Reserved categories inadequately represented in 8 IITs

Reserved categories inadequately represented in 8 IITs

There was a 100% shortall of ST students in PhD courses at IIT Jodhpur

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

Eight IITs in India have inadequate representation of reserved categories in student enrollment, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General has noted.

Shortfalls in some of the IITs were as much as 69% in the post graduate courses, and in PhD courses went up to 100%. 

The report, ‘Performance Audit of Setting up of new Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)’  audited the performance of eight IITs -- Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhpur, Mandi, Patna and Ropar -- between 2014 and 2019. 

In post graduate courses, IIT Gandhinagar had a shortfall of 30% in the enrollment of Scheduled Caste students, while IIT Hyderabad had a shortfall of 25% and IIT Mandi a shortfall of 23%

The shortfall in the enrollment of Scheduled Tribes students in postgraduate courses was again the highest in IIT Gandhinagar (69%), followed by IIT Mandi (66%) and IIT Jodhpur (55%). The shortfall of enrollment of OBC students was significantly lower and IIT Mandi fared the worst at 13%.  

The shortfall in PhD courses was more alarming. There was a 100% shortall of ST students in PhD courses at IIT Jodhpur, followed by IIT Indore (97%), IIT Mandi (96%), and IIT Ropar (94%). In all the eight IITs the shortfall of ST students in PhD courses was above 65%

For SC students in PhD courses, IIT Ropar fared the worst at 75% followed by IIT Indore (70%) and IIT Gandhinagar (68%). Under the OBC category, the shortfall was high in IIT Gandhinagar (37%), IIT Ropar (36%) and IIT Mandi (32%). 

“As per the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in admission) Act, 2006, out of the annual permitted strength in each branch of study or faculty, 15 per cent, seven and half per cent and 27 per cent seats shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SC), the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) respectively. Audit observed that the representation of the reserved category was not as prescribed, particularly, in respect of PG and PhD admissions,” said the CAG report.  

The report further said that the union ministry of education provided some replies by the IITs in this regard. While IIT Bhunaneshwar said that efforts are being made, IIT Gandhinagar replied that despite adopting measures like fee waivers, peer group assisted learning, lower application fee, relaxations in admission process, seats remain vacant. 

The report also said that IIT Hyderabad did not address the shortfall, and IIT Indore said that there was inadequate response by the students belonging to these categories and that it will start special admission drives to fill up the vacancies.

IIT Jodhpur, IIT Patna and IIT Mandi, too, cited inadequate number of applicants, and IIT Ropar did not reply.

"The Ministry did not state whether it had thought of any measures for filling up the shortfalls,” the CAG report noted. 

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