In an unprecedented action for any IIT, the institute at Roorkee expelled 73 students whose performance was not up to the mark after their first-year of the BTech programme.
Below 5 point something
These students scored less than 5 CGPA (cumulative grade point average) in their exams and were expelled late on Wednesday. At the time of admission, the parents of these students had signed a declaration stating that their poor performance could result in their removal from the institute: this is unlike any other previous instance at an IIT.
Expulsions are rare at IIT
Students have been expelled from IITs but taken back, except in one instance each in IIT, Kharagpur and IIT, Kanpur. On Thursday, a meeting was held to consider the mercy appeal of students. It was attended by over 160 senior officials, including professors, heads of departments and the director. A decision was then taken to expel the students. A former director of IIT, Kharagpur, recounted that in 2006, around 15-20 first year students were expelled on account of poor performance. This decision was taken by a committee that evaluated undergraduate students. The director, however, eventually overturned the decision to expel the students and re-admitted them.
They could’t cope – they were too busy having a good time
Sources told the Times of India that IIT Roorkee’s move to expel students occurred after second-semester examinations ended in May. Many students who fared badly were called for a meeting with college authorities and told to pull up their socks. During counselling sessions, many students admitted that they were finding it difficult to cope up with the academic work load. Institute officials said a few students claimed they had not given much attention to studies as they were “enjoying the first-year of college”.
Shock and horror
In mid-June, poor performers were sent a notice of expulsion by the institute. They were given time to file what the institute termed a “mercy appeal”. Many students affected by the decision refused to speak with the Times of India, saying they were still in shock. A few said it was an “unjustified decision” and that they were never warned that scoring less than 5 CGPA would result in expulsion.
“I have scored a little over 4.5 CGPA, but even then, I have been asked to leave. It is not fair. What will I do now? My whole academic year has gone to waste,” said one expelled student.
Student body representatives said the institute had acted in haste and should reconsider the decision. “Students should not be removed from college like this. Many of them come from vernacular-medium backgrounds and it is difficult for them to comprehend certain subjects. They should have been given time to adjust to the academic environment in the institute,” said Rajveer Choudhary, treasurer of the Students’ Affair Council of IIT Roorkee. Meanwhile, the institute’s registrar, Prashant Garg, when contacted, said the decision was justified.
“The IITs are premium institutes and the rules regarding under-performance were clearly notified to students at the time of admission. These 73 students could not attain the required credits and had CGPAs lower than 5, which qualifies for expulsion,” Garg said.
“The decision to expel them was taken after considering their mercy appeal, which was rejected by the apex academic body yesterday. We acknowledge that the number of students expelled is huge but we will ensure that preventive measures are taken and that there is no need to expel even a single student from IIT Roorkee on the grounds of poor academic performance next year,” Garg added.
As their parents have already signed an agreement saying the students could be expelled for poor performance, these students are now left with no recourse, said a source.
(Originally published in the Times of India)