An IITian’s diary: Striking off 73 students from IIT Roorkee exposes the flawed grading system


This week we learnt that IIT Roorkee had struck off 73 students from the institution because their Cumulative Grade Point Average was below 5. This decision has sent anger among the 6000-odd students of the campus.

Not so long ago, the institution which has one of the biggest IIT campuses in the country, had stoked controversy by reportedly making Yoga classes mandatory for its students living in the campus during the summer vacation.

That decision, perceived to have been made at the behest of Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani, had evoked condemnation from the IIT students up and down the country.

As for the latest development, IIT Roorkee released an office memorandum on 15 June 2015 stating that
“in terms of clause no. 33(1)(a) read with appendix ‘j’ of the ordinance and regulation for the Undergraduate Programme-2014, the names of the following B.Tech/IMT/IMSc Ist year students are hereby struck off from the Rolls of institute.”

This list contained the names of 73 students from IIT ,all first year. After this notice students submitted their ‘mercy plea’ to IIT Roorkee authorities who mattered. After receiving their ‘mercy plea’ a senate meeting was organised by the Director consisting of Dean academics and professors on 8 July when they decided not to consider their
‘mercy plea’ and said that the decision had been made for students’ future and in their best interests. We are told that all of these students were given prior notice after first semester. The reason for striking off their names was their low CGPA. All those who scored CGPA less than 5 had their name in the list.

According to the ‘quality education rule’ launched last year, each student has to secure at least 5.00 CGPA for them to be able to continue with their study in addition with minimum required credits.

However, what’s devastating is that these students had cleared JEE Mains and JEE ADVANCED to be eligible to enter the IIT but they’ve now been shown the door within two semesters. From us students’ point of view, it simply doesn’t seem to be a fair decision. That’s because there are some students, who passed all the subjects but their CGPA was 4.9 and yet their names have not been struck off the list.

It’s insane that if these students had failed in even one subject, it would have pushed their CGPA to above 5.00.  Not many people will know but the most important thing here is that an F grade gives you a second
chance to study that subject next year as its credits will be considered in the following year. Whereas a D grade(pass) gets you kicked out of the college because it will lower your CGPA.  Moreover grading is relative so there will always be a case when some of the students will score CGPA less than 5.00 and they will be kicked out.

The very system of assigning the grades is flawed. Though it was stated earlier and it is even written in the rule book that one has to secure a minimum CGPA of 5.00 for continuation of study but still 73 is a big number and then grading is relative. 

We are not revealing the author’s name for the fear of reprisal from the IIT-R authorities. You too submit your contributions in text or video to

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