Ever since the IITs stepped out of the country to conduct their entrance exam in 2008, this is the first time that they will not be travelling out to hold JEE, hamstrung by the Covid pandemic. But that has not hampered the plans of aspirants. As many as 89 foreigners, as well as candidates holding Overseas Citizen of India cards and persons of Indian origin, have registered to take JEE(A) here. While foreign students directly take JEE (A), Indians from across the world have to take JEE (Main) to qualify. This year, JEE (M) was held in September.
“As our faculty could not fly outside India, we expressed our inability to conduct JEE (A) in foreign countries. But students have paid fees to take the exam here. So, they will come to India,” JEE (A) organising chairman Siddharth Pandey said.
IITs reserve 10% supernumerary seats for foreign students. At present, the 23 IITs have a total of 12,461 seats. Outside of India, JEE (A) is usually held in Kathmandu in Nepal, Singapore, Dhaka in Bangladesh, Dubai in UAE, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, and Colombo in Sri Lanka. Not this year, though.
Last year, 807 foreigners had registered for JEE (A), but merely 53 took both the papers and only one qualified.
Meanwhile, more than 1.6 lakh candidates from India of the 2.5 lakh who had qualified after JEE (M) have registered for JEE (A). “For these candidates, we were able to allocate a city among the eight preferences that they provided in their registration forms. We did the best considering the pandemic and the scale of operation,” said IIT-Delhi director Ramgopal Rao. “Nearly 1.3 lakh candidates (or 85.4%) have been allocated the first choice of the city they had opted for, while 97.9% of candidates got an exam city among their top three choices.”
In 2019, of the 2.5 lakh eligible candidates from JEE (M), 1.7 lakh had registered for JEE (A).
All physically challenged candidates, irrespective of whether they paid their exam fees or not, were allocated their first choice of exam centre. “Last year, JEE (A) was conducted across 600 centres in India; this year, the centre count is 1,000,” said Pandey.
Of the 5,320 candidates who have not yet paid their exam fee, 40.5% were allocated an exam centre which was their first choice. “These are students who have completed their registration partly but have not paid their fees. Therefore, they were given the least preference. This is with the assumption that they are unlikely to attend the exam. They will have to pay the fee at the centre to be able to take the exam,” Rao said.