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Quota students start weak

Statistics say that almost every year, majority of the first-year students graded "weak" are from the reserved category, reports Meenal Dubey.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 02:10 IST

Most SC/ST students who make it to IITs are weak in the beginning. But once on board, most adjust to the rigorous courses and sail through. Of course, with a little help from the faculty.

Statistics obtained from IIT-Delhi say almost every year, majority of the first-year students graded "weak" are from the reserved category. In 2003-2004, of 550 students in the first-year of all disciplines, 8 per cent were graded weak, or average performers. Of these, 7 per cent were SCsSTs. "However, rise to IIT’s standards by the second year and begin delivering. Fact remains that in SC/ST category, there are a few exceptions who are brilliant," said one faculty member.

Each year, thousands apply for the 550 seats at IIT-Delhi. Of these, 80 are reserved for SCs and 40 for STs. If these seats are not filled by the JEE examinations, then a cut-off is prescribed for the remaining seats. "For instance, if 15 seats remain in this category, then 20 students are chosen to undergo a one-year crash course, or a zero-year course. In this course, SC/ST students are taught the basics of physics, chemistry and mathematics by IIT faculty members. These students, while undergoing the course, are not considered as IIT students," said one source.

"The students sit for an entrance exam next year, which is different from the JEE. They are admitted to the remaining seats on the basis of their performance. Of this batch, usually 50 per cent make it through."

"SCST students tend to opt for disciplines like chemical engineering, mechanical engineering and civil engineering. This is the easiest route to the civil services examination. If some students are unable to cope in the first year, they switch to these disciplines," the source said.

In the next four years, the students have to secure 186 credit points. The credit system is a grading system for lectures, tutorials, lab and other work. For the first year, the reserved category has to secure 20 credits and for the second year 46.