The admission process for IITs and NITs is likely to remain separate for yet another year as the software for the complete database of students who have cleared the entrance exam and are eligible for counselling is not yet ready.
In an order issued in August 2014, the Delhi High Court had directed that common counselling for IITs and NITs should be implemented from the 2015-16 academic year, after a PIL filed in 2010 had pointed out that a number of seats in the institutes were left vacant because students shifted from one to the other.
On Wednesday, the counsel for IIT-Bombay, which is organising this year’s admissions process, informed the Delhi High Court bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw that the common counselling software would take “at least 3-6 months of testing” before it can be implemented.
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Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, who appeared on behalf of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, also told the court that the National Informatics Center was scheduled to demonstrate the first phase of the synchronised counselling software to the IITs on March 24, which would include a common portal to be used by the IITs and NITs to offer seats for admissions on the same date.
“IITs are not able to solve their own software problem, that does not sound right. What do you say to your clients?” the court observed after the counsel for the IITs said that the delay in implementing the common admission system was because the NIC had not provided proper software.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who had appeared on behalf of the petitioner, also pointed out that the Ministry of Human Resource Development, in its affidavit filed earlier this year, had stated that the joint seat allocation process will be implemented from this year. Bhushan also pointed out that the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) had created a software to manage admissions last year, which had been rejected by the IITs.
The court has now directed the IIT admissions administration and the ministry to submit its report on the NIC demonstration on March 25, and has observed that the “directions” to have a common counseling system “have to be implemented”.