Despite a mad rush for admission to IITs, hundreds of seats continue to remain vacant in the premier institutes every year, largely because some courses are not popular among students.
While the IITs have made several attempts to fill the seats, 340 of them remained vacant this year also.
Courses like pharmaceutics, pulp and paper engineering, ocean engineering, process engineering with MBA, mineral engineering with MBA, petroleum engineering, mining engineering in some IITs have few takers.
"Yes, it is a fact that some courses in the IITs are not popular among students. Students prefer mainstream engineering course. To solve the problem, there could be a separate exam exclusively for these courses. We had some informal discussions in this regard," says IIT Gauwhati director Gautam Baruah.
While all courses had their own benefits and a well designed job market, Baruah said,"Too much of specialisation at an undergraduate level is not preferred by students. They feel this could narrow job opportunities."
"Even if we have 20 rounds of counselling sessions, the seats will remain vacant. The only way out is that after counselling sessions, the individual institutes should take the responsibility of getting the seats filled. Another way out is to dissociate these courses from JEE. Also emphasis should be on aptitude based counselling,"
says IIT Kanpur director Dr Sanjay Dhandhe.
Dr G B Reddy, organising chairperson of JEE 2012 agrees to this. "It is a fact that some courses are not preferred by students. I would not say that these courses are bad but simply that they should not be clubbed with the JEE exam."