March 14, 2011 3:54:26 am
Under pressure from a stream of Right to Information applications,the National Council for Education Research & Training (NCERT) has decided to drop the interview format from the National Talent Search Scheme from this year.
The decision was taken at a recent executive committee meeting. Started out in the 1960s,the National Talent Search Scheme offers a thousand scholarships to talented school children after they clear a two-stage selection process in the eight standard.
Some 4,000 students appear for the second stage national level examination and around 1,500 of them are usually called for an interview. Of them,1,000 are then granted the scholarship on the basis of their performance in the interview.
The NTS consists of a stage I exam conducted at the state level and a stage II exam at the national level. The NTS stage II will be held on May 8 this year.
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The interview segment had come under increasing criticism with doubts raised about its objectivity. Of late,the RTI applications had also been becoming a headache.
Aggrieved parents whose wards may have not made it past the interview round are now quick to file a RTI application with the NCERT,demanding to know their raw scores,their scores in the interview and the method of assessment,leaving the council groping in the dark for answers.
Unable to handle the mounting criticism,the NCERT decided to scrap the interview format.
In spite of taking all precautions and monitoring of the process of selection of the talented students,a large number of dissatisfied students and their parents are against the process of selection,particularly the interviews. An in-house analysis revealed that the majority of grievances is directed towards the award of marks in the interview,where an element of subjectivity cannot be ruled out…. the NCERT Executive Committee said in the minutes of a recent meeting accessed by The Indian Express.
In view of the public grievances and increasing number of RTI applications received for the disclosure of raw marks awarded by experts,etc,it is suggested that the interviews be discontinued, it said.
Sources in NCERT said scores attained by students in the written examination will be used for deciding the final merit list. The NCERT is not the only organisation finding it difficult to handle the pressure of RTIs.
The issue has,in fact,troubled IIM Ahmedabad so much that it has been on the agenda of their Board of Governors meet more than once.
The institute has finally decided to put RTI queries under greater scrutiny and the direct discretion of its director.
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