IITB Central Library 2.0 Service

Change in pecking order: Toppers opt for IIT-Bombay

Posted on: June 22, 2011

by Times of India

MUMBAI: When JEE-2011 topper Immadi Purudhavi Tej of Andhra Pradesh chose IIT-Bombay, it appeared to be just another bit of JEE season news. But it’s not just Tej. Seventy of the top 100 in JEE have also chosen IIT-B.

Till about a decade ago, IIT-Kanpur was the preferred destination not only of the JEE top 100 but of most engineering aspirants in the country. But IIT-Bombay has risen in favour. Data released by IIT-B shows a clear trend from 2005, when 52 in the top 100 chose it. Except in 2006 and 2007, when this figure reduced by six and two, the number has only increased. In the same period, 2005-11, IIT-Kanpur’s share of the JEE top 100 reduced from 17 to 4. The rest favoured IIT-Delhi, whose fortunes have fluctuated between 16 and 29, IIT-Madras (2-10), and IIT-Kharagpur (0-3).

A number of factors have worked in favour of Mumbai, which includes location, food, placement record and the influence of coaching classes.

“Students feel IIT-Bombay is academically good and they can grow as a person here,” said IIT-Bombay JEE chairman Avijit Chatterjee. Eight of the top 10 rankers have opted for the institute.

Former JEE chairman Amiya Pani said IIT-B’s decision to introduce minors in all programmes has made more students opt for it. In 2008, the institute ushered in academic reforms and let students pick a minor course along with the core subject of specialisation. This, Pani said, also had most streams getting students from higher ranks compared to previous years.

Of the JEE top 100, almost none chose IIT-Kharagpur since 2005 except in 3 in 2005 and one in 2007. Twenty years ago, IIT-Kharagpur, the oldest IIT was the mecca of engineering education in the country. “While Bombay and Delhi were still building themselves, Kharagpur’s students occupied top positions in big companies. Students looked at Kharagpur’s illustrious alumni and rushed there. Now this has changed,” said a former JEE chairman.

There was also a time when up to 30 of the JEE top 100 chose IIT-Madras, but food became an issue for students. “(They) have often said that (the institute) does not have the kind of food that (the ones in Mumbai and Delhi have). But all our students are good, whether they are in the top 100 or in the ranks below,” IIT-Madras director M S Ananth had once said.

If old favourites Kanpur, Kharagpur and Madras have slid on the preference list of the top 100, the newer IITs in Roorkee and Guwahati do not even figure there. Senior faculty members of IIT-Guwahati said this was because of a low representation of students from the Northeast. “Assam is far away from most big cities. The metro IITs have become more attractive despite IIT-Guwahati’s very good placement record,” said a faculty member.

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