Only 118 IIT seats vacant this year: Javadekar

Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar. PTI file photo.

Only 118 seats in the 23 IITs are vacant in 2018, primarily because students don't show interest in those disciplines, said Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Responding to a member's query in the Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour, the minister said out of 12,079 seats, as many as 11,961 seats were filled up in 2018 after cut-off parameters for admission were changed.

The change, he said, was necessary because only 18,138 students made it to the first list and there was a possibility of seats reserved for SC, ST and OBC students going vacant.

"I instructed the IIT system to change parameters so that more students become eligible," he said.

With changed norms, 31,988 students qualified for the IITs, out of which 11,961 got admission.

"118 seats are vacant, which covers disciplines like agriculture engineering, bio-engineering and pharmaceutical engineering, for which there is little interest. We will discuss the issue at the IIT council meeting next month," Javadekar said on Thursday.

In 2017, as many as 51,040 students qualified for IITs, out of which 10,876 were admitted.

The minister said the number of girls in the IITs increased after specific steps were taken to encourage their entry. "This year the number of girls increased to 15% from the 9.15% last year. A year before that it was only 8%."

Asked about steps being taken to stop suicides at IITs and other institutes of higher learning, Javadekar said "a set of 15 advices" was shared with the institutes to take proactive measures such as increasing the span of the induction course so that students get more time to familiarise themselves with the institute and people.

Also, teacher-mentor programmes, local parenting and counselling options are being implemented by the IITs in an effort to stop suicides.

There are currently 23 IITs, out of which 16 were established after 2008.

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Only 118 IIT seats vacant this year: Javadekar

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