NEW DELHI: An extended merit list for JEE Advanced-the entrance test for admission into 23 Indian Institutes of Technology, was released by IIT, Kanpur on Thursday in an unprecedented development, following a direction by the Union Human Resources Development ministry.
The new list has 31,980 candidates instead of 18,138 students who were earlier declared as qualified on June 10. The direction by the ministry, issued late on Wednesday night, clearly said that a supplementary list is published which should have twice the number of total seats on offer in each discipline and each category --general as well reserved categories, late on Wednesday night.
IIT, Kanpur had been insisting that a pool of about 18,000 students was sufficient to fill around 11,279 seats on offer-even though concerns were expressed by many that several seats---particularly those for girl candidates and reserved categories-could go vacant this year. This was also reiterated in an emergency Joint Admission Board meeting on Wednesday where the IITs had decided against lowering the cut-off percentage of 35.
"After the instructions from the government, a new list has been prepared with 25 per cent aggregate cut-off for general category students," Aditya Mittal, chairman of JEE-Advanced at IIT, Delhi told TNIE. "Cut-off in the reserved categories have also been lowered to make an extended list category-wise."
Another meeting of JAB was called on Thursday to discuss the development. Earlier HRD minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted saying: "Responding to requests from students and the IIT community to pro-actively ensure that all reserved seats are duly filled, I have directed @IIT Kanpur conducting JEE Advanced to make available candidates, strictly as per merit, twice the number of seats in each category."
Authorities at various IITs pointed out that the number of candidates who qualified the exam has always been at least twice the number of seats on offer but that was also because certain grace-marks were awarded every year on accounts of error in examination papers. "This is probably for the first time that the examination was fully glitch-free and not a single grace mark was needed to be given which resulted in only about 18,138 making the cut at pre-declared 35 percentage (for general category)," pointed out an official in examination organising committee.
Dheeraj Sanghi, a teacher of Computer Science at IIT, Kanpur said that the government had done the right thing by asking for a supplementary list. "This year, in addition to about 11,000 seats on offer-there are also about 800 supernumerary seats to be allocated to girl students and I think a pool of about 18,000 students will be very small for about 12,000 seats as many high ranking students in OBC and SC/ST category also get seats through general category," he said.