The Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) authorities will have a relook at some of the least aspired for courses to avoid the high rate of vacancies in the institutes. About 750 seats - while the total number of admissions in IIT-Delhi was 850 - remained vacant in 2011.
The vacancies — about 7% of the total admissions in IITs — are on two counts: of the 13,000 students selected through the Joint Entrance Examination, a large number did not even apply for admission in IITs and some others chose to drop out after taking admission.
Sanjay Dande, director of IIT-Kanpur, which conducted the 2011 IIT-JEE admission exams, blamed some unpopular courses being run by the institutes for the vacancies. “The course on pulp and paper technology, for example, in the Indian School of Mines (Dhanbad) has no takers,” he told HT.
Another reason for the high dropout rate, Dande admitted, was easier availability of popular courses in other technological institutes. The last few years has seen several good technology institutes coming up in the country.
“Even after depositing the initial fee (Rs40,000), I took my son out of IIT-Roorkee as he got a better course in the National Institute of Technology,” said SK Vats. Since the IITs do not have a system of refunding fees, most dropouts don't bother to inform the institute. These seats are shown in records as filled.
Rajiv Kumar of IIT-Kharagpur suggested that seats should be declared vacant after a stipulated timeframe and thrown open for admission. “IITs should also refund the fees deposited so that seats are not unnecessarily blocked,” he said.
Professor GB Reddy of IIT-Delhi, said the issue was being discussed and all the institutes had been asked to revise or review the unpopular courses.