GATE 2020: The number of applications for the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) has declined from 9.27 lakh in 2019 to about 8.60 lakh (8,60,112) this year. While the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi had in a statement released earlier said it was expecting 1 million applications, the decline was being linked with the protests against MTech fee hikes.
“The committee had recommended a uniform fee structure for M.Tech programme in all IITs and for charging the same fee for M Tech as in BTech programmes. Institutions are encouraged to move towards sponsored students or even sponsored programmes as per the requirement of industry,” the official said.
The GATE chairperson, in a conversation with indianexpress.com, commented that the two may not be connected. “It is difficult to ascertain as the registration data for the last 10 years fluctuated between 2.30 lakh to 12.0 lakh,” he said. The number of applications, however, was lower in 2018, 2017 and 2016 as compared to this year with 7.81 lakh, 7.87 lakh and 8.18 lakh candidates applying respectively.
For GATE 2020, the conventional courses remain a draw. Most applications flew in for Mechanical Engineering (ME) with 1,71,432 candidates applying while the least number of registrations came in for the Ecology and Evolution (EY) with 1,750 applications. In the newly introduced biomedical engineering (BM) exam, a total of 2,229 applications were received.
In terms of gender, males continued to have a sweeping lead like every year with 5,81,591 applications, followed by females at 2,78,469. The number of applications from the transgender category also increased, with 52 from the third gender applying for the exam this year. It is also to be noted that the announcement regarding the fee hike was made only a week before the final deadline to submit the registration fee.
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Despite the lockdown in the Valley following the scrapping of Article 370, over 10,000 from the region have applied for GATE 2020. As per the data provided by the GATE 2020 office, a total of 5464 candidates applied from Jammu-Samba region and 5140 from Srinagar. IIT-Delhi also provided a special extension for candidates from Jammu and Kashmir to apply for the exam.
Meanwhile, not all those who crack GATE opt for seats at IITs. Every year 15-20 per cent of M.Tech seats across IITs go vacant, revealed the response to a Right To Information (RTI) application. The seven old IITs alone had 280 vacant seats across MTech courses in 2017, as per the data. Read more.