For the past four days, Viraj Sawant has flip-flopped between choosing electrical engineering or metallurgy at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). The 18-year-old who got a rank of 2000 in the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) realised that cracking the entrance test for the prestigious institutes is only half the battle won.
“Based on my rank, I was all set to do electrical engineering at Gandhinagar. But then some current students told me about metallurgy and now I feel that will be good for me,” said Sawant.
Of the 4.62 lakh that took the JEE, about 13,000 students have qualified for the 10,000 odd seats at the IITs. Online counselling where students fill in their preferences has already begun for students.
Coaching classes are now chipping in with one-on-one counselling although students have left their classes in March.
“Students come back to us confused about courses. Maybe, the IITs should put up detailed content of their courses and career options they can lead to and the kind of placements students from different branches get,” said Praveen Tyagi, head of IITian’s Pace, a coaching institute.
But the IITs said that the counselling brochure is self-explanatory. “The brochure explains each course and last year’s cut-off ranks. Students can talk to their parents, teachers and even current students to figure out their branch,” said Sounak Choudhary, JEE chairperson, IIT-Kanpur, which is the organising IIT this year.
“If a candidate’s AIEEE rank is better than his JEE rank, we advise him to choose the National Institutes of Technology over the IITs for a preferred branch,” said Ramesh Batlish from FIITJEE, a coaching class.
Tej Vaidya, with a rank of 527, said, “While online counselling is convenient, it would be nice if the IITs could organise some group counselling sessions.”