Only 18,138 candidates could qualify the IIT-JEE (Advanced) exams this year after which the government intervened to ensure SC/ST and OBC students get admission in seats reserved for them, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said today.
The minister said in Rajya Sabha that the percentage of girl students in the undergraduate programmes of these premier
institutions had also seen a rise. Responding to questions during the Question Hour, Javadekar said that compared to 51,040 last year, only 18,138 qualified this year.
He said the ministry gave directions to the IIT Council to ensure that there were adequate number of students from the
SC/ST and OBC sections who are given the seats reserved for them. “The IIT system reconsidered the matter and issued an extended merit list, thereby qualifying 31,988 candidates. In view of the proactive action taken, 11,961 seats have been
filled this year compared to 10,876 filled last year,” he said.
Javadekar said only 118 seats remained unfilled and that too, in courses like agricultural engineering and bio-chemical
engineering for which the demand was not as high. This issue too would be discussed at the IIT Council meeting, he added. To restore gender balance in the IITs, an additional 840 girls got admission in the undergraduate programmes of IITs, improving their percentage from 9.15 to 15.29 this year.
Responding to a question, Javadekar said oversupply of seats in engineering colleges was a legacy issue as there was
a time when AICTE would give approvals to start a college to almost anyone. He said now the states have been asked to prepare a perspective plan and many states have responded positively.
To a question on suicides in IITs, Javadekar said even a single case of suicide was unfortunate. Hence, these institutes have been asked to take a series of steps including counselling, mentoring and support mechanism for students, he said, adding that 15 such proactive measures had been suggested.