Plan to add 1,000 IIT seats, but institutes say there is no room
We don’t want to overburden our classrooms and hostel rooms, IITs saymumbai Updated: Jan 24, 2018 09:35 IST
Even as the Joint Admission Board (JAB) hopes to increase the intake capacity of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) by 1,000 seats and has proposed a 14% supernumerary increase in the admission quota for women, some of the institutes are unsure if they will be able to accommodate more students in their campuses.
While all IITs have to make room for women, most of them are unsure of adding seats for reasons other than that.
“Before increasing the intake capacity, we need to make sure we have enough space to accommodate all students, which is our priority at present. We don’t want to overburden our classrooms and hostel rooms,” said Sudhir Jain, director, IIT-Gandhinagar one of the newer institutes.
Last year, IIT-Bombay (IIT-B) had started a new undergraduate course and increased their intake capacity by 30 seats, but the institute has no such plans for the upcoming academic year. It has accommodation for 8,000 students but houses 10,400 students.
The institute boasts of a massive campus with 16 existing hostel buildings, while another two buildings are on the anvil. “One of the new hostel buildings that can accommodate 1,100 rooms should be ready by mid-2019 and another similar hostel building should come up in another two years,” said Devang Khakhar, director, IIT-B. He said while the institute has no plans of increasing the intake capacity of existing courses, they might start a new course, although there is no confirmation as yet. “There’ll be no increase in the intake capacity of IIT-Goa and IIT-Dharwad [the centres are mentored by IIT-B] as well.”
Similarly, officials at IIT-Madras hope to start work on their new hostel building by March this year in order to accommodate more students. “Without making space for more students, we cannot increase our intake capacity,” said Jagadeesh Kumar, dean Academics, IIT-Madras.
He said for the time being, the institute has been accommodating students by making arrangements for double occupancy in their existing hostel rooms.
Over the years, an increasing number of seats are running vacant in IITs across the country. As many as 121 seats were left vacant after seven rounds of counselling across 23 IITs in 2017, up from 96 in 2016 and 50 in 2015. Consequently, the HRD ministry had asked IITs to consider various ways—including the option of scrapping unpopular courses—to address the situation.
“While the JAB has been inching towards increasing the intake capacity, most of the burden will have to be shared by the newer IITs because they are already struggling to provide accommodation, laboratories and classrooms to the existing students,” said a senior faculty of IIT-Delhi.