Observers attribute this downward trend to a multiple reasons: Increased options for colleges, both at home and overseas, change in pattern of entrance examination and marginal decline in the ‘IIT frenzy’ among candidates from the two states. But what, according analysts, stands out as the most telling reason is the branching out of Hyderabad-based coaching centres to other parts of the country.
“While in the past, most IIT (Indian Institutes of Technology) aspirants from other states descended on the city to enroll themselves with coaching centres here – known to churn out scores of successful candidates every year – they now have the same institutes available closer home. As a result, these students are no longer counted as part of the Madras zone, which comprises all southern states,” said an educationist, attributing this ‘trend’ in the fall in IIT-ian numbers in Telangana and AP.
Incidentally, the two popular IIT academies, Narayana and Chaitanya, have recently started operations in states such as Karnataka, Kerala and Rajasthan – the state that topped the national list this year. Of the 9,974 who qualified to the IITs in 2015, a whopping 1,965 are from the ‘coaching town’ of Kota in Rajasthan.
Some experts, however, maintain that the quality of students appearing for IIT entrance has dipped over time. “In fact, even those qualifying aren’t doing well after joining the institutes. And that’s because many take to rote learning – some from as early at Class VI – to secure a seat. But by the time they join their course, they lose interest in engineering,” said Ananda Raman, mentor and director of FIITJEE, an IIT training institute.
This year, 770 students from Telangana and 776 students from Andhra Pradesh made it to the premier institutes. While for a decade united AP secured 20% seats in the top-notch engineering institutions, this year only 9% seats were cornered by students of the two states. Over 18,000 candidates had appeared for the JEE advanced from both states in 2015.