A congratulatory letter first. Ten days later, a double whammy.
An error by the IITs has cost 52 undergraduate architecture and pharmaceutical students seats they were promised at the institutes and fooled many of them into not accepting seats they were receiving at other engineering schools.
The students were "inadvertently" allotted seats by the IITs on June 28 and even received invitation letters from the Institutes, only to be told on July 8 that their allotment would not be accepted.
By then, the students had missed the opportunity to earn a seat at myriad other engineering colleges offering architecture and pharmaceutical sciences through the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), which ended admission counseling on July 2.
The IITs are writing to each of these 52 students to apologise and suggest that they try for seats during the second round of admission counseling that the Institutes will embark on from July 16. But there is no guarantee that these students will earn seats during the second round of IIT counseling.
"I was being offered a seat through the AIEEE but I didn't even go for the counseling because I had the IIT offer letter in my hand," said Ashna Tayal, one of the 52 affected students.
A senior IIT Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) administrator confirmed to HT that some of the students had spoken to Institute officials.
"We are trying to see how we can salvage the situation," the administrator said.
But the affected students are unlikely to quietly wait for the second round of counseling at the IITs and are considering approaching Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal.
The IITs admit students for their architecture and pharmaceutical sciences courses through a two-stage process. Students must first clear the IIT-JEE and then clear a second subject-specific examination.
The IITs has over the past five years - since 2006 - faced repeated criticism for an alleged lack of transparency in the way the JEE is conducted and students are selected.