Thursday, February 2, 2017

13 comments

Is NEET the only yardstick to rank candidates?

Guest article written by Dr. Shrikanth, Vellore.
Fellow citizens,

Let us not become emotional about self-proclaimed opinions regarding better or poorer standards in the state board or central board schools, state-level entrance exams versus national-level entrance exams (NEET), English medium education versus regional languages, city versus town, town versus rural, ..

We are now facing the issue of how to select candidates for medical curriculum. Because the eligible candidates, by nature and law, are from different boards, different medium of instruction, different states and different socio-economic backgrounds,it becomes necessary to have a common yardstick to merit rank among them for further selection.

Common yardstick to merit rank

There are two well-known and recognized methods for this purpose. Leave alone the personal interview methods to assess and measure the merit cum attitude/aptitude. They are:
  1. Objective type of entrance exams - erstwhile CETs of different states, institutions or national level exams like JEE or NEET, etc.
  2. Equally popular method internationally for college admissions, if not so popular in India - is "test equating by statistical normalization" of different examinations of various qualifying boards.
Both the methods have their advantages and disadvantages from various perspectives. Former method of ENTRANCE EXAMINATION by objective type is simple in application and less biased. But the second method requires a lot of standardized administrative infrastructure, from syllabus to final mark scoring of qualifying examinations.

Obviously this latter method assumes good and unbiased law and order for effective evaluation by vastly differing agencies-which is quite difficult in today's India. Only state government which entirely follows the second method has been Tamil Nadu. In fact, even the national selection for IITs and NITs follows statistical normalization at least partially at preliminary screening.

But what is really lacking in Tamil Nadu is that the method of calculation and it's underlying principle for the purpose of "test equating by statistical normalization", which is legally stipulated in sub-clause 5(i) of the ACT 3 of 2007 of Tamil Nadu, is unfortunately absolutely wrong, arbitrary, unfair, unscientific and unconstitutional.

It was negligently adopted from BITS, Pilani by Dr. Ananthakrishnan committee in 2006 which was reportedly constituted to abolish CET in Tamil Nadu. The wrong method for "equating by normalization" had been quashed as unfair, exploitative and unconstitutional by at least three high courts in different states. But, the President inadvertently assented to this ACT in spite of serious and conscious objection by Ministry of Health, Government of India.

Even in 2016, government of Tamil Nadu did not adhere to the ACT for NEET 2016. Though the 2016 ordinance & ACT of union exempted only those which conducted their own Common entrance examinations for 2016, the government of Tamil Nadu did not conduct any state level entrance examination for evaluating inter-se merit ranking. The selection process of 2016 was illegal in Tamil Nadu.

Unless this wrong method (sub-clause 5(i) of the ACT) is repealed and replaced by statistical method like equi-percentile method, this ACT in Tamil Nadu could not stand against IMC ACT, amended for NEET. So,any attempt to oppose NEET 2017 by Tamil Nadu without amending this existing unconstitutional method of normalization will be utterly ridiculous and liable for quashing by honourable courts.

Thanks Dr. Shrikanth for your valuable article. To understand Dr. Shrikanth's article fully, please read my earlier article on Do you think CBSE students are incompetent to join Tamil Nadu Medical Colleges?

13 comments:

  1. Thanking gratefully for publishing my article,sir.Awake,Arise,Agitate for Justice !

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  2. Before opposing the central law & the direction of the supreme court of India, the state government of Tamilnadu should correct its own law ( ACT 3 of 2007) for admission into professional courses which is based on "the principle of test equating by statistical normalization" in lieu of entrance examinations for the purpose of "UNIFORM EVALUATION" among all applicants from different qualifying examinations of various boards. But unfortunately,the sub-clause 5(i) of the said ACT of Tamilnadu which stipulates the illustration for equating by normalization was negligently adopted from unconstitutional & unscientific extinct method of BITS,pilani ( BITS discontinued this wrong method in 2004).
    Many high court benches in various states had quashed this BITS method as unfair & unconstitutional. Ministry of health had raised conscious objection against this extinct BITS method as unnatural while the president inadvertently gave assent to this ACT- utterly unfair & wrong method for a right policy & principle of equating by statistical normalization. Unless this impugned sub clause is repealed & replaced by statistical normalization like equi-percentile equating, it is the greatest blunder & injustice on the part of government of Tamilnadu towards innocent and hard working students community. Let justice prevail & humanity win !

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  3. The presently existing method of selection for professional courses including MBBS/BDS, by the government of Tamilnadu and its procedure for making common merit ranking among applicants from different qualifying examinations and various boards based on the POLICY of ”statistical normalization and test equating ” is based on the sub-clause 3 of the ACT 3 of 2007,Tamilnadu. This statistical normalization for equating is for the essential purpose of UNIFORM EVALUATION AMONG ALL APPLICANTS, & was adopted in lieu of erstwhile CET in Tamilnadu since 2007.
    The sub-clause 5 (i) of the said ACT stipulates a method and its mathematical illustration for the purpose of equating by normalization between all aspirants/ applicants. The intended purpose of this newer method as envisaged in the said ACT is to equalize the raw marks obtained from exams with fluctuating level of naturally inevitable difficulty/easiness between different qualifying school examinations in various years of appearing and in different eligible boards of higher secondary education.
    But this existing method is absolutely arbitrary,unscientific,unfair,illegal and unconstitutional. In stead of its intended purpose,in reality,this wrong method is not only ineffective for equalizing but in fact it is accentuating and "ABNORMALIZING" the already naturally occurring differences of difficulty and consequently differing RAW marks ( in percentage ) in various exams.   This stale method was negligently copied without wit from BITS,Pilani by one Dr.Ananthakrishnan committee in 2006 whose reports were blindly adopted as legislative bill 39 of 2006 in Tamilnadu Assembly by erstwhile DMK government. Already BITS,Rajasthan discontinued this stale method in 2004 ,subsequent to a court case which was petitioned by HRD ministry,GoI. At least three different high courts had already quashed the similar unstatistical methods as unconstitutional. Including Madras high court in 2007 which pronounced this method as ARTIFICIAL and suggested further review,even though this same high court upheld the POLICY of Statistical normalization for equating in 2007.
    Even before,this concerned Bill 39 of 2006,Tamilnadu was assented by the president,ministry of Health,GoI raised a conscious objection against this unnatural and unconstitutional method of Tamilnadu for ”equating and normalization” and in fact suggested the method of percentile for equating. Unfortunately,even the honorable President of India inadvertently gave assent to this ACT which contains this unscientific and unconstitutional method for the purpose of equating by normalization among all applicants from different qualifying exams. 
      WRONG METHOD ? FOR RIGHT POLICY !

    Without due amendment by repealing the sub-clause 5(i) of the ACT 3 of 2007,Tamilnadu,- by approved and appropriate method for fair equating by statistical normalization among all aspirants,by either ”percentile method” or by Standard Deviation – z scores,
    so,any attempt to oppose the NEET 2017 by Tamilnadu without amending this existing unconstitutional method for normalization will be utterly ridiculous and liable for quashing by honourable courts. But the selection must be based on merit only by IMC / MCI ACT & rules. MCI has already repealed the selection method based on mere marks obtained in qualifying examination. Only method for uniform evaluation accepted as per IMC ACT now is by NEET. Sathiyam should win !.

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  4. The presently existing method of selection for professional courses including MBBS/BDS, by the government of Tamilnadu and its procedure for making common merit ranking among applicants from different qualifying examinations and various boards based on the POLICY of ”statistical normalization and test equating ” is based on the sub-clause 3 of the ACT 3 of 2007,Tamilnadu. This statistical normalization for equating is for the essential purpose of UNIFORM EVALUATION AMONG ALL APPLICANTS, & was adopted in lieu of erstwhile CET in Tamilnadu since 2007.
    The sub-clause 5 (i) of the said ACT stipulates a method and its mathematical illustration for the purpose of equating by normalization between all aspirants/ applicants. The intended purpose of this newer method as envisaged in the said ACT is to equalize the raw marks obtained from exams with fluctuating level of naturally inevitable difficulty/easiness between different qualifying school examinations in various years of appearing and in different eligible boards of higher secondary education.
    But this existing method is absolutely arbitrary,unscientific,unfair,illegal and unconstitutional. In stead of its intended purpose,in reality,this wrong method is not only ineffective for equalizing but in fact it is accentuating and "ABNORMALIZING" the already naturally occurring differences of difficulty and consequently differing RAW marks ( in percentage ) in various exams.   This stale method was negligently copied without wit from BITS,Pilani by one Dr.Ananthakrishnan committee in 2006 whose reports were blindly adopted as legislative bill 39 of 2006 in Tamilnadu Assembly by erstwhile DMK government. Already BITS,Rajasthan discontinued this stale method in 2004 ,subsequent to a court case which was petitioned by HRD ministry,GoI. At least three different high courts had already quashed the similar unstatistical methods as unconstitutional. Including Madras high court in 2007 which pronounced this method as ARTIFICIAL and suggested further review,even though this same high court upheld the POLICY of Statistical normalization for equating in 2007.
    Even before,this concerned Bill 39 of 2006,Tamilnadu was assented by the president,ministry of Health,GoI raised a conscious objection against this unnatural and unconstitutional method of Tamilnadu for ”equating and normalization” and in fact suggested the method of percentile for equating. Unfortunately,even the honorable President of India inadvertently gave assent to this ACT which contains this unscientific and unconstitutional method for the purpose of equating by normalization among all applicants from different qualifying exams. 
      WRONG METHOD ? FOR RIGHT POLICY !

    Without due amendment by repealing the sub-clause 5(i) of the ACT 3 of 2007,Tamilnadu,- by approved and appropriate method for fair equating by statistical normalization among all aspirants,by either ”percentile method” or by Standard Deviation – z scores,
    so,any attempt to oppose the NEET 2017 by Tamilnadu without amending this existing unconstitutional method for normalization will be utterly ridiculous and liable for quashing by honourable courts. But the selection must be based on merit only by IMC / MCI ACT & rules. MCI has already repealed the selection method based on mere marks obtained in qualifying examination. Only method for uniform evaluation accepted as per IMC ACT now is by NEET. Sathiyam should win !.

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  5. the essential concept behind the practice of making and arranging the critically important "merit ranking list" among all eligible applicants for selection for a given course.
    Following are methods to assess & quantify the Intellectual" MERIT"- a prerequisite for selection into higher education. Indian medical council ACT- 1957, unambiguously stipulates " merit" as mandatory prerequisite for admissions into MBBS.
    1. What is "merit" ?
    - "merit" is a psychometric quality. That can be measured & quantified only by subjective methods- by examiner- examinee dependent,unlike objective physical measures.
    2.what are the tools for measuring "merit" of psychological intelligence ?
    Tests- set of questions of examiner to be answered by examinee.
    Hence relative raw marks obtained by different students can be utilized for ranking purpose within that group of examiner/question set versus group of students appearing. The validity of this raw marks can not be compared with any other different groups ,so there arises the need for inter-se ranking. Naturally any two different questions are of different levels of easiness or difficulty.
    3. Hence, CET is invented to assess the comparitive merit between all applicants from different streams.
    2. When an extra entrance test is seen as unnecessary burden to test takers as in the case of Tamilnadu, there is a less perfect method of statistical analysis.
    The RAW marks obtained in different qualifying examinations of equivalent standards of the same subject in various boards ,- needs to be compared.
    4.The statistical solution is " test equating by statistical normalization".
    5.what is meant by statistical "normalization" ?
    A mathematical process of converting RAW marks of a particular
    examination into its parametric scores. Standard deviations or z-scores.
    In the case of "normal bell shaped distribution",percentile scores can be used in stead of standard deviations.
    So, the conversion of raw marks into statistical parameters like percentile or standard deviation in case of "normal bell shaped distribution" is called as "normalization"
    " normalization" has nothing to do with the word 'normal'. Since no text or examination can be assumed as normal or gold standard. This is the exact mistake done by the method for normalization in Tamilnadu.
    6.what is the purpose of normalization ?
    The parametric scores of different examinations which are yielding typical "normal distribution" ,- can be compared and merged by equating to arrive at common merit ranking.
    So,the well known and recognized methods for normalization for equating for relative comparison are
    1.equi-percentile method or 2.linear equating by z - scores.
    Both are recognized by supreme court of India as methods for normalization of marks.

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  6. Similar methods copied from BITS were quashed as unconstitutional & arbitrary in different courts.
    1. In 1989,P & H bench quashed this method as abnormalization and unconstitutional.
    2.in 2004,Rajasthan bench declared this method of BITS as stale & stagnant. BITS vs union of India,HRD ministry.
    3.in 2008,Mumbay bench, declared this method as unfair,unscientific and arbitrary,hence quashed as unconstitutional.
    4. Even the ministry of health,GoI raised conscious objection to this wrong method for normalization as in L.A bill 39 of 2006,and in stead recommended " percentile". But inadvertently PRESIDENT assented the wrong method for right policy of Statistical normalization.
    In fact Madras high court in minor aswin Kumar case pronounced this method as ARTIFICIAL but hesitated to declare as arbitrary but suggested for future review.
    In fact,only because of this legal complications,MCI in it's Executive committee meeting in 2009 suggested for NEET and amended it's rules.
    But,in 2015, in minor Kahbilan case in Madras high court had muddled a review chance to do justice in correcting the wrong method for normalization in Tamilnadu.
    Since 2007, thousands of better meritorious students have been denied of their fundamental rights for selection based on merit because of this wrong & unfair method in Tamilnadu - sub-clause 5(i) of the ACT 3 of 2007,Tamilnadu

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  7. Unfairness of the existing wrong method for normalization ? in Tamilnadu
    In 2014, about 3000 students scored 100% marks in physics,but in 2016,only 4 students can score 100% in physics. Please compare the difference in difficulty level in two different examinations of the same board of Tamilnadu. But the existing unfair method says that merit behind both 100% of raw marks in 2014 & 2016 in physics ,-are the same. Hence the students of 2014 equally competes with 2016 students saying both RAW marks are the same .but percentile normalization is statistically equalizing these unequal merits fairly.legally tenable as per the article 14 of the Constitution. Unequals should not be treated equally.

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  8. For scientific information, all " normal distribution curves" from different exams have comparable parametric scores because of the " 68%-95%-99% law". This is the concept behind normalization procedures.thanking

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  9. Stalin seeks PM’s intervention to get assent from President on NEET
    http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Stalin-seeks-PM’s-intervention-to-get-assent-from-President-on-NEET/article17288374.ece

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  10. Kindly peruse the posted copy of LA Bill 7 of 2017,Tamilnadu,which is forwarded for the assent of honourable President of India.
    This new Bill has copied and contains the original wrong ,unfair & unconstitutional mathematical procedure for " equating by statistical normalization" among all candidates / applicants for MBBS admission ,from different qualifying exams ( various years ) of different boards in +2 public examination. Please refer to sub-clause 4 of the said Bill.
    As already ,I submitted to state that this method had been declared as unfair & unconstitutional by many high court benches. honourable supreme court of India has approved some statistical methods like " equi-percentile methods" as legally tenable for the intended purpose of equating the merits of all applicants from different exams/ boards. Otherwise the finally arrived common merit ranking for selection counseling is utterly unfair & against article 14 of the constitution. Moreover,really better meritorious students with lesser absolute raw marks from more difficult exams/boards ( among given community) are denied of their fundamental rights of selection into competitive careers.
    Unfortunately,the opposition parties are pressuring the President for assenting this illegal procedure for otherwise legally tenable policy of "equating by statistical normalization". In 2007, the honourable President had inadvertently assented for this illegal procedure in the Act 3 of 2007,Tamilnadu,in spite of conscious objection against this wrongful method for equating by normalization ,by the ministry of health,GoI. MoHFW then advised the percentile method for this intended purpose of fair equalization among all applicants for NATURAL JUSTICE.
    PLEASE DO THE NEEDFUL FOR INNOCENT STUDENTS. Thanking you with public interest.

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  11. http://www.stationeryprinting.tn.gov.in/extraordinary/2017/21_Ex_IV_1_E.pdf

    Above link is the PDF file of the bill passed against NEET -2017 in tamilnadu assembly. For perusal.

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  12. TAMIL NADU GOVERNMENT GAZETTE EXTRAORDINARY 31st, January 2017.

    L.A. Bill No. 7 of 2017
    A Bill to provide for admission to MBBS and BDS courses on the basis of
    marks obtained in the qualifying examination......
    Relevant extracts...regarding the evaluation of MERIT & equating by normalization which should enable a comparable inter-se scoring among all applicants from different exams and various boards in order to arrive at common merit ranking.

    ... 3. Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law or any rules,
    regulations or by-laws made thereunder, admission to every Government seat
    shall be made by the appropriate authority on the basis of the marks obtained
    by a student in the relevant subjects in the qualifying examination.
    4. (1) The marks obtained by the students in the relevant subjects in the
    qualifying examination conducted by various Boards or Authority shall be
    equated with the marks obtained by the students in the same subjects in the
    qualifying examination conducted by the State Board, by adopting the method
    of normalisation.
    Explanation:—Under the method of normalisation, the highest marks
    obtained by the students of various Boards in each subject shall be equated
    to the highest marks obtained by the students of State Board in that subject
    and the relative marks obtained by other students in that subject shall be
    determined accordingly.

    Illustration:—If the highest mark secured by the student of State Board
    in Chemistry is 100 and the highest mark secured by the student of any other
    Board in the same subject is 90, both the highest marks will be considered
    to be equal to 100. If a student of the other Board secures 70 marks in
    Chemistry when the first mark in Chemistry in the same Board is 90, the 70
    marks will be considered to be equal to 77.77 marks as arrived
    at below :-
    100 X 70 = 77.77%
    90
    (2) After normalisation of marks in the relevant subjects in the qualifying
    examination conducted by different Boards, the qualified students of different
    Boards shall be merged into a common merit list.
    (3) In cases where more than one student have got the same marks
    in the common merit list, the inter-se merit among such students shall be
    determined in such manner as may prescribed.
    (4) The appropriate authority shall prepare the rank lists for admission
    of students to the Government seats and allot students through centralised
    counselling.

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  13. The above quoted "explanation " & "illustration" paras are merely copied from sub clause 5(i) of the Act 3 of 2007,tamilnadu. This method was recommended by Dr Ananthakrishnan committee in 2006 by copying from extant & illegal method followed in BITS, pilani till 2004( discontinued from 2005 admission in Bits).
    This method is arbitrary, unscientific, unfair, illegal & unconstitutional. In stead, statistical methods like normalized equi-percentile equating or by linear equating by standard deviation which are recognized for the purpose of comparative merit ranking by the Supreme Court of India, -should be followed.

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