Engineering students looking to bag seats in premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) across the country have reason to cheer. With IITs planning to add 550-plus seats across courses and institutes, the total number of seats open for admissions stand at 11,000-plus for the next academic year.
While provisions for most new seats will be made in the newer institutes, IIT-Bombay will also increase its intake in undergraduate and postgraduate courses. “We are introducing a new program for undergraduate courses, which will add about 30 seats. Similarly, a few seats will be added to postgraduate courses for the upcoming academic year,” said Devang Khakkar, director IIT-B. While the Joint Admission Board (JAB) approved the increase in seats in 2016, most of the older institutes were not open to the idea owing to infrastructural constraints.
“Engineering is not just about providing students with a classroom, but also making arrangements for extra laboratories and hostel rooms. Most older IITs are already struggling to make ends meet,” said a senior faculty from IIT-Delhi, where the institute plans to introduce new seats via a new designing program, but not for engineering courses next year. There are currently 22 IITs in India, plus the Indian School of Mining in Dhanbad. Four of these — IIT-Goa, IIT-Dharwad, IIT-Jammu and IIT-Bhilai — started admitting students only last year. Khakkar said neither IIT-Goa nor IIT-Dharwad would increase their seats.
“We are expanding our student intake capacity for different courses this year, including BTech, MTech and MSc. The net result is that our intake will be 1,250 in the next academic year. We hope to increase this to 1,450 by 2018,” said Sudhir Jain, director, IIT-Gandhinagar. He added they aim to focus more on research from this year, especially in postgraduate courses.
However, institutes are unsure if adding seats to newer IITs serves the purpose.
In a first, the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) had decided to conduct six rounds of admissions last year, instead of the two rounds that was the norm till 2015. The move was aimed at ensuring that not a single IIT seat was left vacant. Despite this, 73 of 10,500 seats had gone vacant.
“We hope that no seats go vacant this year because students are only vying for seats at older IITs and do not opt for the new ones,” said a senior faculty from IIT-B, who requested anonymity.