IIT JEE 1997 paper leaked story..........
SOURCE : the indian express
Entrance by any meansSharad Gupta
A private coaching institute in Lucknow secretly called a select group of its students on the evening of May 2, barely 12 hours before the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission into the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), for `valuable suggestions'. Nearly 100 students out of the total 700 reached and were told that the tips should be learnt by rote. The next day, much to the excitement of the students, 70 per cent of the physics and chemistry questions appeared in the examination papers.
The father of an examinee told IIT authorities in New Delhi over the telephone about the leak but he was rebuffed. ``Such doubts are normal and are expressed every year by parents whose wards have not done well in their examinations,'' said an IIT official.
The same procedure was adopted for the mathematics paper the next day and this time too the coaching institute was bang on target. Most of the questions figured in the actual paper, some with minor change of figures.
But what made IIT authorities realise that the question papers had been leaked to some students was a fax from an unidentified examinee in Lucknow to the Chairman, IIT-JEE in New Delhi, at least an hour before the mathematics exam on May 4.
In what was a laudable effort to salvage their credibility, the IIT authorities cancelled the examination and decided to conduct fresh tests in July. ``For us, saving our reputation as the premier institute of technology in the country was more important than causing discomfiture to thousands of students,'' said a professor of IIT Kanpur.
Some of the private coaching institutes in Lucknow reportedly also put out `valuable suggestions' to their students on the eve of the two-day Roorkee Engineering College entrance test on May 7. Though giving `finer tips' to students in coaching institutes before examinations is a routine practice, that the suggestions offered in the institute appeared in the IIT entrance question papers made students suspicious.
It was the leak of all three papers -- mathematics, physics and chemistry -- that led to the cancellation of JEE for the first time. Those aspiring for an engineering seat in Roorkee feared that their entrance test might meet the same fate as IIT-JEE.
But the IIT authorities in Kanpur were taken by surprise. ``It may have been leaked from Patna and most probably, one of the many centre superintendents might have done it,'' observed a senior professor at IIT Kanpur. For the first time in its history, the academic calendar of IIT will have to be adjusted as fresh examinations are likely to be held at least two months later.
Though rumours of the disclosure of papers of the Roorkee Engineering College entrance test scheduled for May 8 and 9 too kept circulating among students in Lucknow, the authorities refused to cancel their test for want of concrete evidence.
The two incidents have put a question mark not only on the credibility and fairness of entrance examinations to various engineering and medical colleges in the country, but also on the role of mushrooming coaching institutes, ready to go to any extent to make a fast buck.
In fact, this is not the first incident of leakage of question papers of medical or engineering entrance examinations in Uttar Pradesh. There have been stories of paper leakage of Combined Pre-Medical Tests (CPMT) conducted by a State university for admission to seven medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh almost every year for sometime.
The CPMT had to be cancelled and reconducted in 1991 after a similar incident, leading to a six-month delay in the academic calendar of all State medical colleges and hence a zero session too. An inquiry instituted by the State Government into paper leakage failed to point the loopholes in the system though the role of a chain of coaching institutes had come under a cloud then too.
Some other students had devised another method of getting admission to the Jhansi Medical College, by forging admission letters last year. Though 44 students were expelled from the college after the fraud was detected, the Government inquiry has failed to find the real culprits.
The paper leak this year has obviously put extra burden not only on the IIT authorities but on students too, especially on those who had done well.
``All the enthusiasm to become an engineer is gone. I have known rigging of elections but rigging of examinations is certainly a deplorable phenomenon,'' says Ashish Bhattacharya, a student.
Students feel that the competition among coaching institutes is responsible for the leakage. ``The students will obviously join the coaching institute which can ensure their selection, irrespective of the methods adopted by it,'' says Saurabh Gupta, an engineering student.How it works
The IIT-JEE papers are prepared by a group of IIT professors before being sent for printing to a trusted printing press. IITs have no supervision over printing of question papers. The printed papers are despatched to various IITs accompanied by junior faculty members or other responsible officers of the institute conducting the test.According to an IIT professor, the papers are then despatched to 300-odd examination centres by the IITs having jurisdiction over these centres barely 24 hours before the test.
But these are not accompanied by a faculty member, a practice strictly followed during CPMT examinations after the 1991 paper leak.Thus the possible point of leakage of question papers is either the printing press or the senior staff at any of the 300-odd examination centres. The coaching institutes obviously target such vulnerable spots since the stakes are very high and so is the money involved in it.``Though utmost care is taken in selecting the printing press and examination centres, no one can vouch for the integrity of hundreds of individuals engaged in conducting the examinations,'' says a former IIT director.With a CBI inquiry already in progress , he hoped that faults in the system would be located and corrected. The preliminary CBI probe has indicated that the Lucknow coaching institute may have procured papers from either Patna or New Delhi.The economics of coaching
1.The coaching institutes charge students Rs 5,000 per question paper, making approximately between Rs 12,000 and 5,000 per student for Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. An institute with an enrolment of 500-700 students earns between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore every year.
2. Some institutes guarantee selection of students in engineering or medical colleges in UP, at a higher fee ofRs 50,000. If not selected they return double the amount.
3. It is not usually an expensive deal for coaching institutes to spend between Rs 5-20 lakh to get the `real' question papers. The success enhances the reputation of the institute and students flock in greater number bringing more money.
4. There are certain coaching institutes in Lucknow, Allahabad and Varanasi which have air-conditioned class rooms fitted with microphones. Teachers of such institutes too have reportedly made a fortune in a very short span of time, usually by escaping the notice of Income Tax officials.
5. The competition among coaching institutes can be gauged from the fact that there are at least five institutes with identical names, prefixed with `real' or `new' to the names.
Copyright © 1997 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd