65 of top 100 rankers choose to study in IIT-Bombay, Delhi next

vijigermany

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65 of top 100 rankers choose to study in IIT-Bombay, Delhi next


Sixty-five of the top 100 rankers in JEE (Advanced) this year picked seats in IIT-Bombay, helping it retain its position as the most sought-after campus ahead of 17 other premier Indian Institutes of Technology.

The figure from the first allotment round on Tuesday was up from last year's number of 58 among the top 100 opting for the Powai institute. In 2014, it was the first time it had dropped below 60 in recent years.



IIT-Delhi was the second choice with 30 students choosing it, a drop from last year's 36, followed by IIT-Madras and IIT-Kanpur, who were at a distant third and fourth position with three and two students, respectively.

More than one in four in the top 1,000 rank-holders also chose the Mumbai campus to spend their next four years.

Of the top 100 JEE (Advanced) rankers, 34 belonged to the IIT-Bombay zone and, therefore, the institute was an obvious choice. Interestingly, many of the 28 rankers from the IIT-Madras zone seem to have opted for IIT-B as only three chose the former.

"A majority of students perceive it as the top institute. At 18 years, most students make their choices based on what their friends and family would recommend. Computer science and engineering (CSE) and electrical engineering (EE) were the popular choices for students in the top ranks," said Devang Khakhar, IIT-B director.

The opening and closing ranks for CSE at IIT-B were 1 and 59, indicating that most in the top 60 have chosen the programme. At IIT-Delhi, it opened at 31 and closed at 102, at Kanpur it started at 26 and Chennai the opening rank was 61. Admission to the electrical engineering programme in IIT-B opened at rank 9 and closed at 240. CSE was among the most popular choices at IIT-B and IIT-D followed by electrical and mechanical engineering.

If the old favourites—Madras and Kanpur—have slid in the rankings, Kharagpur and the newer ones, IIT Roorkee and Guwahati, have not managed to get even a single student from the top ranks. IIT officials attributed this to the low representation of students from the North-East.

"Students' choices indicate that they do not pick institutes just for academics and campus life, but a lot of them are influenced by what is in store outside the campus too. Academically, all the older IITs are comparable, but Mumbai and Delhi are big metros and manage to attract more students. The composition of students at these two IITs is also more cosmopolitan in comparison to others," said former IIT-Delhi director R K Shevgaonkar.

Of the close to 25,000 students who registered for IIT seats, around 10,000 got allotments on Tuesday. Around 17,250 students got allotments in the 22 NITs. Not a single seat in the IITs was vacant after the first round. Only 112 seats are vacant in NITs in states such as Sikkim, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
 

vijigermany

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IIT: Computer science, electrical engineering stay top choices


Computer science and engineering (CSE) emerged as the most popular choice for many of the 25,000 students who filled their choices for the 10,006 IIT seats during the first-ever joint seat allocation process this year. For the 990 computer science seats across the 18 IITs, there were 2.07 lakh applications, making it an average of 209 contenders for every seat.





Data released by the Joint Seat Allocation Authority after the first round shows electrical and mechanical engineering stand second and third on the students' list of preferences. Civil engineering is fourth. Since this data was not made available prior to the admission process this year, the popularity of courses cannot be compared to previous years. CSE and electrical engineering have been the top choices for at least a decade, say educationists.


Ajinkya Mohgaonkar, Mumbai's second topper (with all-India rank 34) was confused between mechanical engineering and CSE, but finally settled with CSE. "I was keen on mechanical as I loved physics, but after consulting my brother and a few seniors, I decided to opt for CSE. It has a very good scope in future and the subjects are new to me. I will enjoy learning the programming language."



A professor from IIT-Bombay, the organising institute for JEE (Advanced) this year, said CSE's popularity is purely due to the placement opportunities available. "The best of the lot choose computer science, and they get picked for the best of the jobs. It's a circle. If good students start choosing other courses, the placement opportunities may get better there too."

Another professor pointed out that IT-enabled sectors are growing and they need infrastructure. "A lot of research is required and we need graduates to contribute to the sector," he added.

If absolute numbers are taken into account, more students applied for mechanical engineering (2.06 lakh), but since there are 1,172 seats available, each had 176 candidates vying for it. On the contrary, fewer applications were received for electrical engineering (1.97 lakh), but with 1,082 seats, the number of students vying for each of these seat was 182, making it the second best choice with students. There are 970 seats available in civil engineering and 153 students applied for each of them, taking it to the list of top four student choices.

Mechanical engineering is an evergreen choice. While other trends keep changing, the job opportunities in mechanical engineering remain. Civil engineering, professors claim, could be an emerging trend as there are a lot of infrastructure projects coming up.
 

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IIT-Roorkee expels 73 students for poor grades

In an unprecedented action for any IIT, the institute at Roorkee expelled 73 students whose performance was not up to the mark after their first-year of the BTech programme. These students scored less than 5 CGPA (cumulative grade point average) in their exams and were expelled late on Wednesday.

At the time of admission, the parents of these students had signed a declaration stating that their poor performance could result in their removal from the institute: this is unlike any other previous instance at an IIT.

Students have been expelled from IITs but taken back, except in one instance each in IIT, Kharagpur and IIT, Kanpur. On Thursday, a meeting was held to consider the mercy appeal of students.

It was attended by over 160 senior officials, including professors, heads of departments and the director. A decision was then taken to expel the students.





A former director of IIT, Kharagpur, recounted that in 2006, around 15-20 first year students were expelled on account of poor performance. This decision was taken by a committee that evaluated undergraduate students. The director, however, eventually overturned the decision to expel the students and re-admitted them.

Sources told TOI that IIT-Roorkee's move to expel students occurred after second-semester examinations ended in May. Many students who fared badly were called for a meeting with college authorities and told to pull up their socks.

During counselling sessions, many students admitted that they were finding it difficult to cope up with the academic work load. Institute officials said a few students claimed they had not given much attention to studies as they were "enjoying the first-year of college".

In mid-June, poor performers were sent a notice of expulsion by the institute. They were given time to file what the institute termed a "mercy appeal".

Many students affected by the decision refused to speak with TOI, saying they were still in shock. A few said it was an "unjustified decision" and that they were never warned that scoring less than 5 CGPA would result in expulsion.

"I have scored a little over 4.5 CGPA, but even then, I have been asked to leave. It is not fair. What will I do now? My whole academic year has gone to waste," said one expelled student.

Student body representatives said the institute had acted in haste and should reconsider the decision.

"Students should not be removed from college like this. Many of them come from vernacular-medium backgrounds and it is difficult for them to comprehend certain subjects. They should have been given time to adjust to the academic environment in the institute," said Rajveer Choudhary, treasurer of the Students' Affair Council of IIT Roorkee.

Meanwhile, the institute's registrar, Prashant Garg, when contacted, said the decision was justified.

"The IITs are premium institutes and the rules regarding underperformance were clearly notified to students at the time of admission. These 73 students could not attain the required credits and had CGPAs lower than 5, which qualifies for expulsion," Garg said.

"The decision to expel them was taken after considering their mercy appeal, which was rejected by the apex academic body yesterday. We acknowledge that the number of students expelled is huge but we will ensure that preventive measures are taken and that there is no need to expel even a single student from IIT Roorkee on the grounds of poor academic performance next year," Garg added.

As their parents have already signed an agreement saying the students could be expelled for poor performance, these students are now left with no recourse, said a source.
 

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Super 30 students short of money for IIT counselling


The students of Bihar's Super 30, a free coaching centre for underprivileged students, who have cracked the IIT-JEE this year are a worried lot as they don't have the money for counselling.

The families of Sujeet Kumar, Dhananjay Kumar, Prempal Kumar and Sharwan Kumar are grappling with a financial crisis as they don't have the funds required for submission of a challan worth Rs 45,000.



Super 30 founder-director Anand Kumar said: "The banks are ready to pay the fee, including the admission fee. And they are also ready to pay the counselling fee this time, but they cannot give cash for challan."

Cash is paid through a challan in order to submit a bank draft for the admission fee.

"The problem is that though the IIT has reduced the counselling fee from Rs.60,000 to Rs 45,000, it now asks for submission of fee through challan, which would require cash," he said.

Like previous years, as many as 25 of the 30 students of Bihar's Super 30 have cracked IIT-JEE. Children of a taxi driver, mason, farmer, daily wager/farm labourer, helper in photo lab and migrant workers are among the successful candidates.



"If the IIT relaxes its norms, it will not only help Super 30 students but also hundreds of others who come from a poor background," said Kumar.

Super 30 was started by Anand along with former Bihar DGP Abhyanand over a decade ago. Later, Abhyanand dissociated himself from the institute.

Super 30, which helps economically backward students crack the IIT-JEE, was selected by Time magazine for the list of 'The Best of Asia 2010'.

Students from poor families have to pass a competitive test to get into Super 30 and then commit themselves to a year of 16-hour daily study routine. Coaching, food and accommodation are free for the students.
 

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Are older IITs losing their sheen? Toppers opting for newer ones


The older IITs seem to be losing their sheen. After the first round of counseling for IITs/NITs, the surprising bit is that the closing rank for IIT-Kharagpur, the oldest IIT in the country, and IIT-Roorkee, the oldest engineering college, is above 8,000 whereas for new IITs like those in Jodhpur, Hyderabad, Patna, Palakkad and Tirupati, it hovers between 4,957 and 6,581.

IIT-Kharagpur, with the maximum 1,341 seats, did not attract a single student from the top 212 ranks and Roorkee from the top 232 ranks but students far lower in the common rank list have preferred the two institutes.

A senior IIT professor said, "What is surprising is that students have preferred newer IITs like the ones in Tirupati, Kerala, Patna and others despite knowing that a student admitted in an IIT in a lower preferred course, say mining or agriculture engineering, can be upgraded to the most sought after courses like computer science, electronics, mechanical after one year based on his performance."

Among the older IITs, Bombay is the most attractive, getting 65 out of 100 top rankers and the first round closing with rank 4,206. IIT-Bombay has 903 seats. IIT-Kanpur with 853 seats got two of the top 100 rankers and admission closed after the first round at rank 5,314. IIT-Delhi also did well with 30 of the top 100 rankers choosing it and the first round of counseling stopping at 4,494 rank. It has 851 seats. In comparison, IIT-Madras, with 838 seats, is losing its pull with only three of the top 100 preferring it and counseling closing at rank 7,026.

Newer IITs with seats ranging between 120 and 220 are slowly coming into their own despite the fact that many do not even have a permanent campus. Among the relatively newer ones, IIT-Guwahati with 660 seats and Hyderabad with 220 are slowly breaking into the big league. Guwahati got 43 of the top 1,000 rankers while Hyderabad got 20.
 

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Seat shock: 91 say no to IIT-Kharagpur in first round

IIT-Kharagpur, which was shunned by the top 100 aspirants, had another shock on Sunday when 91 candidates refused to join the campus in the first round of admissions. This is the highest number of rejections in the IIT chain.

The second round will start on Tuesday and go on till Friday. But the IIT-Kgp administration is not sure that all 1,343 will be filled up and feels it might have to go in for a third round of admissions that will end on July 21.

IIT-Delhi had the least number of rejections at 17, followed by Mumbai (24) — the pick of the top-100 candidates this year. Even IIT-Guwahati has only 38 refusals.

However, IIT-Kgp's administration tried to put up a brave face, explaining that since they have more seats on offer than the other IITs, the number of rejections will naturally be higher. Last year, even after three rounds of counselling, nearly 100 seats were vacant here.

"After the first round of counselling on Sunday, our tally says that 91 candidates who got offers to take admission, rejected them. However, there is still time for the seats to get filled and we will have to keep a watch till the end of the process," said IIT-Kgp admissions chairperson Adrijit Goswami.

IIT-Kgp director P P Chakraborty seemed unperturbed. "IIT-Kgp is the oldest and largest IIT that offers a wider choice of courses compared to others. If you compare the results or placement records of our students with that of the other IITs, we are behind no one else. Our global alumni representation and the total value of the projects that we handle are far higher than any other IIT," he said.

However, there is no denying that the best students from IITJEE Advanced merit list, have chosen not to come to IIT-Kgp. Senior faculty members concede that subjects like chemistry, geology and geophysics, biotechnology and bioengineering, agriculture and mining are the worst affected since candidates with extremely low ranks are choosing these streams at IIT-Kgp. "Naturally, many would drop the idea of taking admission, leaving these seats vacant. In some cases, candidates with as low as 5,000 rank take admission in some of these departments," said a professor.
 

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This year, IITs will admit students with even 6% in entrance exam

The challenge of maintaining standards at the IITs seems to be growing. While IIT-Roorkee last week expelled 73 students for underperformance (first reported by TOI), it now appears this elite group of institutions will have to lower the bar to admit students from the weaker sections.

In a comment on the lack of success in raising school education standards, especially for the disadvantaged, the IITs will be admitting students with scores as low as 31 out of 504, or 6.1%, this year to fill vacant seats (compared to 8.8% in 2014).

Subjective components in the JEE (Advanced) 2015 question paper and use of higher negative marks made it tougher this year. IITs had to therefore lower the bar for qualifying in the general category from 35% to 24.5%. For the reserved categories, cut-offs came down to 12.25%. Since IITs do not manage to fill all seats in these categories even after lowering cut-offs, qualifying marks will be further reduced to create a third category for students who will be sent for a preparatory course provided they've got at least 6.1%.



As reported by TOI on Monday, after the first round of seat allocations, 591 seats were vacant, and the majority of them, say officials, are reserved for students in ST (scheduled tribes) and PwD (people with disabilities) categories.



An IIT director said final position on seat vacancies will be known after the third round, but indicated that "IITs have to follow constitutional reservation. Seats cannot be kept vacant due to the sheer demand for admissions in our institutes," he said, but "what government can instead do is improve secondary education. Also the tutoring system for preparatory courses needs to evolve in IITs to ensure they are fit for our B Tech programmes."

Urban-rural divide to blame for drop in cut-offs at IITs?

Under the new formula for admissions this year, the IITs have already admitted over 180 students (who scored above 31 and less than 62 marks) in the preparatory programme across 18 institutes. The numbers may go up after the three rounds.

More students with marks in this range may be added over the next two rounds. These students will then have to go through a one-year-long preparatory course before they are absorbed in the B Tech programme.



The preparatory course is a year-long special coaching programme in physics, mathematics and chemistry, for reserved category candidates who fail to make the cut in the entrance. Numbers of students admitted to preparatory courses are not more than 10 in most institutes, in the older the numbers may go up to 20 sometimes.

Another professor said part of the reason for the drop in cut-offs was the mismatch in quality of students coming from urban and rural areas. While urban students can make up for gaps in school education by enrolling in coaching institutes, others who cannot afford lag behind, said another professor.

He added that quotas needed to be supplemented with stronger schooling, especially for the weaker sections of society.

How does it affect candidates?

At a time when qualifying marks are being reduced, 31 students who qualified in JEE (Advanced) and were eligible for seats in the IITs have been rejected after they failed to meet class XII eligibility criteria of being in the top 20 percentile of their respective boards or even scoring 75% and above. A few of these students would have managed to get seats in even the older sought-after IITs.



Till last year, a student had to be in the top 20 percentile of their respective boards to be eligible for an IIT seat. Around 240 students were denied seats last year despite qualifying in JEE (Advanced). This year, the IITs relaxed the criteria by allowing students who had scored at least 75% in class XII or were in the top 20 percentile of the board. As a result, only 31 students failed to make the cut.
 

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IIT toppers judge International Physics Olympiad

After 400 bright students from over 80 countries slugged it out in the sweltering heat here last week in the International Physics Olympiad, they were judged not by physics teachers, university professors or researchers, but by IIT toppers.

Though not unprecedented, it is a rare development for IPhO - 2105, arguably the toughest competition in physics at the pre-college level. India started participating in the international Olympiad in 1998 and this is the first time it hosted the physics competition.

While the exam was challenging, getting the results out was probably equally exacting. For, time was short and assessors had to work ungodly hours at meteoric speed and prove their own scholarly prowess.

The Olympiad had two exams: experimental (for five hours), which was held on July 7, and a theory paper (merely three questions to be answered in five hours) on July 9. The results were to be declared the next day.

"College teachers from across the country were selected to evaluate students for the experimental exam, but there was a time crunch for the theory exam and the result had to be declared within a span of one night. Correcting 400 subjective answer scripts overnight was a challenge," said former national Olympiad organizer Vijay Singh.

Singh then called on over 50 ex-Olympiad students and some previous top rankers of IITs to grade the students. Most other countries hosting the competition usually engage a team of teachers. Only a few others like Iran have asked some of their bright students to act as evaluators too.

"It was one hectic night; correcting so many answer books of bright students was a considerably huge task. But it was fun," said Prudhvitej Immadi, who had topped the JEE in 2011. Immadi had earlier graded students of the Asian Physics Olympiad, but this was a competition of global scale.

The team of 50 evaluators slogged from 9pm on July 9 to 4pm the next day and pulled out all stops to declare the result on time. "They were among the most energetic, high-paced and accurate team of assessors," said Singh.

Participating teams, led by their faculty leaders travelling with them, are allowed to challenge the results. There was none on July 10.

The Republic of Korea bagged the best student award, pipping long-time holders China. Host India was awarded four silvers and a bronze.
 

vijigermany

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80 seats vacant in IITs after 2nd round admission

Around 80 seats are vacant in the IITs in the joint seat allocation process for admissions to IITs and NITs, even as the premier institutes have managed to fill over 99% of the 10,006 seats after the second round. Friday was the last day for accepting seats that had been allotted in the second round.

IITs are positive about filling up all seats in the third round, commencing on Saturday, said a professor from IIT-Bombay. Most of the vacant 80 seats are in institutes such as IIT-Kharagpur and ISM-Dhanbad.
 

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