The IITs may revise some of its courses after it was found that a total of around 750 seats remained vacant, which is a little less than the number of students who took admission at IIT-Delhi in 2011.
The vacancies have arisen because there were no applications from around 13,000 students, selected after IIT-JEE was conducted. Another factor contributing to this “vacant state of affairs” was the drop outs after taking admission.
The reason being cited for the above situation is the lack of popularity of some of these courses. According to Sanjay Dande, director of IIT-Kanpur, which conducted 2011 IIT-JEE, course on pulp and paper technology being run at Indian School of Mines (Dhanbad) has no takers. There are similar unpopular courses in other institutes also.
He says that the students leave the IITs if they get the course of their choice in some other college or institute. In the last few years some good quality institutes have come up with popular course. This has led to students moving towards them instead of studying in some unpopular course at the popular IITs.
There are students who leave the course if they get a better course even after depositing the fees which is non-refundable.
The non-refund ability of the fees is also a reason for the seats remaining vacant. Since, the fees are not refunded, students do not care to inform the institute, thereby, rendering the seat vacant. On the other hand, in the IIT records the seats are shown as filled. The professor says that the trend can be arrested if they start refunding the fees. However, this is not the responsibility of the JAB (Joint Admission Board) and the solution lies with the individual institutes.
Rajiv Kumar of IIT-Kharagpur suggests that seats, where students fail to join within a stipulated timeframe should be declared vacant and open for admissions. “IITs should also refund of the fees deposited so that seats are not unnecessarily blocked,” he said.
Notably, Professor G B Reddy of IIT-Delhi and chairperson of JAB 2012 has said the issue is being discussed and all the institutes covered by IIT-JEE have been asked to revise or review the unpopular courses. “We have asked them to make the courses more attractive and information about them will be provided in the brochure for counseling of students who clear IIT-JEE examination next year.”