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IIT entrance adopts a redress tool

New Delhi, May 30: For the first time, those who have taken the JEE Advanced can complain to the IITs, which organise the exam, about mistakes in the question paper and seek rectification.

IIT hopefuls who sat the exam last Sunday can do so between June 1 and 5, following a Delhi High Court order on Wednesday. Errors in the question paper, called an optical response sheet (ORS), can be of two kinds:

All the four answers provided for a multiple-choice question are incorrect;

The question is formulated incorrectly, so there’s no answer.

Earlier, the IITs corrected such anomalies only if newspapers highlighted them. The practice is to award full marks for the questions concerned to all the candidates.

So, correcting or not correcting the mistakes doesn’t influence the ranking. But since there’s a cut-off aggregate score for admission, a failure to correct the anomalies can hurt some students’ chances.

For the past couple of years, the IITs have under Delhi High Court orders taken several transparency measures for the JEE Advanced, through which they admit students.

One, they give the candidates a carbon copy of their answer sheet (the filled-in ORS) after the exam. Then, before announcing the results, they publish an “answer key” — a document revealing the right answer for every question asked — so the examinees can match the two and satisfy any doubts they may have.

Wednesday’s court order came on a four-year-old petition by an IIT Kharagpur professor challenging irregularities in the IIT entrance exam. Earlier court orders in the case had led to the previous transparency measures.

This year’s JEE Advanced is being organised by IIT Kharagpur. An organising official said: “We have introduced the system to seek feedback from students.”

The JEE Main, which precedes the JEE Advanced and through which other engineering colleges admit students, adopted the students’ feedback system earlier this year. It has awarded 16 marks across the board after mistakes were detected in four questions. The Central Board of Secondary Education, which conducts the Main, didn’t wait for any court order.