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Kapil Sibal clears all confusion over new JEE pattern; tells students to “go out there and enjoy”

“This one single three-exam,” he explained, “shall be conducted multiple times a year to relieve the students of the pressures of multiple exams.”

Finally to the relief and joy of thousands of students all over India, we have the much awaited changes in the engineering entrance examination pattern. At a glittering ceremony in the ballroom of The Leela Palace, New Delhi, Mr. Kapil Sibal made some “intelligent” announcements to thunderous applause. The drama was attended by a large crowd of twenty carefully selected reporters and some IIT directors (with their tongues tied to the minister’s eyebrows).

The ceremony itself was held amidst tight security; no one was allowed in or out of the hotel for the entire day. “We took security measures as we expected crowds of students to turn up, who could turn emotional and deliriously happy on hearing the news. They might perhaps turn violent in their effort to touch Mr. Sibal’s feet, or perhaps shake his hands in gratitude,” Delhi’s police commissioner explained.

Sibal announced that he had decided to relieve the students of the pressure of multiple exams which was causing suicides and other kinds of mental breakdowns. To this effect he said he had decided to replace multiple exams with one single entrance exam which was actually three exams consisting of mains, advanced and the Board exam.

“This one single three-exam,” he explained, “shall be conducted multiple times a year to relieve the students of the pressures of multiple exams.”

On weightage to the Board exam marks: When a reporter wanted to know if giving weightage to the Board marks would not increase pressure, he glared at his assistant for allowing such rogue reporters in, but kindly proceeded to answer the question. “You see, earlier they had to get 60% in the Board exams to qualify, now the weightage is only 50%… so what stress? 50 is less than 60, isn’t it? You think because I studied history I don’t know maths?” he stated looking very pleased indeed.

“Go out there and enjoy the last year of school!”: Mr. Sibal was very gracious in answering all the uncomfortable questions posed by the press. On being questioned about malpractices in Board exams, he explained that students should not worry about such trivial things. “They should instead go out and enjoy their twelfth standard. It is the last year of schooling and they should collect happy memories of discos, pubs, movies with friends, etc. I find this practice of studying all the time detrimental to students’ all-round development.”

Further, he asked students to take his own life as an inspiration—he had never made studies the be-all and end-all of life, and yet one could see how he had prospered and got “all-round” development.

On interfering with the autonomy of IITs: Mr. Sibal earnestly clarified that as he had said in an interview the previous year, he would not dream of disturbing the autonomy of such a prestigious institution as the IITs. But someone had told him that that all the directors and faculty members as well as the wardens and sweepers of the IITs had become thoroughly alarmed when they had noticed (and it had also been pointed out by the taxpaying public), that not a single IITian had won a Nobel prize, a lottery prize or any other prize. In fact, they had said that not one had ever won an Oscar, Grammy or even a Filmfare award! Therefore, Sibal said, he was forced to step in to rectify this sad situation.

On coaching institutes: On the questions about getting rid of coaching classes he became preoccupied muttering to himself that the coaching class fellas were an ungrateful lot. “Even though we have tripled their income by having the mains, advanced and Board exams, they are still haggling about the division of profits,” our camera recorded. However he quickly pulled himself together and explained he had actually got rid of coaching institutes by changing the exam pattern, but it was not his fault they had come back like cockroaches do after the pest treatment. He said he would change things again to tackle them once he came in power after the 2014 elections.

Exam in regional languages: Mr. Sibal became a little irritated when during the proceedings his cell phone rang. Apparently Mr. Narendra Modi was online insisting that he conduct the exam in Gujarati too. Sibal genially agreed to the proposal and handed over the cell phone to his new assistant instructing her not to disturb him further. But he said that if anyone called with similar demands of conducting the exam in Pali, Sanskrit, Bodo, etc, she could agree to it all and in fact agree to any other demands anyone made.

On possible paper leaks: Mr. Sibal was in a jovial mood throughout the evening. While answering another query over possible paper leaks since there would be thousands of exam centres hosting the biggest exam in the country, he joked that it was just a minor issue. “This is only paper leak, not an oil leak or gas leak or something!” He wanted to know if the reporter expected him to deliver the question paper personally to all the thousand centres on a bicycle. This had his audience rolling with laughter, and Mr. Sibal looked pleased with himself.

On online protests: Someone brought up the issue of protests against the new pattern, especially on the internet. The minister made it clear that people inside monitors and computers were not real people only notional people, and their protests did not count.

The evening ended with a riotous party to celebrate the good news, but unfortunately Mr Sibal had to leave midway because he had an urgent meeting with delegates from New Zealand and Canada universities. These delegates from recession-hit countries were keen to enter the education markets of India as they had heard that Indians will do anything for their children’s education including selling a house or kidney.

Summary: Finally things have become clear for the students: “One single exam called New JEE is going to replace multiple exams to relieve stress; this single three-exam will consist of Main exam, Advanced exam and Board exam. The exam will be so easy, that students will no longer need coaching classes. Also the exam will be so tough that it will be on the same level as the JEE so that the standards are maintained.”

There are also big advertisements in the newspapers from coaching classes for the benefit of students. One such advertisement says, “We are the only institute experienced in teaching for the new exam pattern. Our study material is already ready. Special rates: Choose between 2 Board exams + 2 mains + 2 advanced OR Economy package with only 1 board, 1 main and 1 advanced OR 10 year package for multiple JEEs until you get into IIT or money-back guarantee.”

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Meera Vigraham


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