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As IITs, IIMs focus more on professional courses, drop-out rate declines

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal in his written reply to Lok Sabha stated, "This has been achieved by taking a number of corrective measures to minimise dropouts, which includes the appointment of advisors to monitor the academic progress of students and peer assisted learning."

Written by Arnab Mitra | New Delhi | Updated: April 14, 2020 5:10:40 pm
Drop-out rates in IITs, IIMs declined significantly The drop-out rates in IITs declined significantly

In the last five years, there was a significant decline in the drop-out rates at national institutes like Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs), Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs). The drop-out rates in IITs in 2015-16 was 1626 (2.25 per cent) which went down to 910 (0.68 per cent) in 2019-20.

While in IIMs, it was 1.04 per cent in 2015-16, which was reduced to 0.78 per cent in 2019-20, as per the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) data. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal in his written reply to Lok Sabha stated, “This has been achieved by taking a number of corrective measures to minimise dropouts, which includes the appointment of advisors to monitor the academic progress of students and peer assisted learning.”

Data as shared in the Parliament. (Graphic by Gargi Singh)

According to IIT-Delhi director V Ramgopal Rao, the improvement in the dropout rate is due to various measures taken by them including classes on professional courses, English language, peer-supported learning, better campus placements. “Of the dropouts, most left as they could not follow classes as teachers teach in English. Keeping that in mind, IITs started classes on English language in 2019 for students who lack fluency. This helped them and many scored better in the second year than their first semester,” the director commented.

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The institute also approached the senior students to conduct sessions, which included doubt clearance classes by various batches for those who could not perform well in the classes. Meanwhile, when it comes to the postgraduate (PG) level, the dropout rate — which is always higher than undergraduate (UG) — is due to candidates getting better placements and not having co-ordination with GATE-based recruitment system, the director mentioned.

To combat this, the institute has suggested the formation of a Common Offer Acceptance Portal (COAP), to centralise the GATE-based recruitment process. The common window (COAP) will connect the PSUs, candidates and the institute; this system helped institutes like IIT-Madras to reduce the dropout rate in postgraduate level, the official informed.

Every year 15-20 per cent of M.Tech seats across Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) go vacant. The IITs blame the unsynchronised admission process by the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) as the major reason behind the dropouts.

In the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Madras), where there were no dropouts since 2018, the institute’s scenario changed when it started providing professional courses to students which benefited them in getting jobs. “We provide classes on various topics related to industries, and language skills. The students update themselves with various pros and cons of the industries, and English”,” said the official from IIT-Madras admission cell.

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The university has also started the Common Offer Acceptance Portal (COAP) to check the dropout rates among MTech students. “The COAP portal provides a common platform which connects students, the institute and recruiters. The recruiters get the opportunity to submit the offer letter, and the candidates get the opportunity to revert in a timely manner,” the official noted.

In 2018, out of the 301 students who got admission across MTech courses in IIT-Delhi, 74 students dropped out leaving 24.58 per cent of the seats vacant. At the IITs in Mumbai and Madras, the number of seats left vacant were 45.01 per cent and 19.25 per cent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the dropout rates in the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) went down to 0.78 per cent, with at least 13 IIMs not counting any dropout rates in the last academic year 2019-20. IIM Sambalpur Director Mahadeo Jaiswal said, the last dropouts was witnessed in 2016, when 30 per cent students left the courses midway. But from 2017, the institute has not witnessed any dropouts.

The significant and rapid improvement is due to the various professional based classes conducted by the B-school. “The institute conducts classes on various IT and professional courses, and other peer supported learning and bridge courses. The initiatives by the institute help students in their professional world and.lead to decline in the dropout ratio,” the director said.

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