JEE not the right way to select engineers: former IIT-Kanpur director !

Former Director of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, Sanjay Govind Dhande believes that the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) is not the right method to gauge students’ talents.

One of the biggest entrance exams for engineering aspirants, JEE— is not the right way to access students, says Sanjay Govind Dhande, former director of the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur. Mr. Govind was quoted by The Indian Express as saying, “JEE cannot fully access intelligence of a student. Engineering is not just about PCM (physics, chemistry, mathematics). It demands student to be a creative person as well. Important aspects including composition, ability to communicate and understand a summary are not checked through this entrance exam. We need to include assessment of creativity and visual intelligence in the JEE”.

As per the statistics, around 9lakh candidates have applied for the JEE Main-I scheduled to be held in January. JEE Main II will be held in April. Former Director of the institute said that rather than making exams an “event-based drama”, India needs to have more creative ways of assessments.

“With the number of aspirants growing exponentially for the JEE and fewer seats to offer comparatively, the system has become way too stressful. The questions are becoming more and more difficult each year,” he said.

He further remarked that it is easy to set a difficult paper but no effort is being put to analyse the creativity of the students. “While setting an exam, the exam planner should have a clear idea of on which parameters this test is supposed to test a candidate on. This needs to be well conveyed to both exam setter and grader (the one who is checking the paper),” said Mr. Govind on the sidelines of the fourth annual India Association of Test Publishers .

He also showed his disagreement with the assessment process across institutes, schools, universities and competitive exams which are mainly conducted based on an event (exam). He said that, instead India needs daily personalised, individual assessments for every student.

“We need teachers’ training as an efficient guide needs to know psychology, psychometric testing etc. For this, we need to revamp the B Ed and M Ed courses as the current curriculum are completely dilapidated,” he said.

The best way to assess students, according to him, is through a “Kaun Banega Crorepati”-like format which includes gamification, time constraint, rewards, assessments and a standard difficulty level. Along with innovative ways of assessments, he also said, “Open book exams, take-home exams etc are all experiments. There is no size fits all. The basic goal is to teach students how to learn and think and this can only be done if the teacher is well-trained.”