IITs cite low ROI and low interest among foreign candidates as there are no overseas exam centers for JEE Advanced


For the second year in a row, the Council of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) decided not to have a foreign exam center for JEE Advanced. What was the reason for the decision not to conduct the exam abroad last year? coronavirus Pandemic, this year’s move was driven by ‘low return on investment’.

Debashish Chakraborty, organizing president of JEE Advanced 2021, told indianexpress.com That no exam center has been finalized in any foreign country this year, partly because of covid and majorly because there are no candidates for the IIT entrance exam at the undergraduate level.

Foreign centers have low ROI

“Every year, the number of foreign nationals registering for the advanced exam continues to decrease. Like in 2020, this year also he had to come to India at his own expense to take the exam. Often, most of the applicants under the foreign student category are only from neighboring countries like Bangladesh and Nepal,” Chakraborty said.

Chakraborty said the institute is still tallying the exact number of foreign category applicants for JEE Advanced 2021 before the results. “Very few students have applied this year,” he said.

He said that conducting exams in a foreign country requires financial and human resources but it does not always translate into international students eventually joining IITs. Therefore, it was in the best interest to ignore such practices. “Those who are willing to join the premier institutes will write the paper wherever required,” he said.

Paramasivan Arumugam, Dean of International Relations, IIT Roorkee, agrees that IITs have not yet attracted the attention of international students for UG programs. There are approximately 144 international students enrolled in the institute, but all of them are in MTech and PhD programmes.

Not enough interest to pursue UG degree from India

“Most students prefer European countries along with US and UK for UG degrees, but South Asian countries come into the picture when students move towards specialization,” Arumugam said.

IIT Delhi professor, Siddharth Pandey, who was the organizing chairman of JEE Advanced 2020, said last year only a handful of foreign students applied for the exam and none could qualify. IIT Delhi also has about 98 foreign students, but all of them are enrolled in MTech and PhD programmes.

Minimum success rate

In 2020, around 209 Overseas Citizen of India (OCI), 23 Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and 23 Foreign National Category candidates appeared for the entrance exam. Out of which 4 were eligible under foreign national category, 16 under PIO and 133 under OCI. In 2019, a total of 807 students (including OCIs, PIOs and foreign nationals) had applied for JEE Advanced, out of which only one qualified. Only 51 foreign students had registered in JEE Advanced 2018. Of these, 36 appeared in the examination and 4 qualified.

“In 2020, 4 students who qualified were from Nepal, but they were studying in India for a long time. Foreign students are allowed to appear for the advanced exam directly without appearing for JEE Main, yet they are unable to follow the difficulty level and syllabus in their higher secondary classes,” Pandey said.

He said that Indian students start preparing for the exam well in advance. The top rankers often spend a few years preparing themselves for the exam. But, students who complete their schooling from abroad don’t always have the same syllabus and have to prepare separately for the entrance exam.

impact on global rankings

V Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi, agreed that not having enough foreign students at the UG level affects the global ranking of institutions, but “the parameters set by these organizations do not fully reflect the challenges faced by Indian institutions.” understand”.

IIT Roorkee professor, Arumugam echoed Rao. “Global rankings place great emphasis on enrolled foreign students at all levels and on international perceptions of an institution, but developing countries do not necessarily attract students from first-world countries. It may take a few more years for the IITs to release the rankings and become a magnet for UG students,” he said.

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