For the first time, IITs and NITs held a joint seat allocation process this year for admissions. While IITs filled most seats by the end of the third round, NITs and other central institutes had around 5,550 vacant seats after four rounds. To fill the vacancies, the ministry of human resources & development decided to conduct a special round. After a preliminary analysis by NITs, officials felt that having a withdrawal option after every round in the joint process would have probably helped reduce the vacancies.
Asok De, director of NIT-Patna and chairman of CSAB, said, "This year, since the withdrawal option was not available, many students allotted seats (not first choices) still took admission and blocked it till the fourth round. Later, when they got admission elsewhere, in state institutes or other leading ones, they left it." De added that if students were allowed to withdraw, these seats would have been available for students in subsequent rounds. But, he added, this is a preliminary observation and the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) will have to study the repercussions of providing the withdrawal option before recommending it in its report.
Of the 1.5 lakh students registered for the special round, only 2,300 were new; the others were also part of the four rounds of JoSAA and did not take seats for many reasons. Two of the 67 institutes which were part of CSAB refused to participate in the special round. "The 195 seats are vacant only because no student applied for them. The first joint seat allocation process was successful this year," said De.
After the four rounds of JoSAA, NITs and other central technical institutes had filled 17,793 seats. Of these, 14,072 students did not opt for a change in seat after allocation, while 3,621 opted for a better option. Around 1,400 students chose to opt for other programmes in the institute allotted, while over 2,200 opted for other programmes in other institutes.