While most engineering aspirants dream of getting into India's premier engineering institute, the Indian Institute of Technology, around 750 candidates of the over 18,000 who cracked JEE (Advance) recently, have opted out.
According to information available, of the 18,061 candidates declared eligible to seek admission in 16 IITs and ISM Dhanbad, only 17,311 had registered themselves for admission. This implies that 750 who had qualified don't wish to study in IIT or ISM.
"This number could go up as some candidates tend to drop out even after seats have been allotted," said a highly placed official.
Over 27,151 candidates have got through JEE (Advance) with 19,416 in common merit list, 6,000 in OBC (NCL), 4,400 in SC and 1,250 in ST merit lists.
"Of the 19,416 candidates, only 18,061 were allowed to register due to the limited number of seats. However, only 17,311 have filled the option form, a mandatory step for seeking a seat in IIT or ISM," said K Narasimhan, chairman, JEE at IIT Bombay.
Experts say that while many of those that have opted out may have chosen foreign universities, some may have preferred studying in BITS or some other private universities rather than studying in the "not so good" IITs.
"While five older IITs are still the top five choices of aspirants, newer IITs based in Ropar, Mandi, Jodhpur, Hyderabad, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Indore and Gandhinagar are rated below Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) and National Institute of Technology (NITs). These poor cousins still operate from rented campuses and struggle on parameters like infrastructure and quality teachers," said a professor.
"Their placement records and average salary packages are not so encouraging while BITS and some of the NITs have better track record," said a student.
Seat allocation for IITs and ISM is currently going on. The first merit list was announced on July 1. Over 9,784 seats are up for grab this year.
Prof Narasimhan said: "No seat will remain vacant as we have chosen twice the number of candidates vis-a-vis available seats unlike the previous year when we took only 1.5 times the required number."