THE MINISTRY of Human Resource Development set up a three-member committee headed by IIT-Kharagpur Director Partha Pratim Chakraborty on Tuesday to suggest ways to reduce the number of seats falling vacant at IITs and NITs every year. The move comes in the wake of almost 3,000 seats falling vacant this year despite six rounds of joint counselling for the IITs, NITs and centrally funded technical institutions. Of these, 73 seats were lying vacant at the IITs and 1,518 at the NITs.
Though the HRD ministry had initially considered the option of holding another round of counselling after students made representations to the President, it finally decided against it as it was way past the August 15 deadline set for admissions by the Supreme Court.
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The panel, set up by the HRD Ministry on Tuesday, is expected to submit its report in three weeks.
Sources said the committee has been asked to consider a number of options, including scrapping of fee refund in case a candidate does not join the institute. Currently, an aspirant pays Rs 1 lakh to block an engineering seat at an IIT, but is eligible for almost a complete refund after three to four months in case he takes admission elsewhere. This, sources said, encourages students to block multiple seats across different institutions, resulting in vacancies eventually.
Another option discussed on Tuesday was that students should be allowed to register again after the academic session begins. This would allow aspirants to change the course they had opted for which would help fill up the vacancies.
It was felt that students, who register again, might miss a few weeks of the first semester, but would be able to make up the backlog quickly.