Can you actually believe it? Not all seats in IITs were taken up this year too! There are 23 IITs in the country today and they together offer 10.998 seats. Of this, in 2017, the number of vacancies after seven rounds of counselling stood at 121 v/s 96 last year; it has only been gradually increasing, up from 50 vacant seats in 2015 and three in 2014. In the big picture, 121 might not seem like a big deal but the point to be noted here is that there is an increasing trend of vacancies. Why is it that with each passing year, more and more seats are staying vacant?
Those in the know blame it on the 50% state quota system and then there are othe reasons too – youngsters increasing opting for other courses, right from English literature to architecture. Maybe the pressure on children to opt only for engineering is coming down slowly?
The other reason could also be unpopularity of certain courses due to their value in the job market. Like of the 121 vacant seats, 32 seats were vacant in IIT Varanasi alone and this was in two courses - pharmaceutical engineering and technology, and ceramic engineering. Other vacant seats were in chemistry, biochemical engineering, bio-technology, architecture, physics and mining engineering.
So the mainline demand – computer, mechanical, civil, electrical; all these continue to do well, which in turn means, the pressure continues!
Maybe over a period of time, people will opt for other vocations in life but that can happen if, and only if, there is assurance that they can earn a decent living from other vocations too! In India, education is important only because it helps you earn a living and it is less about empowering the mind.