The Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) would be revising some of the unpopular courses as it faces an embarrassing situation of about 750 seats remaining vacant, little less than the total intake students in IIT- Delhi in 2011.
The vacancies are on two counts - no applications from around 13,000 students selected after Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for IITs and drop-outs after taking admission. In all, these vacant seats account for about seven percent of total admissions in IITs, a downward trend as compared to 2010.
Sanjay Dande, director if IIT-Kanpur, which conducted 2011 IIT-JEE, blamed some unpopular courses being run by the institutes for the seats remaining vacant. "Course on pulp and paper technology in Indian School of Mines (Dhanbad) has no takers. There are similar unpopular courses in other institutes also," he told HT.
Another reason for high drop-out, which Dande admitted, was students getting admission in courses of their choice in other technological institutes. The last few years has seen an education boom with several good quality technology institutes starting popular courses.
"Even after depositing initial fee (of Rs 40,000) I took my son out of IIT-Roorkee as he got a better course in National Institute of Technology," said S K Vats, whose son wasted a valuable IIT seat.
It happened because the IITs does not have a system of refund of the fees like other technical institutes and therefore, the most drop-out don't inform the IITs about their decision of opting out. In IIT records these seats are shown as filled and Dande described it a problem of individual institutes rather than Joint Admission Board, mandated to conduct IIT-JEE and give admissions.
Rajiv Kumar of IIT-Kharagpur suggested that seats, where students fail to join within a stipulated timeframe should be declared vacant and open for admissions. "IITs should also refund of the fees deposited so that seats are not unnecessarily blocked," he said.
Professor G B Reddy of IIT-Delhi and chairperson of JAB 2012 said the issue was being discussed and all the instituted covered IIT-JEE has been asked to revise or review the unpopular courses. "We have asked them to make the courses more attractive and information about them will be provided in the brochure for counseling of students who clear IIT-JEE examination next year," he told HT.