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Is IIT Kanpur losing its charm to Delhi and Mumbai?

July 07, 2014 13:00 IST

Is IIT Kanpur losing its charm to Delhi and Mumbai?

Sharat Pradhan

Among the first 100 candidates who cleared the IIT-JEE this year, only two successful candidates have chosen Kanpur. 

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur may have traditionally enjoyed the elite position among India's premier engineering schools.

However, unlike in the past when Kanpur was the ultimate destination for most toppers who cleared the joint entrance examination to the various IITs, the institution seems to have gradually lost its halo.

The results of the latest entrance examination shows that not one of the top ten rankers have opted for Kanpur.

Even among the first 100, only two successful candidates chose Kanpur.

As per available records, 41 of those placed between 101 and 200 ranks opted for Kanpur, while barely a dozen chose Kanpur between the 201 and 300 rankers. The same was the case with those who figured between the 401 and 500 ranks.

Bulk of the lower rankers have finally landed at the Kanpur institute, which for decades was regarded as among the most sought-after IITs in the country.

Faculty members at the IIT believe this to be a changing trend largely on account of the growing preference among youth for the metropolitan cities.

"The IITs in Mumbai and Delhi have become the most favoured destinations of most successful candidates now," says a senior official of the institute.

According to him, "58 of the first 100 went to Mumbai, while 36 opted for Delhi."

Significantly, the top ten rankers split equally between Mumbai and Delhi.

Even among the remaining ones, the larger preference was for Chennai ,thereby giving the impression that metros were the first choice of those securing higher ranks in the joint entrance commission.

Metros were also preferred because a large number of successful candidates hailed from those cities.

"Those who higher in the all India merit list preferred Mumbai, Delhi or Chennai also because many of them belonged to those very cities", the official pointed out, while adding, how "there was also a tendency among those hailing from smaller cities to grab the first opportunity to go for the metros."

Established in 1960 as India's second IIT, the Kanpur institute was part of an initiative to conceive a grand design for technical education in India.

The IIT Kanpur was ranked as the No 1 engineering institute of the country in the June 2007 edition of India Today, which has more recently placed it at number three position in a similar survey by the news magazine.

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Image: The Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur is no longer the first choice among IIT-JEE toppers.
Photographs: Johannes Bader/Wikimedia Commons