To enrol the talented students, Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are trying their best to lower the cut-off marks since the past two years to fill up the seats in the country’s premier engineering institutes.
According to Hindustan Times, in 2016, if a general category student scored 75 out of 372 marks in the JEE-Advanced, the student got admission in one of the 23 IITs. While on the other hand, reserved category students, like tribals, people with disability and Dalits had to secure only 38 marks to obtain admission.
In the past two years, the IITs have been forced to lower the bar to fill up their seats. The IIT Council has decided to increase the intake in IITs from 70,000 to 100,000 over the next three years. They are even allowing day scholars to study at the institutes.
Now, the academic quality of IITs is in question. Experts feel that negative marking and tough question papers in the entrance examination is the cause of the shortfall of candidates meeting the benchmark.
Additional Secretary in HRD ministry said that the decision about the cut off is taken by IITs' Joint Admission Board (JAB). Before that, the cut-off was not lowered as enough students had cleared the examination.
An IIT Director said that maintaining quality is a major issue.Students who were expelled by IIT Roorkee in 2015 have done much better now with extra help and coaching from other students and faculty.
The IITs introduced a new category – Preparatory in 2015 - as it was not able to fill seats, despite carrying out moderation in cut-offs. In 2016, several students with as low as 5% marks in JEE Advanced have qualified and many have taken admission to IITs.
IIT Council has decided to introduce 3-5 weeks induction programme to help students. Under the preparatory course, students are trained for a period of one year in physics, chemistry and mathematics. Around 4,923 such students were trained under the preparatory list.
Of the 1,47,678 students who appeared for JEE (Advanced) in 2016, only 36,566 qualified. A total of 25,939 qualified without any relaxation.