14,000 more...

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - HTNATION -

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.

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