10,780 seats vacant in IITs in two years, Govt tells Rajya Sabha
According to the data, 5,484 seats remained vacant in the IITs in 2020-21. Of these, 476 seats were vacant in undergraduate courses (BTech), 3,229 seats in postgraduate courses, and 1,779 in PhD courses
A total of 10,780 seats remained vacant across different courses in the country’s Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the last two academic sessions, the Centre informed Parliament on Wednesday.
In a written response to a question by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member in Rajya Sabha Vikas Mahatme, Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan submitted the last two years’ data of vacant seats in the country’s premier engineering colleges, including IITs, National Institutes of Technology (NITs), and Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs).
According to the data, 5,484 seats remained vacant in the IITs in 2020-21. Of these, 476 seats were vacant in undergraduate courses (BTech), 3,229 seats in postgraduate courses, and 1,779 in PhD courses. In 2021-22, the number of vacant seats in the institutes were 5, 296. Out of these , 361 seats remained vacant in BTech courses, 3,083 in postgraduate courses and 1,852 in PhD courses.
According to the ministry’s statement, the seats remained vacant despite special rounds of admissions. “The premier engineering colleges like IITs, NITs and IIITs impart education and research in science and technology subjects and are categorised as Institute of National Importance. The admission to various programmes in these institutions are strictly offered only to deserving candidates based on the ranking/ other parameters, who fulfill the required eligibility criteria,” the statement said.
Officials at IITs also backed the statement. “IITs are not able to fill PhD seats because of the dearth of eligible candidates. For instance, in IIT-Delhi, we have 800 PhD seats but we could fill only up to 500. PhD is the responsibility of the facility as much as the students’. No one will accept a substandard student for PhD. It’s not a time bound programme,” said a senior official at IIT-Delhi, who wished not to be named.
On high vacancies in postgraduate courses, the official added, “That’s because of students joining and leaving for public sector (PSU) jobs. The admission to postgraduate courses in IITs are done through GATE exam. PSUs also hire from the same GATE exam. But PSUs offer jobs after we finish our admissions, and, therefore, many students leave. The IITs have been requesting the government to do it through a common portal. Only then this issue will be addressed.”
In December 2021, a CAG report also highlighted the issue of seats remaining vacant in eight new IITs at Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhpur, Mandi, Patna and Ropar. As per the report, 28% seats remained vacant across the IITs in postgraduate courses during 2014-19, and a large number of PhD seats also remained unfilled. In their responses submitted through the education ministry, most of these IITs cited unavailability of suitable candidates for vacant seats.