but it should be understood that now a days, students taking coaching/tuitions in class 12th as well. So if you give weightage to class 12th performance, the same people who do coaching for IITs will take coaching for class 12th.

Solution to the problems lies somewhere else:

A leading Academic of India, has rightly pointed out that -- "Creating Test papers is not the work of IITs". Instead, a separate Body should make Question Papers for College Entrances. This Body should have experts like a psychologist, sociologist etc. The paper should primarily check the interest of a student in a particular field, which in essence means having a mind predisposed or naturally inclined for Engineering. Top Colleges around the world, give great weightage to the "disposition of mind for a particular learning". Carefully created Tests assess not only mental sharpness but also mind's suitability to a particular discipline. Academic Grades do count, but only when the test & interview establishes the interest.

India is a country of 120 crore people, even making small changes for such a huge population is a big effort in itself. Hence CET hiccups are not usual. What is advised is, Sibal take some time and try to device a better CET.


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