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Friday, August 7, 2015

757 dropouts from IITs, 717 from NITs in 2014-15: Minister

Contributed by JAKE CARTER on August 5, 2015 at 11:43 pm

“The reasons for dropouts may be attributed to shifting to other colleges/institutions, personal reasons, medical reasons, getting jobs during PG courses, inability to cope with academic stress etc”, Irani said in a written reply.

In some IITs, students who have more than three to four backlogs during the first two semesters, find it hard to pursue the remaining course and this might lead to dropouts, said S Sundar, chairman of IIT-JEE. IIT Roorkee saw the most dropouts at 228, followed by IIT Kharagpur, 209, and IIT Delhi, 169.

Though the number of IIT dropouts is growing every year, the IITs had preferred to opt for an “exit policy” aimed at plugging seat vacancies that occur when students quietly drop out, instead of taking concrete steps to stop the dropouts.

There are 16 IITs and 30 NITs in the country.

Of the NITs, there were 717 dropouts in 2014-15, lower than 785 found in the year-prior period.

In a major relief to students, IITs and NITs will refund the acceptance fee after deducting minimal processing charges in case a student gives up his allotted seat to take admission in any other institute including private one. The administration is resolved to deliver issues identified with academic stress, she included.

She said that the IITs had initiated continuous corrective actions to minimise dropouts, including counselling to de-stress students, guidance and counselling unit headed by faculty members and appointments of advisors. It lives up to expectations almost alongside various staff advocates and consultants to “recognise students confronting emotional challenges and aide them to expert guides for help”.

Referring to the member, the Minister said his indication that “children in the IIT ecosystem and IIT family are committing suicides because they are unable to keep up with the pressure that the academic environment in the IIT has, is incorrect”.
Irani told the House in response to a question that IITs have extensive support systems to help students overcome barriers such as language and their progress was monitored on a monthly basis.

The issue came to light after the IIT-Roorkee recently expelled 73 students for their under-performance and later took them back to give another chance for improving their performance amid an uproar in the political circles as most of these students belonged to the reserved categories. AIADMK member M Thambidurai, while asking a supplementary question in the Lok Sabha, drew a comparison of figures and sought to know from the HRD minister why the students were moving out from “reputed institutes” like IIT Roorkee, Mumbai and Delhi in high numbers but not from similar institutions like IIT Madras.