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CBSE letter behind JEE percentile goof-up

The goof-up in the calculation of percentile for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) 2013 can be traced to a set of contradictory instructions issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to the school boards.

Written by Chitleen K Sethi | Chandigarh |
Updated: April 9, 2014 5:04:21 pm

The goof-up in the calculation of percentile for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) 2013 can be traced to a set of contradictory instructions issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to the school boards.

A letter sent by CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi on June 17 to the Punjab School Education Board,a copy of which is with The Indian Express,clearly states that admission to IITs will be “based on category wise all-India rank in JEE (Advanced),subject to the condition that such candidates are in the top 20 percentile of successful candidates in Class XII examination conducted by their boards in applicable categories.”

The same letter,however,gives a formula for calculating the percentile based on the total number of students who appeared for the exam and not the total number of successful candidates. The letter even gives an example of such a calculation,which also shows the percentile based on the total number of candidates who appeared for the exam.

Following this formula,the Punjab board calculated the top 20 percentile candidates from the almost 3.3 lakh candidates who appeared for the exam,instead of the 2.2 lakh students who had actually passed,and prepared a list of over 67,000 students (in general category). It is learnt that over 750 students from the Punjab board have made it to the JEE (Advanced).

While Joshi could not be contacted,CBSE advisor B M Gupta maintained that the calculation on the basis of the total number of candidates who appeared for the exam was correct. “The percentile is to be calculated on the basis of the total number of candidates who appeared for the exam,and not the total number who passed,” he said.

However Prof H C Gupta,organising chairman,JEE 2013,had told The Indian Express on Tuesday that the top 20 percentile was to be calculated on the basis of students who passed the exam.

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