IIT-Bombay rules the roost among JEE 2012 toppers
Till two decades ago, the brightest and the best minds hankered for a seat in IIT-Kanpur. Preferences, however, have changed dramatically. And now Bombay is the new Kanpur.
Since 2005, IIT-Bombay, the second oldest IIT, has been consistently attracting the largest chunk of the best Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) rank holders. This year, 86 of the top 100 candidates listed IIT-Bombay as their preferred destination.
Kanpur, on the other hand, has just one. This relatively young trend, however, throws up an interesting question.
Why can’t IIT-Delhi — rated the best across magazine surveys and considered on a par with Bombay in terms of faculty and facilities — manage to do the same? This year, IIT-Delhi stands a distant second with just 12 candidates of the top 100 rank holders opting for it.
Why the trend?
The yawning gap, according to professor G. B. Reddy of IIT-Delhi, cannot be attributed to just one factor. The reasons giving IIT-Bombay an edge are mostly trivial, he says.
“It will be unfair to say that probably IIT-Bombay has better faculty as it is really not the case. We are as good as them, but sometimes a reason as small as climatic conditions can become the deciding factor. The Capital’s weather is extreme. There are students who even prefer IIT-Bombay for the charisma of its host city,” said Reddy, who is also the organising chairman of IIT-JEE 2012.
Mumbai - a safe city
IIT-Delhi also takes a hit because of the Capital’s poor reputation in terms of safety.
“Mumbai, on the other hand, is the city that never sleeps,” said a student who did not wish to be identified.
And there is, of course, the all-pervasive advice of elders and coaching institutes, which is mostly based on perception, but plays a crucial role in what students opt for at the time of counselling.
“At that age, career choices are based on advice and not on any solid research. It’s when you join an IIT, irrespective of Delhi or Bombay, that you realise there isn’t any difference in the quality of the education imparted,” said Amir Zeb (21) , a student of chemical engineering at IIT-Delhi.
Strong ALUMINI base
ANOTHER factor, according to IIT-Delhi’s faculty, that works in favour of the institute in Bombay is the fact that for the last few years, a large number of top 100 JEE qualifiers are from the southern states and their first choice is naturally closer home — in Mumbai.
This logic, however, is questionable as this year, several rank holders from among the top 100 from Punjab have chosen IIT Powai over Delhi.
Shivan Garg (all India rank 66), from Chandigarh, Viplab Jain (all India rank 26) from Sangrur district in Punjab and Bijoy Kochar (all India rank 2) from Mohali did not list Delhi as their first preference even though it’s closer home.
All three have got a seat in computer science in IIT-Bombay. For them, the institute’s strong alumni base and its subsequent effect on placement influenced their choice.
“Mumbai is the financial capital of the country and many companies are headquartered there. There is a strong perception that it’s natural for them to tap talent in IIT-Bombay then travel all the way to Delhi. Plus, IIT-Bombay has also tapped into their alumni base quite well and that again helps the recruitment process,” said Garg.
Meanwhile, the Centre seems to be sticking to its stand on the validity of the new JEE format, as the human resource development ministry will soon write to the joint admission board of the IITs to prepare the modalities for conducting the proposed common entrance test.