Monday, August 09, 2010

IIT Kharagpur had quotas for faculty's children!

For over 40 years, IIT Kharagpur kept aside seats for children of faculty and staff, letting in students who had failed to secure admission through the JEE. This sensational disclosure appears in HT which procured the details under the RTI Act (for the nth time, one marvels at the wonders of this great piece of legislation):

Documents accessed by HT using the RTI Act show the country’s oldest IIT — started in 1951 — blocked 25 per cent of its seats in popular five-year integrated science courses (up to M.Sc level) for handpicked nominees, even as students from the rest of India had to clear the IIT-JEE for admission.

IIT wards merely needed 60 per cent marks in their Class XII Board examination and should have appeared in the IIT-JEE to be eligible for the quota seats, doled out at the institute director’s discretion.

Between 2003 and 2005, those who got in through this illegal quota didn’t even need to appear for the entrance exam.

The secret quota was suspended in 2005, the year the RTI Act was launched, and was abandoned in 2006 under pressure from the Joint Admission Board of all IITs, which organises entrance examination.......

The IIT admitted 88 students through the secret quota bet-ween 1998 and 2005, including 50 in 2003 and 2004, documents reveal. The quota was never disclosed in admission brochures — unlike all other reservations for backward communities that the IITs have.

Among the beneficiaries was the ward of the chairman of the IIT-JEE in 2006. One ex-director calls it a 'shameful chapter' and claims he did his best to stop it but could not convince his colleagues. Sorry, that's a lame excuse. The right thing to do would have been to take the matter to the Board and the ministry and to have gone public with the facts. The Board of IIT-Kgp must have the matter thoroughly investigated and documented and place the full record in the public domain.

Business Standard has a scathing edit on the subject. As the edit points out, these are the same characters who have opposed quotas on the ground that these dilute quality.

I may mention here that early in IIMA's history an attempt was made to introduce similar quotas. A senior professor made the request to Ravi Matthai, the legendary first full-time director of IIMA. Matthai took the proposal to the faculty where it was promptly shot down as Matthai must have known it would.


Manish said...

The Board of IIT-K ...
IIT-K is generally used for IIT Kanpur, for IIT-Kharagpur IIT-Kgp is proper short form. As i understand you meant IIT-K for IIT-Kharagpur only right?

rAAmA said...


Anonymous said...

This is indeed shocking...but the matter of even greater Concern is how partial were these same Professors were while offering grades, which matter as you pass out.

MM said...

We should check for admission under similar quotas at IITK and other IITs also as rules would have been similar.

Anonymous said...

The article is correct about the quota. It was known as the Board-of-Governers (BOG) quota and aonly applied to 5 year MSC courses like physics and chemistry. They could not admit students to other engineering departments and also could not change deparments (DepC) into others.

The article is badly mistaken about one point. It was NEVER a secret. Every single person in IIT kgp knew about the quota and even people outside. It need not be published in any brochure as outsiders were never acceptable for the quota, so then what is the point of advertising it in brochures ?

Secondly, extreme care was taken that Professors NEVER teach their own ward. This is a case possible even when a Professors's child clears JEE and enters the college through normal routes. The general rule is that the professor is not allowed to teach any class for the batch which has his own child in the college. I have never seen this rule compromised

I really cannot comment on the legality of the issue. However all such rules are passed by senate meetings, where the student body also has representations. So the entire thing was too public to be intentionally illegal.

I also cannot comment why they closed the Bog quota system. However in 2003 IIT kharagpur closed another quota based admission which was exclusively for foreign students, known as the DASA quota. Students under DASA need not clear JEE and also payed a higher amount of fees set in dollars. It was again not a secret and everyone knew about it, and also which students were under what quota. However for reasons unknown, the quota was withdrawn in 2003.

Kharagpur is atleast 3 hours from the nearest proper city and requires other incentives to retain professors on its rolls. Giving wards admission is a very effective incentive and also is widely practiced in almost all USA universities as well.