The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 20-01-2023 | 02:40 pm
(‘A Lesson from IIT’ is a weekly column by an IIT faculty member on learning, science and technology on campus and beyond. The column will appear every Friday)— Manindra AgrawalIITs are premier engineering institutions in the country. The undergraduate program at IITs is highly sought after, with more than ten lakh students competing for around ten thousand seats every year. There is a two-tier examination for admission — JEE Main followed by JEE Advanced.JEE Main examination is used for admission to other engineering colleges, as well as shortlisting students for JEE Advanced. Admission to different engineering streams across IITs is determined by the rank obtained in JEE Advanced.Considered one of the toughest examinations in the word, JEE Advanced is administered to approximately 2 lakh students every year of which around ten thousand (the top five per cent) are selected for admission.An oft-repeated critique of JEE Advanced is that it is too difficult, even compared to JEE Main. For example, in 2021, the last admitted student to the IITs, with a rank around twelve thousand, scored only 30 per cent marks in the examination.Further, more than half the students scored less than 10 per cent marks. Why has the examination not been made easier for students is a question posed by many.Is it because those setting the papers are unable to design easier questions? Or because they derive some kind of pleasure in making a large number of students perform poorly? The answer is none of the above. The requirement of identifying and ranking the top five per cent of the students forces the examination to be tough, as I explain below.Let us consider a hypothetical situation first. Suppose one has to conduct an examination for two lakh students with an aim of evaluating their knowledge and understanding. Typically, in a large set like this, abilities of students will follow a bell-shaped curve – large numbers in the middle (corresponding to in-between abilities), and the numbers tapering off as the abilities become higher or lower than average.In Statistics, this is referred to as Normal Distribution. An ideal examination for identifying the level of students would be one in which the average score is 50 (out of 100), so that 0 marks represent very poor level, 50 marks represent average level, and 100 marks represent very high level.But JEE Advanced has a different aim – to identify the top five per cent students from the given set of two lakh students(that have appeared qualified JEE Main).If an examination as above is conducted in JEE Advanced, then all the students in top 5 per cent will have more than 80 marks (under certain reasonable assumptions about standard deviation of the curve).This makes it difficult to rank them since all the ten thousand students are compressed within a band of 20 marks (there will be 500 students on average on each mark in the band).Even if one uses tie-breaking criteria by using marks in different subjects, it will still bunch a large number of students on the same marks.The band of marks 0-80 gets wasted since all eligible students are within the band 90-100. Ideally, one would like to use the entire band of 0-100 for top ten thousand students – this can happen when all except top ten thousand get zero marks.Of course, this is not possible in practice. But a sufficiently tough examination comes close to achieving the ideal by increasing the band of top 5 per cent students. And that is why the JEE Advanced is so tough — the high difficulty expands the top 5 per cent band significantly (30-100 in the year 2021).In fact, JEE Main exam also follows the same principle. In 2021, the top five per cent students in JEE Main occupied the band 30-100, almost exactly the same as JEE Advanced.It is done for the similar reason: to identify top 5 per cent students (around fifty thousand) out of ten lakh for admission in various engineering colleges across the country.One may then ask — why is JEE Advanced more difficult than JEE Main? The reason is that JEE Advanced needs to identify the top 5 percent of the set shortlisted through JEE Main, which is the top 1 percent of the candidates writing JEE Main. So one needs a large band for the top 1 percent of this set, forcing the JEE Advanced to be tougher than the JEE Main.(The writer is former deputy director of IIT Kanpur and currently a professor at the institute)
Margao: Iker Guarrotxena scored a first-half hat-trick inside just 12 minutes to floor East Bengal and take FC Goa to the top three in the Indian Super League (ISL).Guarrotxena’s hat-trick was the third fastest after Ferran Corominas (7 minutes) and Bartholomew Ogbeche (11 minutes) and helped Goa register two wins in four days, results that will give the team much-needed breathing space in the battle for a playoff spot.No wonder coach Carlos Pena announced a three-day holiday for the team before they resume training on Monday.“This week is beautiful, the team effort huge in these two games,” Guarrotxena said after the 4-2 win against East Bengal at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda. “The win against Kerala gave us good energy, we worked hard during the week. The atmosphere here is beautiful and I think we deserved a win.”Goa were dominant in the first half, scoring three goals.After the change of ends, it was Brandon Fernandes’ terrific free-kick that had the stadium up on its feet. East Bengal scored two in the second session, both from headers, but Goa were not to be denied points with Guarrotxena the cynosure of all eyes.“Iker has helped the team since the start of the season,” said Pena. “At the start, he didn't score too many goals, but he worked a lot for the team. Now, he is having more accuracy. He’s understanding better what we want from him. I’m very happy for him because he is a hard worker and a nice person.”Guarrotxena is now the leading goal-scorer in the league with 10 strikes, one more than Lallianzuala Chhangte, Jorge Pereyra Diaz (both Mumbai City) and Cleiton Silva (East Bengal).His influence, though, goes beyond the goals.Like Pena explained, Guarrotxena’s commitment to the team’s cause, even when everything seems lost, can never be questioned. When the team is struggling, he tries to lift the mood by setting an example himself, running into the ground. If there’s a bad result, the first encouraging message is almost always from the Spanish forward.“He’s a born leader,” says Ravi Puskur, the club’s director of football. “His influence both on and off the field is very good. He never stops trying.”Guarrotxena is not your classic attacking midfielder who will slice open rival defences and make opponents quiver when he has the ball at his feet. He’s played most of his career as a winger, except in Australia and last season at UD Logrones where he was used as a floating number 10 or second striker.His 14 goals at UD Logrones in Spain last season caught Goa’s attention. After all, Guarrotxena had finished ahead of the first-choice striker in his team, Aridane Santana, a player not alien to Indian football after spells with Odisha FC and Hyderabad.Guarrotxena didn’t set the league on fire in the initial stages but has now scored five goals in the last three games.“It takes time for a new player to adjust to the team and surroundings, but having Iker play higher up the pitch has helped. He is now becoming a poacher, scoring from chances which are not clear cut,” said Puskur.With four games left to be played and Goa still uncertain of qualification, Guarrotxena’s form, and goals, could turn out to be decisive.
Margao/Canacona: Forty years before Goa’s Liberation, a group of young people from Canacona aspired to have the intellectually liberating force of Liceum (higher secondary education) spread to the southern-most taluka.Their mission fructified on December 28, 1922, with the establishment of Centro Promotor de Instrucao de Canacona or Centre for Promotion of Education of Canacona (CPI). On September 3, 1923, the initiative got the stamp of approval from the then governor of Portuguese Goa, Dr Jaime Alberto De Castro Moraes. The CPI’s Institute Liceal Shree Mallikarjun, which later evolved into Shree Mallikarjun High School and Higher Secondary School, is celebrating its centennial year of inception.Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai will inaugurate the year-long celebration of the institution on Saturday.“That was a time when students of Canacona had to travel to Ponda using antiquated transport facilities,” said Vikas Desai, a former president of the institution. “They had to travel by bullock cart to Sanvordem via Quepem. From Sanvordem, they had to board a ‘vapor’ (ferry boat) that would take them across to Durbhat, from where they had to walk a few miles to the school.”In 1918-19, the influenza pandemic broke out which claimed the life of a young lad from Canacona. Struck by fear, the people of Canacona didn’t let their children travel to Ponda to school. “Fortuitously,” added Desai, “that led to the setting up of the institution.” Somnath Komarpant, a writer and former head of the department of Marathi, Goa University, is among the alumni of the school. Reminiscing about the days spent in the school soon after Liberation, Komarpant said that the school functioned from a structure sans walls and covered by tarpaulin sheets. The facilities were rudimentary. “But the dedication of our teachers was legendary,” said Komarpant, who made a special mention of his principal, H R Prabhu and Nayak Sir from Sadolxem, Kanta Bhaireli, Nanda Gaitonde and others. “Nayak Sir had to cross the river on a canoe to come to the school. And often when the only boatman was unavailable, Nayak Sir would himself row the canoe using a bamboo stick as an oar,” Komarpant said. “Such was his humility that he would bow to the students in his peculiar style soon after entering the classroom.” Expressing his gratitude to the school for sowing among the students the seeds of nationalism, Komarpant said he owes it to his teachers for “making a man” out of him.
War hero, Major General Ian Cardozo stressed the need for India to become the happiest country in the world. The war hero, who was under the spotlight for the second, consecutive day of the 11th Goa art and literature festival organised by the International centre of Goa in association with Goa Writers said, “India can easily become the most powerful country in the world. However, it may be a better idea for India to become the most happiest country in the world. This way, India would need to focus on eliminating poverty completely and ensuring that nobody remained poor and starving in our vast country.”The General who recounted multiple anecdotes from his soul-stirring autobiography, “Cartoos Saab” recounted the time when he saved a young soldier in the seas off Kerala, despite possessing only one leg himself. He also recounted the valour of the Gorkha soldiers, whom he considered the bravest in the world, when he cited the real life incident of how a brave Gorkha mother sent her youngest son to join her older son’s army regiment, even as she was told of her older son’s martyrdom. “I do not want our family tradition and line with the Indian army to be broken,” the Gorkha mother is quoted to have said.Earlier in the day, Nobel prize winning economist Abhijit Banerjee and his illustrator colleague Cheyenne Olivier regaled everybody about their cook book: “Cooking to save your life” Banerjee maintained that everyone on this planet could cook and even excel at it, if they applied their minds and learnt the basics properly.Translations to the foreTwo excellent sessions, the first with award winning author, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar in conversation with the festival co-curator, Vivek Menezes and the second featuring Kannada author, Vivek Shanbag in conversation with journalist Vinutha Mallya stood out for their deep insights.Hansda had the audiences in raptures as he read from his forthcoming translation from Hindi to English, where a small boy is witness to the death of an elephant as it is attacked mercilessly by a large pack of wild dogs.While Shanbag, an engineer by training credited his non-literature academic training for teaching him systems and methodology.New era publishingIn another excellent session featuring two, independent publishers Arpita Das Ribeiro and Trisha Niyogi in conversation with Margao based book store owner, Leonard Fernandes, the two lady publishers stressed the need for publishers to combine the latest audio-visual techniques with conventional printing to compete with the likes of popular OTT platforms.
The Office of Superintendent of Police (Training) and Child Rights Commission launched a series of training for Police Sub Inspectors at GO’s Training Hall in presence of Sanjith Rodrigues, Secretary, GSCPCR, Sucheta B. Dessai, SP (Training), Peter F. Borges, Chairperson, GSCPCR and Child Welfare Committee, North Goa, and South Goa. The training will reach out to more than 260 PSIs from 19-24th January 2023. Sexual crimes against children have captured the stage fraor quite some time now with Goa too has witnessing a surge in the recent times. Very low conviction rate exists in the state with several POCSO cases ending in acquittals. There exists also a grim reality of a gross failure to support and rehabilitate the victims and their families in terms of victim compensation too. As a result of this, there are instances of victims and their families turning hostile, stop cooperating and loosing hope, said Sanjith Rodrigues, Secretary, GSCPCR and Special Secretary, Home The training revolved around need for convergence between police and child protection system to ensure adequate support services for children as provided in POCSO Rules 2020.While it is important to secure punishment for the perpetrator, focus should also be laid on restorative care and justice, said Peter F. Borges, Chairperson, Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, who led the training and called for multi-disciplinary approach on linking POCSO victims to the child protection system. He further stressed the need for curbing re-victimization which happens in the justice system process. Several factors and practices existing in the system makes the victim re-live the horrific experience, leading to further trauma due to their vulnerability. Esther Torres, Chairperson, CWC, North Goa, also highlighted the need to introspect and keep aside the persona biases which exist while handling the cases of child abuse. Adv. Viren Bhende, Member, CWC South Goa also spoke on the need for coordinated approach.
St. Andrew’s Higher Secondary School, Vaddem, Vasco celebrated its grand Annual Day cum Prize Distribution Function at the BITS PILANI- Goa campus auditorium,Zuarinagar - Sancoale. Bhagirath Shetye, Chairman of Goa Board, Secondary and Higher Secondary education was the Chief Guest with D M Kulkarni, Dean General Administration of BITS Pilani being the Guest of Honour, Fr Benson Colaco, Manager of St. Andrew Institute, Vasco was the special Invitee to grace the function. The other special guests represented the wide spectrum of intelligensia from Heads of different Higher Secondaries of Goa, PTA members, parents, well-wishers and students. The auditorium reverberated with over 2000 enthusiastic audience witnessing the spectacular show. The celebration got underway with a ceremonial march of the dignified entourage led by the school’s General Secretary, Ashish Pal and Cultural Secretary, Shrushti Naik, all marching to the beat of the scintillating live music by JAZZMATAZZ. The dignitaries were then accorded a warm welcome by the school Manager, Fr. Constancio Carvalho followed by the presenting of theschool report and its achievements by the Principal, Dr. Elvis Gonsalves. The formal program entailed the prize distribution for students excelling in academics and co- curricular activities followed by felicitating the long serving staff who had completed 25 years of dedicated and meritorious service to the DSE. The highlight of the evening was the crowning of Mr and Miss Andrews for the year 2022-23, which were bagged by Wesley D’sa and Gracina Colaco. The inaugural issue of the annual school magazine ‘ANDLIT’ was also released, which contains a collection of creative and enlightening literary articles of students and staff, aligning to the maxim - Beyond books, Igniting minds. The cultural program, MYSTICAL INDIA took the audience into a journey of cultural extravaganzawhere all the 920 students were given the opportunity to participate. The travel through some of the states of India showcased the vibrant, rich and living culture through skits, choral singing, mimes, fashion show, folk and classical dances. The depth of the performance, digital effects and the extraordinary depiction of mystical India took the audience through a dazzling journey which set to re-enforce India’s unity amidst diversity where the varied culture, beliefs, festivals etc immaculatelyfit into a jigsaw of an amalgamated country, India.