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Education Plus

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Better chances for IIT aspirants

J.S. BABLU

Thanks to the setting up of new Indian Institutes of Technology, the number of seats on offer has increased.


The last date for the receipt of filled-in IIT- JEE application forms at the JEE office is December 24.




CAMPUS FRESH: A group of IIT students on their new campus in Medak, Andhra Pradesh.

The opening of six more Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) in 2008 has led to an increase in the total number of seats and improved prospects for IIT-JEE aspirants. Till 2007, there were seven IITs—at Kanpur, Kharagpur, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati and Roorkee. Six more—at Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Patna, Punjab and Rajasthan—were added to the list in 2008. Admissions were made to these new IITs during the 2008 counselling period, taking the total number of IIT seats to nearly 6,000. (This also includes a nine per cent increase in number of seats to comply with the OBC reservation in phases).

For the academic session of 2009, two more IITs—IIT Indore and IIT Himachal Pradesh—would be added, increasing the number of seats by 240. Also, another nine per cent increase this year would mean that the total increase is nearly 500 seats. This provides a splendid opportunity for the students from Kerala to compete at the national level to grab the maximum number of seats.

Institutes other than IITs which base their admission on the Joint Entrance Examination ranklist include the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi; the Indian School of Mines University, Dhanbad; the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research at Kolkata, Pune and Mohali; the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram; and the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology, Rae Barely, Uttar Pradesh.

The Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE) is considered one of the toughest engineering entrance examinations in the world. Only one in 60 students manage to secure admission to an IIT and nearly 3 lakh students compete for the seats. Even prestigious institutes like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offer better chances for applicants.

Increase in seats

Rough estimates reveal that the total number of seats in 2003 was 3,571 seats; 4,978 seats in 2006; 4,693 seats in 2007; and 5,521 seats in 2008.

Under the current pattern of the examination, there are two papers, each of three hours’ duration. Both question papers will contain questions from chemistry, mathematics and physics. All questions are of the objective type. Incorrect answers will carry negative marks. Earlier, the pattern included a preliminary objective type test followed by a main descriptive type test.

“The students will have to sit for six hours in a day for the examination. This itself tests the student,” observes Narmada Subash, centre head, T.I.M.E. coaching institute, Kozhikode. The student will have to practise a lot of mock question papers to familiarise themselves with the gruelling six hour exam schedule.

According to Ms. Subash, the IIT entrance examination is different from the Kerala engineering entrance examination and the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE). For IIT-JEE, the focus would be on concepts and problem-oriented questions. “Moreover, there is a juggling of concepts and application of two or more topics to one question itself. The Kerala entrance and AIEEE focus on time and accuracy, but IIT-JEE have fewer questions than the other two. The student will take more time to answer the questions in IIT-JEE,” she says.

There would be subject-wise cut-off. The various Olympiads and the National Science Talent Examination are some of the examinations that focus, like IIT-JEE, on concepts and problem-oriented questions.

However, the number of Kerala students taking these examinations is very low due to the lack of awareness among the students of the State. IIT-JEE is an examination where preparation of just two years may not be enough. It would be appropriate to start from the eighth standard itself. Students should build up on their foundations of mathematics, physics and chemistry, even more so during the Plus One and Plus Two stages, she says.

A candidate can attempt JEE only twice, in consecutive years. For eligibility regarding age and education qualifications, log on to www.jee.iitm.ac.in.

Important dates

The last date for the receipt of filled-in JEE application forms at the JEE office is December 24. The joint entrance examination will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on April 12, 2009. Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Thrissur and Kozhikode are among the test centres.

The architecture and design tests will be held on July 11 and 15, 2009 respectively, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


The last date for the receipt of filled-in IIT- JEE application forms at the JEE office is December 24.


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