By Uzair Fahmi:
Now I am in a fix while writing about the latest reservation controversy for the wards of the faculty and administrators for admission in arguably the best IIT in the country viz. IIT Kharagpur. Talking of IIT brings back the memories of my preparation days for the coveted IIT JEE seat and what all it meant to me as well as the other couple of lakhs of aspirants. Two things were very clear to us:
- If you happen to be a general category student then brace yourself up and study like a maniac, solve those Daily Practice Problems colloquially referred to as DPPs, to have any chance of qualifying of clearing JEE.
- If you belong to SC/ST category then you can afford to relax, watch those movies with friends, enjoy and in between browse through the day’s lecture notes. [which was our perception].
In terse, qualifying the exam was and is a highly venerated thing and so when, some days back, I read about the illegal and covert admission of some students (read faculty’s sons and daughters) through the “Management quota” it was nothing less than a shocker.
Thanks to the RTI filed by Hindustan times, we now have access to proper information about this secret scandal carried out by the people who happen to be in the upper echelons of the IIT administration. It’s reported that the provision for exam free admission was in action long before IIT JEE was started and discontinued only in 2006 under immense pressure from the group of IITs and the launch of RTI act. Around 88 students were admitted between 1988 and 2005 through this secret quota as 25% of the seats were reserved into the five year integrated M.Sc. Courses. As a past IIT aspirant I feel anguished by this unfair blocking of seats of an institute for which youngsters abnegate many things that they would normally do. The current director of IIT Bhubaneswar Mr. Madhusudan Chakraborty acknowledged the quota and even got his children admitted through this quota.
It is time IIT Kharagpur comes out with explanations about this and moreover on why it was held so secretive. The matter is disturbing since the seats were given neither on any caste basis (which itself is pretty messed up affair) nor any economic basis (IIT Professors supposedly earn well). There is no justification for this grave injustice.