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.