email is in response to above news posted on IBN live on July
24, 2007. The link to news is http://www.ibnlive.com/news/bihar-girl-passes-iit-entrance-loses-seat-for-money/45529-3.html.
This is my last email to you on this sensational topic.
of this email follow from my telephonic conversations and
numerous email exchanges with many friends, journalists from
Bihar including the senior special correspondent cum chief
of bureau for CNBC & IBN/CNN under whose authorship the
above story surfaced, and finally the Chairman of JEE 2007.
I sincerely thank you all for your valuable inputs and I appreciate
your prompt help in demystifying the story.
protagonist of the story is Sushila. Her fathers surname is
Mishra. But, she does not carry the surname. As per her school records,
her name is Sushila Kumari. This is her official name throughout.
I belong to the same district (West Champaran) of Sushila and I
attended the same high school as Sushila. I have no personal acquaintance
with Sushila or her family.
in the story is purely out of concern for Sushila. Neither do I
intend to blame anybody for the incident nor do I intend to seek
a scapegoat. I do not want to point fingers to any one person or
a group of people for the anti-climax in the story. I chose to include
all the recipients in the blind carbon copy list for the sake of
confidentiality and individuality. Also, I have tried to be as general
as possible in the description and I am not naming any person barring
Sushila. Finally, this finding is out my own concern and/or curiosity
for my own Alma matter, and should not be considered as a legal
for IIT JEE 2007 on April 08, 2007. Unfortunately, she could not
make it to the list of qualified candidates. Therefore, she did
not receive any invitation letter from the JEE 2007 Organizing Committee
to attend counseling for admissions to one of the IITs. This is
the sole reason for her not joining one of the IITs.
made it to the Extended Merit List of candidates, who can seek admission
in to IIST (Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology) or
IISER (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research) or some
other institutes like T.S. Chanakya, Navi Mumbai; Marine Engineering
& Research Institute (MERI), Kolkata; and Marine Engineering
& Research Institute (MERI), Mumbai.
for being in the extended merit list. IIST and IISER are relatively
new initiatives of government of India and have been in existence
for less than two years since their inception. Sushila got an invitation
from IIST Thiruvananthapuram for Personal Counseling. For reasons
best know her and her family, she did not attend the counseling.
Lack of funds was cited as the primary reason as her family cant
afford to pay the required admission fee. It is really hard for
me to digest it, however. Nothing could be further from the truth.
policy of IIST (http://iist.ac.in/AdmissionPolicy.php)
shall be open to all Indian citizens. No test or condition shall
be imposed as to religious belief or occupation in admitting or
appointing members, students, teachers, and workers or in any other
No capitation fee shall be charged in any form in consideration
The Institute shall accept no benefaction that involves conditions
and obligations opposed to the spirit and objects of the institution.
Assistantships, to meet the cost of education, will be provided
to all students who meet the performance standard set by the Institute
with a condition to serve ISRO for a period of 5 years.
The second point above clearly mentions that there is no admission
fee and the fourth point promises assistantship to all its students,
who promise to work for ISRO for a period of five years, to meet
their living expenses. Where is the issue of finances then?
was in Extended Merit list as opposed to the list of Qualified Candidates,
she did not receive the Rs 50,000 from the Chief Minister's Relief
Fund as promised by Nitish Kumar to all successful students from
the state of Bihar. This has been incorrectly portrayed as the main
reason for Sushila not joining one of the IITs. Also, the total
fees payable at the time of admission (http://www.jee.iitb.ac.in/fee.htm)
to one of the IITs ranges from Rs 14,438 (for IT-BHU) to Rs 26,991
(for IIT-M). It is nowhere close to Rs 40,000 as mentioned in the
In the video
accompanying the above story (http://www.ibnlive.com/videos/45529/bihar-girl-passes-iit-entrance-loses-seat-for-money.html),
the boxed and the highlighted text at 0.18 minutes clearly reads
Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) Thiruvananthapuram,
India. At this very instant, the voice-over says 'and also
cleared IIT JEE Exam
. The voice-over and text transcript
of the IBN-CNN story completely distort the real fact typed in on
the paper. This may be partly due to the misunderstanding of IIST
as IIT! The paper at 0:18 minutes in the video also shows her name
as Sushila Kumari, daughter of Surendra Mishra, and date of birth
as 12 May 1988. I also know the registration number of the Sushila
Kumari for IIT JEE 2007. If you have a compelling reason to know
it, you can ask me. But, first I must be convinced that you need
to know her registration number and then I must have the explicit
permission of the person who provided me with the registration number
of Sushila Kumari.
In another significant
development on the matter, Sushila has gone to Nepal to seek admission
in one of the engineering colleges there. Apparently she is getting
financial help from one of her uncles. She might be trying for admission
in some engineering college in Dehradun (Uttaranchal) or in Ghadwal
(Haryana) for that matter, but that is immaterial now.
What is ironical
here is the fact that Sushila had no money to attend one of the
IITs (assuming that she was in the list of qualified candidates
this year), but she can afford to study at one of the engineering
colleges in Nepal!
There is no
easy way to reconcile why she chose to go to some engineering college
in Nepal instead of IIST Thiruvananthapuram. The only way I can
rationalize is that for someone living in the village of Nadda at
the Indo-Nepal border, going to Thiruvananthapuram is like traveling
seven seas across (more than 3000 kilometers in distance), but Nepal
is just the neighboring state. Corollary to this rationalization
is the fact that the financial situation of the family is not as
bad as it appears in the story. According to one source, her father
is ex-Mukhiya (village head) of the Nadda village, which is not
a position of any salary, but definitely demands lots of respect
and influence in the village.
Sushilas dreams of making it to IIT might just remain that
-- a dream! This is entirely because Sushila has not cleared IIT
JEE 2007 for admissions to one of the IITs. I wish her all the best
in her future endeavors.