Students at a coaching class for IIT-JEE in New Delhi.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT File Photo)
Students at a coaching class for IIT-JEE in New Delhi.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT File Photo)

The great engineering dream loses steam as more students turn to arts

The engineering dream appears to be losing steam. The number of candidates taking the joint entrance examination (JEE) for engineering institutes has dipped over the past two consecutive years, a first in the history of what is considered one of India’s toughest tests.
By Neelam Pandey | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON AUG 08, 2016 01:24 AM IST

The engineering dream appears to be losing steam.

The number of candidates taking the joint entrance examination (JEE) for engineering institutes has dipped over the past two consecutive years, a first in the history of what is considered one of India’s toughest tests.

The candidates who took the JEE dropped by 27,000 this April from last year, and by 56,000 in 2015 when compared to the preceding year.

More than a million students take the two-part test every year and the number of aspirants has risen by 20,000 to 30,000 every year since 2008.

But academics say the real story is not in the absolute numbers – which form a small chunk of the total IIT aspirants – but in the broader trend that mirrors a shift in social attitudes.

Younger generations are unwilling to follow their parent’s example and enrol in an engineering course, long considered a safe bet for an aspiring middle class, they say. Fewer cushy engineering jobs have dissuaded students further.

“More parents and students are now willing to experiment rather than take the traditional route,” said Lata Vaidyanathan, former principal of Delhi’s Modern School, Barakhamba Road.

The sliding numbers have alarmed the human resource development ministry, which is set to discuss the matter at a meeting with the IIT council next month, officials said.

The idea is also to assess if the trend mirrored a decreasing interest in science as is evident at the school level, they added.

Official data on enrolment in Indian schools show more Class XI students opting for humanities as the demand for pure sciences drops. This, academics say, is because more people want to study subjects such as Economics and Mathematics – available under the humanities umbrella.

“Students who want to do an MBA later don’t want to waste an additional year doing engineering. They can do Economics honours or anything else,” Vaidyanathan said. “Students are more creative today. They have greater entrepreneur skills; it reflects in the choices they make.”

An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta told HT he graduated from the Delhi College of Engineering before doing an MBA. “In hindsight, I would have rather done an honours course in economics and then MBA. It would have saved me a year,” he said.

Coaching institutes said the dip was because of falling standards of education in India, which produces 800,000 engineering graduates annually from 3,000-odd registered technical institutes.

“Engineers are not getting good jobs as earlier. There has been a reduction in the number of students coming here,” said Naveen Maheshwari, director of Allen Institute in southeast Rajasthan’s Kota—a popular coaching destination for competitive exam preparations.

But the IIT Council that is responsible for all Indian Institutes of Technology dismissed the speculation.

“There are almost 1.3 million students who sit for this exam; so the dip is not significant at all,” said Ashok Misra, chairman of the standing committee of the IIT Council. “Also, we have local colleges and students might be opting for that. All the same, it is good if more students are opting for humanities.”

The JEE has been conducted in two stages – Main and Advanced -- since 2012. The JEE (Main) is the qualifying exam for admissions to centrally-funded technical institutions such as National Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Information Technology and institutions in the participating states.

Of those taking JEE (Main), the top 150,000 to 200,000 are short-listed for the JEE (Advanced) for admissions in IITs. Till 2012, the All India Engineering Entrance Examination and IIT-JEE were conducted as separate exams. The new system for admissions in engineering courses came in place in 2013.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Naveen Patnaik’s cabinet in Odisha adopted a resolution urging the Centre to implement all the recommendations of MS Swaminathan Commission on MSP for all crops.(HT FILE PHOTO)
Naveen Patnaik’s cabinet in Odisha adopted a resolution urging the Centre to implement all the recommendations of MS Swaminathan Commission on MSP for all crops.(HT FILE PHOTO)

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurates hostels for ST/SC students

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 10:20 AM IST
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday inaugurated hostels for scheduled tribe (ST) and scheduled caste (SC) students in the state.
Close
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has started the ‘Smart City Skill development project’, to impart skill training to 250 trainees every year.(ANI)
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has started the ‘Smart City Skill development project’, to impart skill training to 250 trainees every year.(ANI)

AAP govt merges 13 institutes to create Delhi Skills & Entrepreneurship varsity

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 10:11 AM IST
The Kejriwal dispensation merged 13 government institutes on Tuesday to create the Delhi Skills and Entrepreneurship University to boost higher and technical education.
Close
Many affiliated colleges of MU had complained that after completing admissions in January this year, most colleges had started regular lectures for the first year PG batches only by mid-January and conducting exams within six weeks would have been unfair to students.(HT file)
Many affiliated colleges of MU had complained that after completing admissions in January this year, most colleges had started regular lectures for the first year PG batches only by mid-January and conducting exams within six weeks would have been unfair to students.(HT file)

M Com, MA and MSc exams can now be conducted by March 30, says new MU circular

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 09:41 AM IST
  • Less than ten days after the University of Mumbai released a circular asking colleges to conduct exams for first year post graduate batches by March 10, the varsity released another circular postponing the deadline to March 30, giving colleges a breather.
Close
Delhi University students are trying to form a first-of-its-kind meme society at SGTB Khalsa College.
Delhi University students are trying to form a first-of-its-kind meme society at SGTB Khalsa College.

DU to get its first official #memesoc? Watch out meme lords!

By Aprajita Sharad, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 12:36 AM IST
Students of SGTB Khalsa have approached their college authorities to allow them to set-up an official meme society.
Close
Muslims have been the most educationally backward group in India. In comparison to their population, they have the lowest enrolment rates at elementary, high school and higher secondary school education, as well as higher education (Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)
Muslims have been the most educationally backward group in India. In comparison to their population, they have the lowest enrolment rates at elementary, high school and higher secondary school education, as well as higher education (Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)

Bihar govt admits dip in enrolment in schools; says decline in dropouts

PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 08:14 PM IST
  • The Bihar government on Tuesday admitted in the state assembly that the enrolment of students in the government and government-aided schools had declined by 40 lakh in 2018-19 compared to 2014-15.
Close
Singer-songwriter Tanmaya Bhatnagar performed as part of the virtual TEDx event held online recently.
Singer-songwriter Tanmaya Bhatnagar performed as part of the virtual TEDx event held online recently.

Hansraj’s digital event rocks campus

By Aprajita Sharad, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 07:51 PM IST
Students of Hansraj College hosted a digital event recently, which had actors, sports personalities and even musicians as speakers, who spoke about their life journey.
Close
Puducherry governor Tamilisai Soundararajan.(ANI file)
Puducherry governor Tamilisai Soundararajan.(ANI file)

Puducherry LG visits govt school, partakes food served as part of noon meal

PTI, Puducherry
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 06:16 PM IST
Puducherry LG visits govt school, partakes food served as part of noon meal scheme
Close
Representational image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Representational image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

WBPSC postpones various recruitment exams, check details here

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Akhilesh Nagari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 06:11 PM IST
  • The recruitment examinations include the West Bengal Civil Service exam, West Bengal Audit, and Accounts Service exam, and West Bengal Civil Service main exam 2020.
Close
AIIMS INI CET July 2021 Session.(PTI file)
AIIMS INI CET July 2021 Session.(PTI file)

AIIMS INI CET July 2021 Session registration begins, here's direct link

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Akhilesh Nagari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2021 05:34 PM IST
  • AIIMS INI CET July 2021 Session: Interested and eligible candidates can apply for the INI-CET 2021 examination online at aiimsexams.org on or before March 31, 2021, until 5 pm.
Close
MPSC Prelims 2020 postponed
MPSC Prelims 2020 postponed

MPSC state services prelims admit card 2021 released, direct link to download

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Nilesh Mathur
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 05:03 PM IST
  • Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) has released the hall ticket or admit card for MPSC State Services Prelims exam 2020.
Close
Prayagraj-based UP Board headquarters.(HT File)
Prayagraj-based UP Board headquarters.(HT File)

Covid-19: UP Board sets up 729 additional centres for 2021 exams

PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 04:02 PM IST
  • UP Board, will conduct its class 10 (high school) and class 12 (intermediate) examinations-2021 at 729 additional centres spread across the state as compared to last year owing to the Covid pandemic.
Close
FCI Recruitment 2021.(Screengrab )
FCI Recruitment 2021.(Screengrab )

FCI Recruitment 2021: Apply for 89 AGM and MO vacancies now, here's direct link

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Akhilesh Nagari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 03:25 PM IST
  • FCI Recruitment 2021: Interested and eligible candidates can apply for the positions online at fci.gov.in on or before March 31, 2021, until 4 pm.
Close
The program, the first of its kind in the state, was started on March 15, 2018, with the aim to provide coaching for MBBS and NEET courses to poor students from far-flung areas of the state.(HT File)
The program, the first of its kind in the state, was started on March 15, 2018, with the aim to provide coaching for MBBS and NEET courses to poor students from far-flung areas of the state.(HT File)

Indian Army provides free coaching to J-K students under Super 30 program

ANI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 03:23 PM IST
The Indian Army has been providing free coaching for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) to students from Jammu and Kashmir under the Super 30 program.
Close
Villagers spray pesticides in a field on the outskirts of Sanand, around 30 km from Ahmedabad on September 1. The five states cited previously have also reported the maximum number of patients that have been cured and discharged, cumulatively accounting for 58.04% of the total 65,081 people who have recovered till September 1. (Sam Panthaky / AFP)
Villagers spray pesticides in a field on the outskirts of Sanand, around 30 km from Ahmedabad on September 1. The five states cited previously have also reported the maximum number of patients that have been cured and discharged, cumulatively accounting for 58.04% of the total 65,081 people who have recovered till September 1. (Sam Panthaky / AFP)

National Rice Research Institute develops device for pest management, patents it

ANI, Cuttack
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 03:00 PM IST
The automated device was invented by Dr Shyamaranjan Das Mohapatra, Principal Scientist, Entomology and Dr Mayabini Jena, former Principal Scientist and Head of Crop Protection Division of ICAR-National Rice Research Institute.
Close
PSTCL Recruitment 2021.
PSTCL Recruitment 2021.

PSTCL Recruitment 2021: 150 Assistant Sub Station Attendant vacancies notified

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Akhilesh Nagari, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 02:36 PM IST
  • PSTCL Recruitment 2021: After the application process begins, interested and eligible candidates will be able to apply for the positions online at pstcl.org on or before March 26, 2021.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP