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Quota students find going too tough at IITs

Most students belonging to the reserved category are not able to cope with the pressure, reports Bhuvan Bagga.

india Updated: May 02, 2006 01:48 IST

Most reserved category students at IIT are not able to cope with the pressure, say professors at IIT-Delhi — substantiating their claim with statistics doled out by the Students Review Committee (SRC).

The SRC, comprising professors, counsels students who perform badly. According to data for the current session, 73 of the 144 students referred to the SRC (for facing academic problems) belong to the reserved category.

IITs have 22.5 per cent of their seats reserved for students from SC/ST category. So out of 2,100 seats for all streams of B Tech in IIT-Delhi, 473 are for quota students.

"There has been no change of trend over a period of time. Of all students referred to the SRC, a major proportion belongs to the reserved category", said a professor.

"The trend is that most of these students lack the very basic knowledge of core subjects in the area. It is not just lower grades, they also face competition related issues. A large number of quota students get good stream like computer sciences and mechanical engineering without much effort. But they can't compete, and mid way they ask for transfer to easier streams like civil engineering and textiles", he said.

In many cases, professors say, reserved category students are unable to take the current load of subjects and ask for load reduction. IIT-Delhi gives this option. The current number of subjects is reduced but instead of completing the course in four years, they take close to six years. In 2004-05, of the 73 students who opted for load reduction, 47 belonged to the reserved category. Already lagging behind, most of them would now have to go in for degree extension.

Professors say instead of enrolling directly into IIT, these students should first be coached. IITs do provide preparatory training to students from the weaker sections. After one year, they are put through an exam and if they pass they are admitted to the technical institute.

"But this is not good enough. What these students lack is basic grounding. So instead of reserving seats in higher education, the government should actually be looking at providing quota at school level," said another professor.

Protest march in Delhi

Meanwhile, students in Delhi plan to take to the streets on Tuesday, in a protest march against the proposed increase in OBC quota in educational institutions. Students from Delhi University, private institutions and even school students will be coming together under the banner of Youth for Equality.

The students would march from Maulana Azad Medical College to Parliament.