Speculation about whether there will be ‘common counselling’ for admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) this year has still not been put to rest. The possibility of whether a ‘common counselling’ can be ­implemented in 2014 was discussed at a meeting attended by representatives from the human resource development (HRD) ministry, the JEE Advanced Committee, IITs, NITs, the CBSE (which conducts JEE Main) and the National Informatics Centre (that develops the software for the counselling) last week. Sources in the HRD ministry told HT Education that a final call is yet to be taken on the issue. “During the meeting, the NIC experts said that the logic applied in the NIT counselling can be extended to the IITs for common counselling. However, some IIT professors pointed out some anamolies in the software developed by NIC. This is why there may not be common counselling this time but a final call on this is yet to be taken by the secretary, department of higher education. NIC has been asked to revert with a solution. There could be sequential counselling too, where the IITs conduct the first two rounds and NITs conduct the rest; or there could be a joint counselling, where both parties will be coordinating the efforts. The idea of common counselling is to reduce those vacancies where people tend to occupy two seats. There are cases of students who bag seats in not-so-popular courses at the IITs, and they also get seats in NITs in sought-after courses. Such students hold on to both seats and give up one only later, leaving vacant seats,” says an HRD ministry official.