Well, its been ever known and it just became tougher. This year, about 77 students will be vying for a single seat at any of the seven IITs, i.e 3.22 lakhs students for a mere 4,193 seats. Wherein the competition across the oceans at Harvard is a mere eight per seat. No doubts, there are people in here for whom those greener pastures are a mere second option. But this great rush for seats shows not only the great potential among the Indian youth but also the scarcity of premium teaching institutes. The government of India is trying its best to come up with alternatives. Setting up of NITs (National Institute of Technology) all over the country was one such step.
According to data from IITRoorkee, the nodal IIT that will coordinate JEE-2008, 3.22 lakh students will take the entrance exam across seven zones in the country on April 13. They will vie for 4,193 seats spread across seven IITs.Moreover,around 200 foreign students have applied to sit for the JEE at the Dubai centre; this is the first time this year that the IITs have set up an exam centre outside India.
Going by present data, the average number of students vying for a seat has gone up from 55 to a tough 77.
Organising JEE chairman N M Bhandari said, “There has been a uniform increase of 25%-30% across all zones, which has led to the overall increase in applicants.’’ Zonewise data is unavailable, but the numbers in the western zone in particular have gone up from 46,000-plus in 2007 to 62,000, said N Venkataramani, chairman of JEE-2008 at IIT-Bombay.
Notably, the surge in applicants comes a year after the changes recommended by the C N R Rao panel appointed by the Union HRD ministry were implemented.
In 2007, the introduction of stringent eligibility norms had resulted in the applications falling from 2.9 lakh to 2.4 lakh. This year, however, the trend has again changed.
At the behest of the Rao panel, the screening had been done away with and a single objective test introduced. To restrict the number of those keen on taking the test, the committee had suggested that only students who secure a first class (60%) or equivalent in their class XII exams be eligible to sit for the JEE. Also, the maximum number of attempts permitted was restricted to two. The move, introduced in JEE-2006, also aimed at reducing exam stress, weaken the influence of coaching classes and “restore the sanctity of the school system’’.
But this year it seems that the recommendations have failed to discourage students from battling it out for an IIT seat. Director of IITMadras M S Ananth told TOI the numbers were “unanticipated’’, but added that more institutions, including Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology Society and Indian Institute of Maritime Studies, besides Indian School of Mines and Banaras Hindu University would admit students on the basis of JEE scores.
The JEE, to be held on April 13, will have two papers. Each of three hours, they will have a mixed bag of questions from maths, chemistry and physics. Students, though, will be given individual marks for the three subjects Earlier, the JEE was not a single-stage test. The IITs used to conduct a screening and those shortlisted could take the main subjective-type exam
General category candidates must secure a minimum of 60% marks in aggregate in the qualifying exam (10+2). SCs, STs and those with disabilities require a minimum of 55% marks in aggregate Candidates are allowed only two attempts for IIT-JEE Candidates who get admission in any of the IITs, IT-BHU, Varanasi and ISM Dhanbad through JEE will not be allowed to take the exam in future