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Monday, May 21, 2012

A Guide to JEE Counseling 2012

I have been writing the JEE Counseling article for several years. Every year, it was marginal changes from previous years, but last year, I pretty much wrote it afresh, and wrote as a blogpost instead of a document on my website. Here is the link. It was a very significant effort over several weeks, before I published it. Unfortunately, my current commitments do not allow me that luxury, not even enough time to update it adequately. In fact, I had more or less decided to not write anything at all, but I have started receiving so many emails that either I ignore all the emails, or I should write at least something here. I decided on the latter. I am assuming that before reading this article, you have read the last year's article.

I am not going to give you the detailed point wise advise with frequently asked questions. I am just going to say a few things about making choices.

First of all, do not try to find out placement statistics, do not be persuaded by high salary packages given to top few, or the number of companies that came to the campus. You should be concerned about flexibility of the programs - what is the chance that even if you did not get your first choice of discipline, you will still be able to do several courses in that discipline - either a liberal branch change policy, or the possibility of a dual major, or a minor, or at least so many electives that it is realistic to learn what you want to learn. You should be concerned about the campus life - hostels, festivals, sports facilities, etc. You may want to rank them on the basis of metro versus non-metro (both have their own advantages). You may want to rank them in the order of time taken to reach that place from your home. Any criteria will be better than placement statistics for the simple reason that placement statistics is not about you, we don't know how market forces will operate 4-5 years from now, there is no correlation between first month salary and career earnings, and there is just too much unreliability. So placement statistics only distort the admission picture.

Second, consider one or two disciplines that you feel passionate about (it is quite possible that you don't feel passionate about any one, but don't tell me that you are passionate about 10 disciplines). If there are no such disciplines, skip this para. If there are 1 or 2 such disciplines, then consider the top choice discipline. Relook your list of IITs in light of this discipline. Go to the website of the particular department of all IITs offering this discipline. Compare what you see there - primarily faculty. You may want to modulate the order of IITs for this discipline based on the websites. Do the same thing for the other discipline (if you have a second preference). Once you have filled up all IITs for these one or two disciplines, then fill up all other programs of your top choice IIT, then all programs of your next choice IIT, and so on. It is difficult to have passion for a discipline after 3-4 years of coaching. But one should still be able to decide what IIT one wants to go to, and fill up all the choices of that IIT before the next IIT.

Third, you should go to a place where you will feel wanted, where the faculty is keen to get good students, and are not just passively waiting for JEE to give them a list. Check if the Institute and/or department have a page dedicated for potential students. Do they tell you why you should join them. Do they at least have a frequently asked question section for the new students. Do they give some names, email addresses, and perhaps phone numbers too, of some faculty and/or students who could answer your queries. If not, send your queries to some faculty members anyway, and see if you get some response. This will give some indication as to how "student friendly" they are, and you should go to the IIT/Department which is student friendly. Modulate your order of IITs based on this as well.

Coming to what has changed since last year's blog. The biggest change is that Rajya Sabha has approved the amendments to the Institutes of Technology Act, which means that all "new" IITs will soon be able to give you degrees legally, and IT-BHU will soon be renamed as an IIT. This should result in some improvement of closing ranks for various programs in IT-BHU. I don't expect a large jump though, since it takes years to really improve the quality of an institute, particularly one which is already quite decent.

There is also a change in the counseling procedure. Now, IITs have introduced a mechanism to withdraw from counseling after the 2nd round. One will get back the registration fee (after a deduction of Rs. 1,000), but would not be eligible for the 3rd round. This is certainly an improvement over what has happened in the last couple of years. But more improvement was possible. Last year, I had suggested to several JEE Chairmen, including the Organizing chair for this year's JEE that a candidate be allowed to "withdraw" last N choices at any point in time. That would have been much more effective in filling up seats in unpopular programs. But, I digress.

Third major change is that they have given ranks to a very large number of students, which means that a much larger number of "JEE qualified" candidates would not get to study in IITs. I don't really expect the withdrawal process to have a significant impact on the closing ranks. If anything, they may turn out to be better this year, since I do not expect any OBC seat to be converted to unreserved this year.

Now, as I did last year, I would permit only a fairly limited number of comments on this blog. Only those comments will be allowed which provide additional information, advise, etc., to the readers of this blog. As far as questions are concerned, if there is a "philosophical" type of question, we can discuss that here. But if you want to discuss what you as a successful JEE candidate should do, please contact me on email. All the rules of last year apply (which basically means that your email should be readable to me). My email address is: sanghi AT Please do not ask me for my mobile number.


Grey Swan said...

As always, an excellent article Proff. Sanghi. I esp. liked the third point where you talk about joining a college where the student feels "wanted". I guess this is one area which gets grossly overlooked by prospective candidates in their research during the counselling phase.

I'm pleased to mention that the alumni and students of IIT BHU have jointly hosted an Online Counselling Forum to answer queries of prospective candidates.

Close to 35 volunteers have shared their contact info (email id, phone #) to take up any questions, even on a 1:1 basis.

-Sumit Thakur
B.Tech. Electrical Engineering
IT-BHU Class of 2007

Vikram said...

Reading this might be helpful for some of your readers.
I think the tone of that article is slightly condescending, but the points seem important.

Unknown said...

Can you please tell us what do you think of the engineering science course at iit-h?Do you expect the competition to be stiff for this branch?

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Ciby, I did not find any information about Engineering Science course on IIT Hyderabad website, not even a mention. I doubt whether a program which is not even mentioned on the website of the institute will attract students based on one paragraph in Counseling Brochure. Also, I believe the IIT Kanpur model of "Engineering Science" (which we will announce after a couple of months) to be superior. We don't offer this program at the time of admission (and hence you won't see this in the JEE counseling brochure). We will ask students from any discipline to migrate to Engineering Science if at any point in time they decide that they prefer a more broad-based education and less depth in any one discipline.

bgr said...

I secured a rank of 5446 in iitjee -2012 and belong to general category . I have a chance of getting B.S (chemistry) four year course in IIT Kanpur , B.Design in IIT Guwahati , M.Sc integrated (5 year course) in IIT Kharagpur , M.Tech in IT-BHU , all courses in ISM – Dhanbad .
I got 258 marks in BIT-SAT . I am likely to get M.Sc (Hons.)- dual degree(chem, biological sciences) in BITS –Hyd.
I am awaiting AIEEE result and likely to get rank around 9000 .
I request you to advice me which course I shall take . Finally I am interested in doing MBA’s in IIM’s .

snpadh said...

Dear proff Sanghi,
Your articles have guided me for counselling for my son with AIR of 2100+. It is a great learning experience for a non-technical parent like me who is from medical profession. Pl continue the good work.
Will u please guide me about the BS maths & scientific computing at Kapur? IIT K website does not mention about available OE/DE. what should I prefer 4 yrs program at IIT K & IIT Guwahati or 5 yr programme at IIT Kharagpur?

Anuj1201 said...

I have got rank 2393 in JEE-2012. After course completion I want to set-up my own small industry(taking it to higher levels in some years). Tell me which course i should go for, so that i can manufacture my own products( product might be a software). Whether those courses will be available in old IITs, and if not, will new IITs be good?

Unknown said...

i always had a wish to study at iit kanpur...but at my rank(4752) i may get only chemistry at iitk...will it be a wise decision take chemistry at iitk just because i feel like studying at iitk??

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Alok, You make it sound as if Chemistry people come from far away galaxies. Chemistry is an honorable discipline. But besides that, IITK gives you flexibility in terms of studying other topics as minors, dual majors, etc.

naruto said...

My AIR is 6300. By last year cut-offs ,I can get cources like mining {ism}=6539 , mining n machimery [ism]=6647 or mining related cources in ism. But this very year due to change in jee pattern , less number of jee selected students go for repeating [to improve their AIR].
So is their any chance of getting a seat in these cources ??
Second thing i am already a repeater so is it good taking me any 5 year cource because by that i will be 2 years behind of my contemporaries ??

Vin S said...

Going through your superb article I found out that you recommend IIT Gandhinagar and Hyderabad among the new IITs. That said there cutoffs are also relatively better than the other new IITs. I've got a rank of 3829 in JEE 2012 and would be obliged if you could point out which other new IITs are progressing nicely as of now.

Thanking you,
Vinay Saxena

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@bgr, For you the course does not matter. You only need a degree to become eligible for MBA, and you only want to have some connections for future career. So take up the minimum duration program in a place with strong, vibrant alumni association. None of the options you have mentioned have a 3-year or less degree. So take up any 4-year program, which is "easy" for you. I think IITK, KGP, BHU, Roorkee, and BITS, all have an active alumni associations.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@snpadh, As I have already mentioned in the 2011 blog, Maths and Scientific Computing programs are run by Maths departments, and will consist of majority of Maths courses, with some CS courses thrown in. In IITK parlance, "DE" stands for Department Electives, which means courses offered by the Department which are not compulsory for the program. "OE" stands for Open Electives, which means any course that is offered in the Institute, and which is not a compulsory course of the program. These courses are not listed, since there are simply 100s of them. Of course, in real life, the choice for electives will be severely curtailed because the student may not have the appropriate background (what we call as pre-requisites), or there may be a timetable clash, or there may be too many students interested in it, and there may be an upper limit on the number of students who can do this course.

Being a Dean at IIT Kanpur, do you think I can publicly say anything other than, "you must join IIT Kanpur, of course." But more seriously, think whether your ward will feel more welcome in IITK or some other place, if everything else is equal.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@naruto, I agree that the mess created by the Ministry in changing the admission process without giving out any details will make several students rethink their option for second attempt and accept whatever they may be getting this year. So closing ranks are likely to improve. But that is not germane to how you fill up choices. You should fill up all choices that you feel comfortable with. After all, there is a lot of speculation, and we really don't know what will happen, and how people will react to it.

What would go wrong if you start earning 2 years after someone else start earning. There are some people who will start earning after many more years, since they will do PhD also.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Vin, I am associated with IIT Gandhinagar, and visit them frequently. I am very impressed with them, and think that they are on the right path. I cannot comment on others.

Unknown said...

@sanghi sir,there is a page for the department of engineering science,which gives a tentative program also.Can you please take a look at that and tell me if it is good to make a R&D professional in the fields such as robotics?

chandan garg said...

respected sir,
I have got a rank about 5000 and i may get BS course in chemistry at IITK. I may also get cse at III Hyderabad.Should i go for IITK or IIIT Hyderabad? In IIT counselling if there are vacant seats in reserved categories are they diverted to general category?

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Chandan, We follow whatever is the law of the land. To the best of my knowledge, any vacant seats against SC/ST/PH quotas are filled up by preparatory students belonging to the same quota. Any vacant OBC (Non Creamy Layer) seat is converted to unreserved, but the chances of there being insufficient OBC (NCL) candidates are very low.

Siddharth Jain said...

Hello Sir,
I am regularly following and recommending your blog from past one year. I have been guiding several students every year in choosing the branch and colleges during IIT AIEEE Counselling. I just want to know your opinion about IIT Roorkee and ISM Dhanbad as students are quite reluctant to join them especially ISM. From my students studying there I am getting information that courses like M.Sc Tech in Applied Geology and Geophysics are really good.Please brief me more on what you think about them. Because lack of complete idea hinders me from expressing such suggestions strongly to the students.

Unknown said...

respected sir,
This year in iit jee all students from sc and st candidates have been called for counselling
I want to then why the preparatory list have been prepared when so much extra stud

Unknown said...

Dear Sir,
I am strongly inclined towards CS and not because it relates to good pay but because i really like the subject. I got JEE rank 8922 so i'll not get CS there. I got 320 in BITSAT so i will get CS in BITS goa and hyderabad. I also got AIR 1055 in AIEEE so i'll get CS in all NITs like surathkal,warangal,trichy and also IIIT Hyderabad. Sir which wud be the best option ? I have read elsewhere in your blog that CS at IIIT hyderabad is excellent..

Amin said...

i wanted to do Btech in CS or other courses such as eng. physics, physics. I got Msc physics in Roorkee and accepted the offer,but many of my friend are saying that there isn't any scope there except teaching. could you help me about my future and type of jobs could i get ?

snpadh said...

Dear Prof Sanghi,
Your blog had been of great help for my son's admission for IIT in 2012. His rank was 2100+. At present he is a happy & proud student of IIT Kanpur.
While selecting a branch for IIT we found that many bright students with 2000+ rank in JEE think that they have to make a compromise for branch selection. But after reading this blog we experienced that at this rank many exciting & promising branches are still open even upto rank above 4000.
For that I have prepared a very detailed excel sheet with a data of
(1)opening & closing rank of all the branches in IIT for last 3 years
(2)Individual IITs
(3)Old & New IITs
(4)Individual branches
(5)Group of branches
(6)4 & 5 years courses etc.
This data can be of great help for future IIT counselling.
I do not know how to attach this excel sheet in this blog. Please guide me how to share this data.
DR snpadh; ahmedabad

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@snpadh, You may send it to me by email.