STRUGGLING TO implement the 10 per cent quota for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) within the two-year deadline set by the Central government, the IITs have decided to request a year’s extension from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) of the IITs, held on Sunday.
“Due to infrastructural constraints faced by all the IITs in accommodating increased student enrollment, it was suggested to write a letter requesting MHRD to consider the implementation of 10% GEN-EWS quota (25% total increase in seats) over a 3-year period instead of currently notified 2-year period,” state the minutes of the meeting.
All centrally-funded educational institutions have been directed by the government to increase their overall student strength by 25 per cent, over two years, to accommodate the 10 per cent EWS quota.
This increase, former HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had said, would ensure that the existing number of seats for SC, ST, OBC and general category students does not face cuts. To introduce the EWS reservation without affecting the seats meant for existing categories, the IITs have to increase their student intake by 6,708 seats.
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Of this, the IITs planned to add roughly 2,300 seats this year and the remaining next year. While the premier engineering institutes have honoured their commitment for the first year by adding 2,325 seats, they lack the hostel facilities to accommodate another 4,400 students next year.
“We increased seats last year to introduce a supernumerary quota for girls and now more for EWS quota. We are packed to our full capacity at this moment. One of the older IITs is not in a position to add so many seats even in three years,” said an IIT director, who did not wish to be identified.
“The JAB is expected to write the letter (to the ministry) in a day or two,” the director said.