Much ado about the IIT JEE

posted Jun 13, 2017, 3:28 AM by Prashant Bhattacharji   [ updated Jun 13, 2017, 3:30 AM ]
The results of the JEE are out and one can see interviews of folk who spent the last 2-3 years slogging and cramming for this examination. It is encouraging to see kids pursue options other than IIT despite the ranks to do so.
At least 25% of the topics in the JEE exam are completely irrelevant for students of most programs - or can easily be taught in a 1 semester course in the streams which need them (from what I remember, mostly Chemistry). On the other hand by now the exam should have included some necessary general skills. It badly needs to cover critical topics like language, spatial skills, statistics, major current events and some algorithmic thinking topics like simple graph theory examples (railway network). The IIT JEE syllabus can do with a lot less esoteric topics.
The point is not to select a different bunch of people, though some of that will happen as well. There will always be pressure given a finite number of seats, the idea is to use academic energy "economically" to prevent burnt-out before on-boarding. If academics don't do the reforms then the likes of Kapil Sibal will.
The quality of Indian academics and educators is on full display whether it is the school exams or the entrance exams like the IIT JEE or the NEET. Which is why the next generation will be even worse.