New Delhi, April 17: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has demanded that the 2010 IIT Joint Entrance Examination be re-conducted, arguing that the discrepancies exposed in the test had discriminated against meritorious students.
In a letter to human resource development minister Kapil Sibal, Nitish has cited three major errors in the JEE which, he has argued, have denied meritorious students a fair chance at qualifying for the IITs.
“I request you to re-conduct the IIT entrance examination in a clean manner to ensure justice to meritorious students,” Nitish has written in his letter. Sources in the chief minister’s office and aides of the HRD minister confirmed that Nitish had spoken to Sibal on the phone yesterday about his concerns.
Anand Kumar, founder of a Patna-based coaching institute that trains students from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds for the IIT-JEE, had met Nitish yesterday.
Sibal, sources said, assured Nitish he would speak with IIT authorities on how to mitigate the disadvantages that students may have faced because of the discrepancies.
The IIT-JEE, held last Sunday, contained at least three typographical errors that, according to several stakeholders — students, parents and critics within the IITs — misled students and potentially denied them a fair opportunity.
The Optical Mark Reader (OMR) answer sheet had “physics” printed over the math section and “mathematics” over the physics section. Although many students realised it was a mistake, they were confused about where to mark answers for which section.
The fourth section of the second paper had six questions — two each in physics, chemistry and math — that carried eight marks each according to the instructions in the English paper but just three marks each according to the Hindi version.
IIT Madras, the organiser of the JEE this year, has clarified that the instructions in the English version represented the correct marking scheme. But concerns remain because the discrepancy in marking instructions may have misled Hindi students on the weightage of these questions and so denied them a fair opportunity to appreciate the significance of answering these questions.
A question was not printed on one of the parallel sets of Hindi question papers — denying students who received this question paper the opportunity to answer the question.