Seats Vacant at IITs; Engineering Losing its Charm?

Published: | March 26, 2018
Seats Vacant at IITs; Engineering Losing its Charm?
  • 121 seats remained vacant across the 23 IITs after the seventh round of counselling in 2017.
  • These seats remain vacant as a result of students refusing admission after counselling.
  • The HRD Ministry is considering scrapping unpopular courses to reduce vacancies in IITs.

According to the reports, there were close to 121 seats vacant across the 23 IITs in India last year. Seats remained vacant as a result of students refusing admission after counselling. There are a total of 10,998 seats in the 23 IITs and the number of seats remaining vacant after the counselling process have been increasing over the years.

Number of seats vacant at IITs:


Number of Vacant Seats









Concerned about the rising number of vacancies, the HRD Ministry has asked the institutes to look into the problem and consider scraping unpopular courses. The matter will also be discussed at a meeting of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) scheduled on August 20, 2017.

According to experts, students refuse admissions at IITs after considering the value of the course they are getting. If the course that has been allocated to them doesn’t offer a good job value, they do not take admission.

Number of seats vacant at different IITs:

Name of the Institute

Number of vacancies

IIT Varanasi


IIT Bombay


IIT Delhi


IIT Kharagpur


Pharmaceutical engineering and technology, ceramic engineering, biochemical engineering, chemistry, mining engineering, biotechnology, physics and architecture were some of the unpopular courses that remained vacant.

Pradipta Banerji, Professor at IIT Bombay, suggested that intake in such courses must be reduced if not altogether scrapped. He added that the cultural shift in education has also played a major role in the number of vacancies.

Also Read: IITs ask Government to Provide More Funds for Project Vishwajeet

Banerjee also said that in the coming years, students will stop running after IITs in the pursuit of their dreams. Students will be more focused on choosing subjects that they are interested in rather than blindly taking admission at IITs.

According to a senior IIT official, students prefer to take admissions in NITs and IIITs with one of the premier courses like CSE and ECE rather than taking unpopular branches at IITs.

Over 6000 seats remain vacant at NITs, IIITs and other centrally funded technical institutes. Special Counselling rounds are being conducted for seat allocation at NIT. Experts have suggested that the reason behind the huge number of vacancies is the 50% state quota applicable at these institutes.

Eligibility criteria for admission to the 8 NITs in north-eastern states has also been relaxed by the HRD Ministry. Earlier, general and OBC students with 75% marks in Class 12 were eligible for these NITs, however, the criteria has been reduced to 45% marks in order to fill seats.

Also Read: Social Causes taken up by IIT-B's Tech Fest Team

The Ministry has also added that the home quota seats that remain vacant at NITs can be converted to all-India quota seats.


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