Game changing rules for IIT Admissions: Who Wins and Who Loses?

May 2015

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Every Indian who has ever dreamt of becoming an engineer has certainly thought about pursuing it from IIT. From past several decades, almost one in every three Indian families has motivated their children to prepare for IIT. It is not at all surprising to witness 8th grade students going for IIT coaching to prepare for the entrance they will appear after minimum 5 years. But, Indian Institute of Technology deserves this fame. IIT has given many top engineers to the whole world. There is an IITan wearing the thinking cap in the board room of almost all leading companies. All though IIT is India’s foremost engineering institute, the diaspora of IIT alumnus is not restricted to the technological work. IITans have made significant contribution in a wide array of fields ranging from economics, business and literature to politics. Just like every good thing it is not easy to get a seat in the prestigious IITs. There is a steep competition for every branch of engineering and the number of aspirants keeps on increasing every year. Every year, the IIT council makes the rules more stringent to curb the competition. However, this year is an exception; the council has relaxed the rules this year.

In this article, we’ll discuss the changes made in the IIT admission criteria and who benefits from it. Let’s begin with looking at some common facts about IIT admissions.

 

Number Crunch: Facts and Figures around IIT admission Process

Every Year, more than 5 lakh students aspire to get admission in IITs for pursuing bachelor’s degree in engineering and technology. Including ISM Dhanbad, there are a total of 17 colleges falling under IIT. These 17 colleges together offer a total of 9784 seats every year. Comparing the number of seat vs the number of aspirants, we can calculate that 1 in every 51 aspirant get a seat in IITs. Half a decade back, a student had to only give one entrance test for IIT and the 12th standard score was not important to qualify in IITs. Due to this, there was a huge competition. The IIT council kept on making small amendments in the minimum eligibility criterion every year to cut down the number of applicants. However, there were some drastic changes made last year. To understand the recent changes in the IIT admission procedure, we’ll have to understand the IIT admission process in 2014.

 

IIT Admission Process In 2014

IIT admission is a three layered process. Ever student aspiring for IIT has to first appear for the JEE Main Examination. Once qualified, he/she has to appear for JEE Advanced Examination. Only the student who clear JEE Advanced can take admission in the IITs, those who only clear JEE Mains are eligible for NITs but are disqualified or IITs. However, in 2014, the IIT council added another criterion for admission in IITs. Now, even the 12th standard scores were considered for eligibility. Only the students who fell in the top 20 percentile in their board examinations were allowed. This stringent law, on one hand was appreciated by many, as it gave equal opportunity to all boards. On the other hand, many students found it very unfair, because the eligibility varied from one state to another. For example, the cut-off for 20 percentile in states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka went as high as 92%. This means, in 2014, the students from these states who scored up to 91% were disqualified for IIT. While in some states like Bihar and Odisha, the 20 percentile cut-off came down to 75%. So, this means that on one hand, Andhra Pradesh student scoring 91% was disqualified, while a Bihar student was qualified even after scoring 76%. This norm was hugely criticized in many parts of the country. Finally, the council has this year announce a major change in the norm.

 

Changes in 2015 IIT admissions

Although, the basic format of the IIT admission procedure remains the same, this year the IIT council has given some relaxation in the minimum eligibility criteria. This year, the students will have to either score above 75% in 12th board or will have to have a 20 percentile score. These changes will be affective from the academic year 2015-2016. This news has come as a major relief for students from some states. Last year around 120 students were disqualified even after clearing the JEEAdvanced because they didn’t match with the 20 percentile criteria. Almost all of these 120 students had scored between 85 to 90%. Although, these changes have no direct negative impacts for anybody, there can be some tacit negative impacts for some students. Let’s look at some benefits and drawbacks of these changes.

 

IIT 2015 Changes: Who Wins?

These changes have some major benefits for some students. Many students from states like AP, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu got disqualified even after scoring high marks last year. In these states, the cut-off scores were higher. Similarly, students hailing from CBSE and ICSE board had to deal with high cutoff. This year they have got a huge relaxation. These changes have brought a 10 to 15% window of opportunity for these students. It is also a good news for all the students who had been disappointed last year for not matching the 20 percentile criteria. This year they can appear they can again attempt for the examination without worrying about their 12th percentile.

 

IIT 2015 Changes: Who Loses?

As mentioned earlier, these changes don’t have any direct negative impact. However, due to this change, the competition is bound to increase. There will be an increase in number of aspirants. Last year, the required JEE advanced score was comparatively low because many students were disqualified even after scoring higher marks in the examinations. For example, a Karnataka student with an all India JEE rank of below 5000 was disqualified due to his 12thpercent of 86%, which was not in 20 percentile. On the other hand an Odisha student with the all India rank of 9000 got a chance even after scoring just 78%. Hence, this is certainly not a good change for the low scorers in JEE advanced, as their seats might be occupied with more deserving candidates this year.

 

To sum it all up, this is a welcome change as it has more rewards than punishments. These changes also uphold the welfare of the deserving and also bring the students from all states and education boards under the same umbrella. Another impact of this change is that the JEE Advance score again becomes the decider. No matter how you perform in your 12th board, you will have to prove your mettle in the JEE Advance examination. The admission chances for high scorers in this examination will remain the same, while the low scorers might get into trouble.

 

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