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90% of students expelled from IIT-Roorkee belong to reserved categories

Almost 90 per cent of the students expelled from IIT-Roorkee for poor academic performance belong to the reserved category, ET has learnt from reliable sources.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 13, 2015, 10.45 PM IST
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Almost 90 per cent of the students expelled from IIT-Roorkee for poor academic performance belong to the reserved category, ET has learnt from reliable sources.
Almost 90 per cent of the students expelled from IIT-Roorkee for poor academic performance belong to the reserved category, ET has learnt from reliable sources.
NEW DELHI: Almost 90 per cent of the students expelled from IIT-Roorkee for poor academic performance belong to the reserved category, ET has learnt from reliable sources.

According to the break-up with this reporter, out of the 73 expelled students, 31 are from the ST category, 23 from the SC category, four from the physically challenge quota, eight from the OBC quota and 7 from the general category. All 73 students were ousted for scoring less than 5 cumulative grade point average (CGPA) in the second semester.

ET could not independently verify the above figures with IIT-Roorkee director Pradipta Banerji and the institute's dean of academics. Both were unreachable for comment. However, another office bearer, who did not wish to be identified, confirmed that a majority of those ousted were, indeed, from the reserved categories.

"But please do not bring in the caste or class angle in this. We do not see our students that way. They were weak in academics and could not cope. That's all," the above professor added.

According to HRD Ministry officials, this lopsided break-up of the expelled students can be attributed to the relaxed admission criteria for those applying through the reserved categories.

"The cut-off marks for, say, a SC/ST applicant is much lower than the qualifying criterion for general students at the time of admission. Sometimes it’s almost half of what we expect of the general students. It's obvious that the former will have trouble coping with the rest of the class," said an official, who did not wish to be identified.

According to a recent blog written by a professor of IIT Kanpur, the premier engineering schools, till a few decades ago, would only provide limited relaxation in admission criteria for reserved students. The remaining vacant seats were filled with applicants who had even lower marks, but they had to go through a one-year preparatory course.

"Those who came to IIT after this course were reasonably well prepared, and again they were able to compete with everyone else. The idea always was that we must have inclusive growth, and we must provide additional help to those who may have lacked some background coming into IIT system," Dheeraj Sanghi, a professor of computer science at IIT Kanpur, wrote in his blog on July 11.

About 15 years, when this issue was politicized and the preparatory course was seen as a conspiracy to keep the lower caste students behind, the IITs lowered the bar even further for reserved students to ensure few seats were left vacant and not too many applicants had to attend the preparatory course.

"The gap between the last unreserved student and the last reserved category student has become very large, and even with all the support that IITs provide, it is becoming increasingly difficult for students from disadvantaged sections to overcome their lack of academic preparedness," Sanghi added in his blog.

IIT Roorkee is firm on its decision regarding expulsion of students and the HRD Ministry has refused to intervene in the matter. Meanwhile, the affected students are now planning to move court against this decision.

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