IIT JEE success skewed in favour of urban, high-income students

Written by Mihika Basu | Updated: Aug 8 2013, 14:38pm hrs
JEE IITJEE IIT: Even among SC candidates, the figures tilt towards those from urban areas. Reuters
Students from urban areas, higher-income families and those with access to coaching enjoyed significantly greater success in the 2012 joint entrance examination (JEE) for IITs, reveals a detailed internal analysis by the institutes.

The candidates who registered for JEE, as well as those who qualified, were concentrated in a few big cities. In fact, more than half the candidates who qualified came from just 11 cities. Of the 5,06,484 students registered for JEE in 2012, 24,112 qualified.

Among qualified candidates in all categories, the success rate (compared to the total who registered) was 5.8 per cent for city students, 4.2 per cent for those from towns and 2.7 per cent for those from villages. An analysis of the success ratio of those who took admission shows city students at 3.99 per cent, followed by 2.31 per cent from towns and a meagre 1.27 per cent from villages.

If general category alone were considered, the figures for those offered admission were 61 per cent for cities, 27 per cent for towns and 12 per cent for villages. Overall, city candidates did better as against 51 per cent (of the) registration they could get 61 per cent of the total admission offers, the internal report by the IITs says.

In income levels, those falling in the highest income slab, or over Rs 4.5 lakh a year, showed the highest success ratio at 10.3 per cent, all categories considered. This fell progressively with income. Students in the middle income age group Rs 1 lakh to Rs 4.5 lakh had a success ratio of 4.8 per cent and those from families earning less than Rs 1 lakh had a success ratio of a meagre 2.6 per cent. That, however, can be explained to some extent by the fact that almost 85 per cent of those who registered belonged to the middle and lower income categories.

In fact, among all the categories, general category candidates from the highest income group had the highest success rate. While 81.49 per cent of this category students, with parental income above Rs 4.5 lakh, qualified JEE last year, 38.01 per cent with parental income less than Rs 1 lakh qualified.

Incidentally, parents occupation too appeared to have had an impact on a candidates performance. Candidates whose parents are in medical and engineering professions performed slightly better than other candidates. Candidates whose parents are in agriculture or in defence services have not been able to perform as well as the others, the report says.

One in five registered students took extra help, most probably some sort of coaching, says the report, but they made up about half of the successful candidates. More than two-fold increase in their success rate over other students, who only did self-study, is a clear indication of the effect of extra help (probably professional coaching). Further analysis also supports this assertion. While self-study students can hold their own in zones like Bombay and Madras and to a slightly lesser extent in Delhi, they could not perform well in Guwahati, Kanpur, Roorkee and Kharagpur zones. It hints at availability of better conditions of self-study in Bombay, Madras and Delhi zones, the report says.

The much-debated new JEE Main and JEE Advanced tests were aimed at reducing multiplicity of entrance tests and restricting coaching centres hold on the system.

The trend is similar across various categories. In the IITs, 27 per cent seats are reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBCs, non-creamy layer), 15 per cent for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 7.5 per cent for Scheduled Tribes (STs).

If 35.24 per cent and 11.43 per cent of the OBC candidates from cities and towns respectively got admission in IITs last year, a meagre 3.07 per cent who did so came from villages. Even among SC candidates, the figures tilt towards those from urban areas 12.96 per cent from cities and 9.66 per cent from towns got admission as compared to 5 per cent from villages.

Among ST candidates, only 2.59 per cent from villages managed to get into the IITs, as compared to 8.43 per cent from cities and 4.04 per cent from towns.

Among boards, general candidates seemed to prefer CBSE. About two-third of all registrations and three-fourth of qualified candidates studied CBSE. OBCs on the other hand seem to prefer state boards as they make up more than one-third of registered as well as qualified candidates from the state boards. The respective numbers for them in CBSE drops to about one-fifth. SC and STs do not show any major change in shares in both the boards, the report says.

Among income slabs, the difference is not so significant when it comes to SC candidates 11.35 per cent students with parental income above Rs 4.5 lakh qualified as compared to 17.56 per cent with parental income less than Rs 1 lakh.

Among OBC category candidates from the non-creamy layer (NCL), there is a deviation from the general trend. Around 4.64 per cent candidates with parental income above Rs 4.5 lakh, 22.97 per cent with parental income between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 4.5 lakh, and 38.01 per cent with income below Rs 1 lakh qualified the test.

The proportion of OBC (NCL) candidates, whose parental income is below 1 lakh, relative to those with income between 1 and 4.5 lakh, is disproportionately high compared to all the other categories, the report says.