According to a senior IIT director who didn’t want to be named, only the aggregate cut-off has been lowered and not subjectwise scores. The cut-off, which was 35% for the general category, has been lowered to 25%. For scheduled caste and scheduled tribe candidates, and persons with disabilities, it is 12.5% and for other backward classes (OBCS) at 22.5%. Female candidates who have qualified is 3,000, up from 2, 000.
The move, officials said, may help more students from the reserved category get a shot at admission, as some students who were in the preparatory list (comprises students given extra classes to prepare them for the course) have moved to the main list of SC/ST candidates. “Merit has not been compromised as the position one had in the previous rank list is the same. The integrity of the system has not been affected,at the same time, through this list, we have taken care of apprehensions of seats going vacant,” said a second IIT director.
Earlier in the day, HRD minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted: “Responding to requests from students and IIT community to proactively ensure that all reservation seats are duly filled, I have directed @IIT Kanpur conducting JEE advanced to make available candidates, strictly as per merit, twice the number of seats in each category”.
For the first time, the HRD Ministry had issued directions to the JAB to release an extended merit list for admission this year. Iit-kanpur, which is the organising institute for Jee-advanced this year, was asked to release a merit list with the number of candidates twice the number of seats on offer in each discipline and each category (general and reserved categories).
The institute was asked to release the supplementary merit list before choice-filling for joint seat allocation for IITS and National Institutes of Technology (NITS) begins this week. Though a number of IIT directors had also expressed apprehensions over lowering the cut-off as it may dilute the brand value of IITS, a consensus was reached at a meeting held on Thursday after it was ensured that the earlier rankings would remain intact.
The number of candidates who qualified has always been at least twice the number of seats on offer. This year, however, the 18,138 students on the merit list are only 1.6 times the total number of seats, making it the smallest number of qualified candidates since 2012, sparking concerns of seats going vacant.
“It is the policy of government of India that all reservation category seats in all disciplines are filled and no vacant seats are left after counselling for admission in IITS,” said a letter issued by the HRD ministry. Students who clear JEE Advanced are eligible for admission in any one of the 23 IITS in the country. The Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JOSAA) will announce the first seat allotment on June 27. Of the 10,998 seats that were offered in the 23 IITS in 2017, the number of vacancies after seven rounds of counselling stood at 121, which was more than the 96 vacancies in 2016. In 2015, there were 50 vacant seats and in 2014, three.