Friday, June 8, 2012

ONLY T.N. AND M.P. HAS TO GIVE DETAILS FOR RANKLIST PREPARATION

G. Mahadevan
Boards in many States and abroad yet to provide data on Plus Two marks of students

Rank list scheduled to be published on June 25
Only Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh gave data

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Sustained dithering at the top echelons of the Higher Education Department has cast a shadow over the process of preparing the rank list for admission to engineering courses in the State this year.
Though the rank list is scheduled to be published on June 25, the department has, till date, been unable to ensure the availability of data relating to the marks scored by candidates in the Plus Two examinations conducted by boards in the country and abroad.
Even if data from one examination board are unavailable, the process of preparing the engineering rank list by giving 50:50 weight to the marks in the entrance examination and in the qualifying examination, cannot be carried out.
According to government sources, the office of the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations (CEE) has so far received the required data only from the boards in Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. Karnataka has promised to send in the data soon.
All data relating to the two boards in the State, the Indian Certificate for Secondary Education (ICSE) and Central Bard of Secondary Education (CBSE) examinations are with the CEE.
More than 500 candidates who wrote the Plus Two examinations of 34 examination boards in the country and abroad — other than the State higher secondary, the vocational higher secondary, the ICSE, and the CBSE — have qualified in the engineering entrance examinations.
No data have so far been received from the 10 examination boards outside India. These include boards in Japan, Bhutan, Indonesia, and the United Kingdom.
Process
Prior to the preparation of the rank list, the marks of candidates across various examination boards are mapped on to the results of the Kerala higher secondary examinations using a statistical process called ‘normalisation.'
Even though it was clear for more than a year that such data from many boards would be required, the Higher Education Department did precious little to procure the data.
No response
Even though the Principal Secretary, Higher Education, wrote to all these boards, there was no response.
When M. A. Baby was the Education Minister, the normalisation committee was expanded to include the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) director, the higher secondary director and the director, technical education.
The SCERT director was told to liaise with different examination boards so that the results can be received without trouble. This arrangement was a total failure.
Final effort
Finally it fell to the CEE to ask the former joint commissioner for entrance examinations Reghunadhan Pillai to travel round the country to collect the results from as many boards as possible.
The government has so far not issued any orders designating Dr. Pillai its official representative to collect such results. The government has not so far made it clear what it will do if the marks-related data are not received from some boards.
The convener of the normalisation committee Rajoo Krishnan has made it clear to the government that normalisation cannot be done with incomplete data.
The prospectus — in clause 9.7.4(b) VI — says that if for some reason such data from any board are not available, the “data at the time of processing will be made use of for normalisation…”
Even the CEE's office is not sure what exactly this means.
Meeting today
The normalisation committee is scheduled to meet on Saturday to discuss the non-availability of data from different boards and to decide what to do if such data do not come at all from one or more examination boards.

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