After a strict review of the queries received from students and stakeholders, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) announced on Friday that there was no change in the answer key.
Acting on a directive from the Delhi high court and in an attempt to bring more transperancy, for the first time the IITs invited clarifications and queries from candidates and stakeholders regarding the answer key before evaluating the optical response sheets (ORS).
In five days, more than 1,600 queries were received.
More than 1.19 lakh candidates sat for the entrance exam on May 25 for admission to the 16 IITs and to the Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad.
The answer key was uploaded on the official website on June 1.
The ORS of the candidates will be uploaded on June 8 and will be available till June 8. If candidates find any discrepancy they can apply for a review before June 15 on the payment of Rs. 500 per question.
Earlier, the IITs had admitted that four questions — one of physics and three of chemistry — in paper 1 of its joint entrance examination (JEE) had two answers.
Unpopular courses scrapped
The total number of seats being offered for admission to IITs and ISM has declined this year. Some unpopular courses have been scrapped while three new ones have been added.
Some courses including pulp and paper engineering at IIT Roorkee, mining engineering with an MBA and petroleum engineering (dual degree) at ISM have been discontinued.
However some new courses have been added in IIT Bhubaneshwar, IIT Hyderabad and IIT Gandhinagar.
This year the number of seats has declined to 9,784 as against 9,867 from last year.
Experts believe that discontinuing unpopular courses can help reduce the number of seats going vacant.
"Some of the courses in IITs are unpopular. Even if students opt for them, they don’t pursue it with interest and leave it midway," said an IIT professor.
"Students prefer mainstream engineering. While all courses have their own benefits and a well designed job market, too much specialization at an undergraduate level is not preferred by students," said a former IIT director.