Close to 30% of 2.45 lakh students who cleared JEE (Main) and qualified for JEE (Advanced) this year have opted out of the race for IITs. Students have to cross two barriers to joining IITs—first the JEE (Main) and then JEE (Advanced).
In an attempt to increase the pool of candidates for JEE (Advanced), IITs had decided to shortlist around 20,000 more candidates this year. However, the total number of students appearing for the entrance test has increased only by 8,000 to touch 1.73 lakh, compared to the previous year.
The number does not include aspirants from Odisha as the cyclone-hit state has been given time till May 14 for registration, which ended on Thursday in other parts of the country.
Director of one of the established IITs said that JEE (Advanced) is now conducted online, and therefore, it is easier for the institutes to evaluate test papers. “This was one of the reasons why we decided to increase the pool of candidates,” said the director. Last year, 1.65 lakh students registered for the test, out of the 2.31 lakh students who had qualified.
A professor said that students who are opting out of the race may have secured admissions elsewhere or may have other options in hand. “Some private institutions and universities are gaining popularity and their admission processes are not as stringent as IITs. There is no evidence to prove but some students who are unsure of cracking JEE (Advanced) may not want to sit through the tough exam,” said the professor.
Though the absolute numbers have gone up from last year’s 1.65 lakh to 1.73 lakh, the percentage of students opting out of JEE (Advanced) is almost the same. “Some students may also be confident of getting into National Institutes of Technology (NITs) with their existing JEE (Main) ranks and have hence, opted out of the IIT race,” said a source.
IITs have been trying to increase enrolment of foreign students too, however, this year, the number of students registering for JEE (Advanced), has not risen favourably. A professor, associated with the conduct of JEE (Advanced) 2019, said foreign registrations are still in a few hundred.
The total number of registration is likely to go up by a few thousand once students from Odisha complete registration. A professor said that IIT-Bhubaneshwar is helping aspirants from the state to register.
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