Half news, Full chaos

A few weeks back, news of a boy from Agra became sensational for the media. The story was how the boy who had secured an all India rank of 270 in JEE Advanced 2020, “accidentally” pressed the option of withdrawal of admission from IIT Bombay and was knocked out of the institute he had been given admission into from one single click. The news was sad. It shouldn’t have happened. One small error and a setback for a lifetime. The people who followed the piece felt for the boy. Probably that is the reason why a petition was filed on Change.org for justice. Yesterday the Supreme Court asked IIT Bombay to readmit the student as it was an error on the student’s part. Everyone rejoiced. Justice was served.

The reaction of netizens was fair and it was dependent on the news that they were served. They tried their best to provide justice. But did the media try its best to give the whole picture of the event. The news portrayed IITs to be the ones deciding the future of the student based upon “one wrong click”. But can the media be this naïve to believe that India’s most competitive exam’s counselling and admission system would be so leaky, that you me be withdrawn from admission by one wrong click? Are they thinking IITs to be equivalent to some spam emails from which you can unsubscribe at a single go?

So what the media did not do, i.e. investigate the procedure of admission withdrawal and then publish the story, Director of IIT Bombay Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri did. He on his post has mentioned the steps of admission withdrawal, which I have merely copy pasted below. The problem here is not that human errors do not happen, the problem is these half baked news tarnish the image of these Institutes of excellence. There maybe people who can look down on these Institutes and their selection procedure which will be highly unfair as these institutes have a legacy of giving the world students who have shaped the world to make a better and comfortable place to live.

a. A candidate has to log in with his username and password

b. Selects the withdraw option on the candidate portal.

c. The candidate is then shown the details of the seat allotted and asked to fill in the reasons for withdrawal.

d. The candidate then has to click to accept an agreement on the web portal, stating that “I would like to withdraw from the seat allocation process of JoSAA 2020 and I understand that I will not be considered in the subsequent rounds of seat allocation for JoSAA 2020.”

e. Press “Submit” button.

f. Once “submitted”, the candidate still cannot withdraw from the process. Now the system shows a pop-up message “After withdrawal, the allotted seat, if any, will be cancelled and candidate will not be allowed for further rounds of counselling.”

g. The system then asks the candidate to again enter his unique password and h. A One Time Password (OTP) is the sent to his/her registered mobile number. Once the OTP is pressed, the seat is then released to the next available candidate.

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