Getting into the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) for the most popular branches got tougher this year, with more toppers choosing the four-year BTech degrees in computer science and electrical engineering at IIT-Bombay.
The list for the computer science branch at IIT-B ended with the all India rank 75, while the list for electrical engineering ended with all India rank 91. Last year, the computer science course closed at rank 93, while electrical engineering closed with rank 106. A higher closing rank for a stream means that more top rankers have opted for it.
Candidates are allotted seats based on their preferences as well as their position on the merit list. Allotments ended with the fourth round of allotments on Wednesday.
“I picked computers because there are more research opportunities abroad. Over the years, computer science at IIT-B has become the standard choice among toppers,” said Devdeep Ray, 18, who had an all India rank of 13 and will begin the new term at IIT-B next week.
Graduates from the computer science and electrical engineering branches usually get the best job offers at the end of their programmes, with annual salary packages often crossing Rs60 lakh per annum. “For both these courses, students seem to be going by rank and market forces,” said an IIT professor.
The closing rank for mechanical engineering has fluctuated over four years but closed again within the top 500, with the closing rank for engineering physics showing steady improvement over the same period and closing within the top 1,000.
In contrast, popularity of branches such as aerospace engineering, chemical engineering and metallurgical engineering at IIT-B has dipped in the past few years.
“Choice of course is related to how students perceive certain areas,” said IIT-Kanpur professor Dheeraj Sanghi. He conducted a comparative analysis for all 15 IITs and multiple subjects over an eight-year period from 2003 to 2010 tracing both short term and long term trends in incoming student preferences.
This year’s data also re-emphasised that IIT-B has entrenched its position as the most favoured IIT, with the highest closing ranks across all the major four-year programme branches.