Petitioning Professor Prem Bisht and 2 others

Revise IIT-JEE advanced 2017 rank list to prevent injustice before it is too late

The 23 Indian institutes of technology (IITs), 7 Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) and the Indian Institute of Space Technology (IIST) are among the most premier science and technology institutions of India. Selection of 10000+ students for IITs and nearly 1500 students for IISERs and IIST is through a highly competitive entrance examination called IIT-JEE advanced conducted annually.

The selection exam for this year (2017) was held on May 21, 2017 and had two papers 1 and 2, conducted over 6 hours.  Nearly 1, 60,000 students took the exam. JEE-advanced is one of the most competitive exams in the world and the magnitude of hard work and sacrifice (for 2 – 4 years) that young students invest towards this exam is tremendous.

At the end of years of hard work, a student hopes for a fair examination process that suitably rewards skills and preparation. The exam organizing committee has the responsibility of setting error free question papers, so that the time a student spends on each of those questions is worth the while and not wasted. 

This year, there were a number of errors in the question papers. When the organizing committee displayed the answer key on June 4th, they declared that for 3 questions in paper 2 (which were ambiguous), full marks totaling to 11 marks were awarded to all candidates. This exercise itself had reduced the discriminatory aspect of the exam, which should positively discriminate the most deserving candidates.

Time was allowed till June 11th for challenge of answer keys.  The marks and rank that each candidate secured were released online on June 11th. Much to the dismay of deserving candidates, the rank list published on June 11th was prepared based on an answer key different from the one published on June 4th.  The revised answer key itself was published two days later at 4 pm on 13th June. This did not permit challenge of new marking scheme, before release of rank list.

The revised answer key had claimed that two more questions (Q 29 and Q 39 in code 1 paper 1 and corresponding questions in all other codes 0 - 9) had “printing inconsistencies” and therefore full marks (3 marks for Q 29 and 4 marks for Q 39) were awarded to all candidates. 

The explanation that follows will describe the gross impropriety and injustice of this exercise of awarding full marks to all candidates irrespective of whether their question paper had the “printing inconsistency” or not. 

Scrutiny of all the versions of the question papers available revealed the following issues.

For Question 29 in code 1 paper 1 (English version) and corresponding questions in other codes.

Code                    English version                  Hindi version
   0                             No error                       Printing error
   1                             No error                       No error
   2                             No error                       No error
   3                             No error                       No error
   4                             No error                       No error
   5                             No error                       No error
   6                             No error                       No error
   7                             No error                       No error
   8                             No error                       No error
   9                             No error                       No error

Printing error was seen for the above question only in the Hindi version of the code 0 paper. In all other versions of the paper, the question was printed correctly. Even with the printing error, the above question is valid, and a different answer key ('5' for the papers with the printing error) must have been used to evaluate those papers. 

The marking scheme for the above question as printed in the question booklet is as follows: 
         Correct answer             Not attempted              Wrong answer
             +3 marks                       0 marks                       0 marks

For candidates who got the question paper without an error, awarding 3 marks irrespective of whether or not they attempted it, and whether or not they got the correct answer, causes injustice students who got the answers right. 

 For question no 39 in code 1 of paper 1 (English version) and the corresponding question in all other papers:

Printing error was observed only in the Hindi versions. There was no error in any of the 10 English versions.

The marking scheme for the above question as printed in the question booklet is as follows:

 Correct answer       Not attempted        Wrong answer
     +4 marks             0 marks                     -2 marks

Even with the printing error for this question, the question was answerable, (all options were correct), and candidates who attempted the question should be given partial marking and those who did not attempt should be given 0. Wrong answer attracts minus two marks.

Candidates who got the correct question paper must be awarded marks as per the guidelines printed in the question booklet for that question.

Award of 4 marks for all candidates irrespective of whether they got the question paper with or without printing error, and irrespective of whether students who got the question paper without error attempted or not attempted, got the answer right or wrong, is incorrect and does injustice to students who got the answers right. 

 The candidate who got the answer right in the question paper without error is negatively discriminated in the current scheme.

Here is an example of 3 students who got the question paper with both disputed questions correctly printed: (questions 29 and 39 in code 1 paper 1 (or corresponding questions in other codes) 

       Student X                Student Y                    Student Z
      Got both right        Got both wrong              Not attempted 

Let us say that the students secured these marks as per answer key published on June 4
              185                              185                                 185

Marks awarded after revision of answer key and awarding of 7 marks to all students on June 11

              185                               194                                  192

                                            (Student Y would have got -2

                                            for Q 39, but in the revised scheme

                                            gets +7 – (-2), therefore +9).

 The student who answered the questions correctly has been negatively discriminated due to the decision to award 7 marks to all students. A student who got the two questions wrong gets 9 marks more and one who did not attempt the two questions gets 7 more marks.

 The award of 7 marks to students who got the correctly printed question papers and either did not attempt one or both questions or got one or both questions wrong, is grossly erroneous and violation of justice.

 The concerned authorities should urgently take corrective action that would prevent injustice and prepare a fresh rank list before the counseling process. The current rank list has affected deserving candidates by thousands of ranks.

Counselling process for admission begins on 15 June 2017 and first round of seat allocation will be released on 28 June 2017. Corrective action must therefore be taken urgently.

Please sign my petition to request the Chairman of IIT JEE advanced 2017 organizing committee to take corrective action by cancelling award of 7 marks for Question numbers 29 and 39 in paper 1, code 1 and all corresponding questions in all other codes and using a different answer key to evaluate the questions with printing error.


This petition will be delivered to:
  • Professor Prem Bisht
  • IIT Madras
    Head Joint seat allocation authority (JoSAA) 2017
  • Honourable Minister for Human Resources and Development
    Shri Prakash Javedkar Ministry of human resource development and chairman of IIT council

    Subramani Kandasamy started this petition with a single signature, and now has 842 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.