Higher Education

Students from smaller cities hog top ranks at IIT

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The maximum number of students who have made it to IIT this year are from the Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi zones, but Bihar produced the all-India topper, Shitikanth. He will go on to join IIT-Kanpur despite a new IIT coming up in his hometown, Patna.

The all-India success rate dipped from 2.94% in 2007 to 2.8% this year. Mumbai too saw dipping fortunes, with only 5% making the grade as opposed to 6.7% last year.

The Mumbai zone also fared more poorly than last year. Despite 61,396 students taking the exam from the zone this year, only 2,551 cleared it. Last year, fewer students (45,246) took the exam, but more qualified (2,640). However, the Mumbai zone's qualifying percentage in 2008, 4.15%, was the highest of all seven zones. Kota, the coaching class mecca that is part of the Mumbai zone, had a success rate of 11.8%.

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In April, the IITs had announced that the 2008 Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) scores would be used to also admit students to the three new IITs coming up in Bihar, Rajasthan and Hyderabad. However, what came as a bonanza for students on Friday was that the IITs have decided to start campuses in Gujarat, Punjab and Orissa as well from this year. Sources said the “sudden” decision followed a directive from the HRD ministry that came on Wednesday. The six new IITs translate into over 700 more seats. This year, of the 3.11 lakh students who took the exam, 8,652 have been declared qualified to seek admissions to 6,872 seats in the 13 IITs.

This year too, JEE results saw students from smaller cities making it to the top ranks. Aurangabad-based Nishant Totla, whose All India Rank was second, said that he had been hitting his books for the past two years. “I sacrificed a lot for this rank. It was not easy,” he said. Today, the 18-year-old says he's never been happier.

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