The Central Information Commission has directed IIT Kharagpur, which conducts the joint entrance exam for the engineering courses, to furnish all the details regarding cut-off marks and the procedure to reach to the cut-offs, the model answer sheet and so on by May 15 to a candidate, Eklavya's parents.
Note the candidate's name!
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The IITs (and other institutions, too!) have always hoarded the huge wealth of information that's available with them regarding the students' background, their performance, number of previous attempts, and so on. The stuff they have is an ideal playground for freakonomics-types to show off their skills. [I have ranted about this before.] But even with the meager information put out in the public domain by the IITs, we can look forward to some data that are likely to throw light on some of the questions we have been grappling with in the past week. Here's the scenario:
While JEE allowed three attempts until last year, it allows only two attempts from this year on. Thus, one should expect a somewhat better rate of success for the first timers. Moreover, it will also allow one to test Falstaff's model [fn 1], in which men's advantage accrues to them because they keep taking the exam again (and again), whereas women essentially stop with just one attempt [Is there any empirical evidence for this? We should ask the IITs. Sigh!]. If the model's view of the situation is right, it would imply that the fraction of women in the list of successful candidates will be greater as well.
We will wait and watch. The next few months promise to be quite interesting ...
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In Falstaff's model, the agents are identified only as X and Y. I have 'translated' the terminology to suit my purpose here.