The institutes which top in the world rankings, are falling behind to bring foreign students on board. The introduction of 10% supernumerary seats which resulted in the seat reservation for foreign students across all the Indian Institution of Technology (IITs) and its courses are not showing positive results. The total number of seats reserved for foreign students in IITs are 1,100 across the country. The numbers of 2019 are anything but positive. The data stated that 807 across the world applied for the JEE Advanced examination but only 53 attempted the examination. Out of those 57 students, the number of admission taker is just 1. The JEE Advanced examination centres were allocated in different countries of the world but it has failed to bring students to the most premier institute of India.
One of the many policies to woo the foreign students to take admission in IITs included the Direct Entry to JEE Advanced examinations which is considered as one of the toughest entrance exams. Unlike the Indian aspirants, the foreign students were exempted from JEE Mains as the first stage before the JEE Advanced examination. Making it to the cutoff lists of JEE Advanced after JEE Mains is itself a tough job. So tough that only 2.45 lakh students qualified for JEE Advanced after sitting for JEE Mains which was attempted by 11.47 lakh students.
The amended eligibility criteria for foreign students for JEE Advanced examination is that they have to score more than 75% in the 12th or equivalent school final examinations in the respective county of their residence. The students who are the top 20 highest scorers in the foreign student's category are also eligible for direct sitting in the JEE Advanced examination.
Adding to it, the JEE Council as decided to allocate offshore JEE Advanced centres in different countries which included Ethiopia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Dubai (UAE). The council decided to run the examinations in the examination centres in these countries on the basis of availability of applicants.
Still, there are no chances being seen of a trend to take admission in the IITs by the students of foreign origin. The data from previous years are disheartening as well as in 2018, only 26 students appeared for the JEE Advanced examination from the pool of 51, where 36 Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and 212 Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) were eligible to appear for JEE Advanced. In 2017, only 7 foreign national qualified from a total of 597 registered for JEE Advanced of which 109 appeared. From those 7, 3 foreign nationals were awarded seats with 20 PIO/OCI students in IITs.
The IIT Madras and IIT Delhi is seemingly the most popular choice among foreign nationals. These two institutes are getting at least one foreign student consecutively from the last 3 years. Last year, two foreign students took admission in each of IIT Delhi and IIT Madras. Similarly in 2017 when the JEE Advanced examination was conducted by IIT Madras, the highest number of foreign students took admission as 7 cleared the exams. Three of these seven qualifiers opted for admissions in IIT Madras, IIT Bhilai and IIT Varanasi.
Jadgeesh Kumar, the Dean of IIT Madras spoke about the dismal of foreign students despite various efforts put by IITs by saying that the students prefer to go to the western countries as they are not confident about the job prospects in India even after the cost of living being cheaper. Many universities in the USA and Australia provide jobs and stipends to the students but no such policy is implemented in India. He added that the most number of foreign students who apply for IITs are the students from neighbouring countries who have a connection or family roots in India.
He expressed that the IITs need to push a little more effort for pushing the popularity of the institute abroad.
However, an official of IIT Delhi optimistically stated that if hundreds if students are applying for sitting in the JEE Advanced from abroad countries, it signifies that there are popularity and importance between the country’s students to study in the Indian education system, precisely, in the IIT Educational Ecosystems. He added that foreign countries do not have the infrastructure to thoroughly prepare for JEE Advanced as in India, the students start to prepare for the qualifying examination as early as they get into the 9th Class. He pointed out the number of Ph.D aspirants in foreign students who want to conduct their research in India is much higher in Number.
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