No SC/STs in six new IITs this year

14 Aug 2008, 0138 hrs IST,TNN
 
 
 
NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: The six new IITs will not have any SC/ST student this year. The 66 vacancies for them (19 for SCs and 47 for STs) will now be filled next year, over and above the prescribed quota. No decision, however, has been taken on the 68 vacant seats in the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad and 14 empty slots in IT-BHU (IT school in the Benaras Hindu University).

Meanwhile, preparatory classes in the old IITs will be larger than previous years. The number of students admitted to the year-long preparatory course is based on the vacancy of reserved category seats in each discipline in each IIT. As three of the total four seats reserved for Scheduled Tribe students in the chemical engineering stream at IIT-Delhi fell vacant, three ST students will be admitted to the preparatory course.

Taking that logic forward, the seven old IITs will admit 163 SC students and 216 ST students to the preparatory course, according to information put out by the joint admission board, and those seats will be considered as filled seats. Dhande and M S Ananth, director of IIT-Madras, hence said, all the reserved seats in the old IITs have been occupied. The preparatory course is a feeder class; it trains quota students for a year to equip them to qualify for the IITs. After a year, these students need to take a test and they are admitted to the IIT only if they clear the test.

But the preparatory course will not run in the new institutions which have 66 vacant seats. Recreating the Nehruvian style of institution building, the IITs have also decided to reach out to Indian researchers and engineers abroad to come back and join the new IITs.

¶In the 1950s, jobs were offered in canteens and offices. We have a goal of hiring 3,000 teachers over the next three years. We have decided to reach out to 50,000 engineers/researchers all over the world. Even if 500 come, it would be fine,¶ Sanjay Dhande, director of IIT, Kanpur, said after a meeting of the IIT heads here on Wednesday.

He also said it was payback time for the seven old IITs by mentoring the six new ones. Dhande said the vacancies of SC/STs of JEE 2008 in the six new IITs would be made available for the admission exercise of 2009 as a one-time measure.

This year, 3.11 lakh students took the JEE for 6,992 seats in 13 IITs. Of these, 414 seats were reserved for ST candidates, but only 159 were shortlisted. Similarly, only 690 were shortlisted for the 832 SC seats. The OBC figures were 1,099 out of 1,134. The IIT directors also said all attempts are being made to ensure the brand equity of the institutes does not get diluted.

Dhande said the new IITs had some of the best teachers. ¶When the existing IITs started in the 1950s, they were mentored by foreign countries. Now we are in a position to mentor the new IITs. We are not cutting corners in ensuring quality. The best existing teachers are going to these institutes,¶ Dhande said.

Ashok Misra, director of IIT, Mumbai, said the 40 shortlisted candidates for faculty positions in IIT, Ahmedabad, were among the best. However, the IIT directors refused to say anything about OBC reservation in the faculty. They said their proposal has been sent to the government.

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