Institute Spills Beans On Nit Admission Gaffe

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Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata, has blown the lid off the story behind the normalization of class XII and JEE (Main) that was used for admission in prestigious NITs.Blaming the HRD ministry and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for the normalization that was eventually arrived at, ISIhas distanced itself from the formula. It has said the suggestions made by the S K Joshi committee — of which the ISI was an important part — was partially disregarded.
ISI had said last September when the S K Joshi committee held its first meeting, 
CBSEchairpersVineet Joshi told the panel that he has hired Jim Tognolini and John Twing of Indian Centre for Assessment Evaluation and Research to suggest how to normalize Board score. The report by Tognolini-Twing, ISI says, started with the premise that some Boards have more able students and suggested that the performance of students of different Boards in JEE (Main) be used to differentially adjust the scores of these Boards. ISI said this suggestion would benefit a CBSE student at the expense of a non-CBSE student with identical percentile.ISI said CBSE chairman set up a core committee to shore up support for differential normalization method. Some data was also received from Glenn Rowley of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), and some supporting data analysis from IIT-Kanpur teachers.According to ISI, in the meeting of S K Joshi Committee in October, 2012, Tognolini appeared as a special invitee and briefed on the merits of using JEE (Main) scores for "tracking" Board scores/percentiles are pointed out. The Joshi panel decides to include the Core Committee formed by the CBSE chairman in all its subsequent meetings. On October 31, the Core Committee did not support the approach promoted by the CBSE chairman and even flaws were pointed out.By end-December S K Joshi Committee meets again and members of ISI present results of detailed analysis which shows that the "tracking" approach, suggested by the CBSE chairman, leads to gross distortion of the percentiles of different Boards. ISI said that just when the report was getting finalized Vineet Joshi requested another round of face-to-face discussion in Tognolini's presence. The simple percentile-based approach of Joshi Committee found favour, and the report was submitted in March.


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