Cream of the crop: 69 of top 100 JEE rankers pick IIT-Bombay
MUMBAI: The composition of the elite technological club has changed. A decade agoadmission to the IIT-Kanpur ensured demi-god treatment. Only the brightest and the best could get past the gates there. No longer. Mumbai is the new Kanpur, with Delhi and Chennai snapping at its heels. A look at the students’ choice of institute by the top 100 JEE rankers down the last half-a-decade reveals that preferences have changed dramatically. A number of factors have been responsible for the reordering, from geography to gastronomy and placement records to what coaching classes preach to students.
Of the top 100 JEE-2009 rankers, considered the elite group among engineering aspirants around the country,69 students preferred to join IIT-Bombay over any other IIT. This was followed by Delhi — where 19 of the top 100 have been admitted. While Bombay has been bettering its performance over the years number of toppers going to Delhi has slipped.
“IITB’s decision to introduce minors in all programmes has seen more students wanting to come to the Powai campus,” reasoned the institute’s JEE 2009 chairman A Pani. In 2008, the institute ushered in academic reforms and permitted students to pick a minor course along with the core area of specialisation.
This, explained Pani, has resulted most streams opening and closing admissions at higher ranks than previous years.
On each IIT campus, the top 100 students are considered as the rich creamy icing. Twenty years ago IIT Kharagpur was the engineering mecca. The oldest IIT of the country, IITKharagpur did not receive a single student from the top hundred this year; and before that, in 2004, only three of the top 100 went there. A former JEE chairman explained, “While Bombay and Delhi were still building themselves, Kharagpur’s students had already occupied top positions in big companies Students looked at Kharagpur’s illustrious alumni and rushed there. Now this has changed.” 1,100 quota seats in IITs not filled this year MUMBAI: Every year, lakhs of students burn the midnight oil for months to get into the hallowed Indian Institutes of Technology. But as admissions closed on Wednesday, one startling fact emerged — there weren’t enough qualified candidates to fill up the reserved seats on offer for the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, or the physically challenged. IIT heads told TOI that over 1,100 seats will now be transferred to the preparatory course. This course, which is like a feeder class, trains quota students for a year to equip them to qualify for the IITs. Students for the preparatory course are selected by reducing cut-offs even further. On the OBC (other backward classes) reservation front too, 53 seats were transferred to
general category candidates, though the IITs are still only in the second year of the quotas (they are implementing 18% quota before moving to the total 27% reservation). The IITs, in fact, had made various concessions to ensure they could fill the SC/ST seats. They lowered entry levels for these categories and even went as low as 50% below the last general category student’s marks to do justice to the quota. Even this did not help them get the required number of backward category students.
Reservation for IIT faculty to stay: Sibal
NEW DELHI: Reservations in faculty at the Indian Institutes of Technology will continue. HRD minister Kapil Sibal made it clear on Wednesday that efforts to exempt the elite institutions from quotas for SCs, STs and OBCs in the teaching staff had proved infructuous’’. He made the announcement at a meeting with IIT directors where he also told them to explore the possibility of offering courses in medicine, law, social sciences and literature. As first reported by TOI on November 20, 2008, IITs too are keen to branch out to new subjects and multiple disciplines. Sibal’s remark about quotas in the IIT faculty signals that the
government may not make another push to bring in the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Reservation in Posts and Services) Bill, 2008. The bill had sought to exempt 47 elite institutions from faculty quota. It could not be passed in the Lok Sabha due to opposition from UPA allies like the RJD. Sibal’s remark came in response to a clarification sought by an IIT directors. The IITs are staunchly opposed to such a quota.
Now, IIT-JEE stars eye glory in International Physics Olympiad
MUMBAI: After two years of poring over texts to ace the IITJEE, toppers now have to face another challenge. They are on their way to H1N1-hit Mexico where they will represent the country in the International Physics Olympiad in the first week of July. The team that went in 2008 brought home four golds and a silver medal. This year’s gang of boys would have a tough task cut out for them, professor
Vijay Singh, national coordinator of the science Olympiads, said. The team members-Nitin Jain (all-India Rank 1 in JEE), Shubham Tulsiani (AIR 2), Gopi Sivakanth (AIR 3), Priyank Parikh (AIR 6) and Vinit Atal
(AIR 90)-are in the city, preparing for the big challenge. Every year, the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education conducts a massive exercise to select the brightest brains from across the country who then represent India in the international Olympiads. Eighty countries will participate in the physics Olympiad. Last year’s winning team was China. Mentor professor Singh said the team was putting in close to 12 hours a day at the camp. “Our students are champions in chemistry and maths as well. If there was a comprehensive Olympiad, the Indian team would win hands down,” said Singh.
IIT-Patna to start PhD programmes from July
PATNA: The newly set-up Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in this Bihar city will start its doctoral programmes from next month, an official said on Friday. “IIT-Patna will become the first among the eight new IITs set up last year to start PhD programmes,” institute official Subhash Pandey said. The IIT will have PhD programmes in computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, mathematics, physics, humanities and social sciences. Pandey said that interviews of the applicants are underway and there are 30 vacancies. At present, the IIT is functioning from a polytechnic building here
as a temporary campus. The process of land acquisition for a permanent campus is underway.
Plan panel favours IIT, IIM offshore campuses
NEW DELHI: Doors may soon be open for Indian universities and government-run institutions like IIMs and IITs to set up campuses abroad to crosssubsidise higher education for vulnerable sections of society. The Planning Commission is in favour of formulating guidelines to allow Indian universities and government-run institutions to run business abroad to fund higher education for the poor back home and to expand the
educational infrastructure in the country. The move has come at the time when India is wooing foreign universities to set up campuses in the country. Interestingly, as of now, there are no rules and regulations topermit government-run institutions to set up offshore campuses. So far, only private educational institutions were free to explore education opportunities abroad. Private institutions like Symbiosis and BITS, Pilani, have already opened campuses abroad. Only in May this year, Pune University became the first government-run institution to open its campus abroad, in UAE, after considerable legal and ureaucratic hurdles. The human resources development ministry had objected to the proposal of Pune University on the ground that there were no guidelines on opening campuses on foreign soil by government-run institutions. Pune University had to knock the doors of the PMO to get its proposal cleared.
Faculty divided over location of IIT
JAIPUR: As the recommendation made by the state government-appointed Vyas committee on having the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Jodhpur is a debate in itself, those who’ll matter the most wherever the premier institute comes up – the faculty stand divided on whether the premier institute should come up in the capital city or somewhere else in the desert state. Prem K Kalra, director, IITRajasthan, reserves his opinion about the development. He says, “I am unaware of the grounds on which the Vyas committee has given nod to Jodhpur. I know what works for Jaipur, but will have to read the report to make a comment as
this is a sensitive issue.” While Kalra distances himself from making a comment, Nina Sabnani, who teaches animation and visual communication at IIT-Mumbai says, “An IIT is self sufficient to create its own brand. Its success doesn’t depend on the place where it is located. If IITMumbai is big and popular, IITKharagpur too has made its mark.” Faculties across IIT’s agree that the three basics behind the success of any IIT remain infrastructure, faculty and connectivity. “If these criteria are fulfilled, than the location,
makes no difference,” says Prof V K Vijay of IIT-Delhi. But what might make a difference is that the IIT’s
reeling under deficit of trained faculty might find it tough to get the right kind of people to smaller city like Jodhpur. Not willing to reveal her name a faculty at IIT-Mumbai says, “IIT anywhere will intellectually stimulate the place, but the place too needs to give back and stimulate those who will be there at the IIT campus. This is what that gives an edge to a bigger city which can provide better exposure to the faculty
who are core to the success of any IIT.” Her thoughts are echoed by Kalra who feels that there is a complex matrix which has issues like the developmental prospects for the faculty, their family members, educational facility for their children and opportunities for their spouses which determines the success
and feasibility of having an IIT anywhere. On these counts Pink City has an edge over any other center in the state. Other issues can be addressed, but managing faculty will be a challenge that will show its effect in the long run. As Vijay concludes, “There is an over all deficits of faculties across the board and to add to the woes the government in haste added seven more IIT’s to the current ones. This will certainly dilute the brand in the long run.”
Nachiket sets sights on IIT
AHMEDNAGAR: For Nachiket Kuntala, who emerged joint topper from Pune division in the SSC exams, securing first position comes as a matter of habit. Right from std I to IX, Nachiket secured the number one position and the SSC exam did not prove an exception. Nachiket, a student of the Shri Samarth Vidyamandir here, scored 627 marks (96.46%) to share the divisional top spot with Pune’s Akshay Chate.
Interested in an engineering research career, Nachiket told TOI: “I wish to pursue my higher studies at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).” “Regular studies and focused approach were key to my success,” Nachiket said. He did join a coaching class to hone his academic skills, but a routine of physical exercise, studies and extra-curricular activities kept him in good stead. “I was particular about doing my home work and revisiting all those things taught at the coaching class,” he said. Nachiket’s father is a medical professional, while his mother teaches science in a school.
IIT Kanpur to open extension centre in Noida
The HRD Ministry has granted permission to IIT Kanpur to open an extension centre in Noida, work on which will start within a week. IIT Kanpur Registrar Sanjiv Kashalkar told PTI that the work will be completed by 2012. He said that a ‘distance learning centre’ will also be opened there. Kashalkar said the centre will function on the lines of India International Centre with technocrats imparting technical education through conferences. It will also provide several short-term management courses and refresher courses
meant for distance learning, he said. he premier institute has been granted five acres of land in sector 62 of Noida.