New Delhi, June 20: The Indian Institutes of Technology have announced nearly 400 extra BTech seats this year, all of them up for grabs in some of the new tech schools that have come up since the nineties.
The number of seats in other institutions - such as the 31 National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and the 22 Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) - are, however, likely to remain the same.
The increase in the number of IIT seats is evident from the break-up mentioned for each tech school on the website of the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA), the agency established by the human resource development ministry to manage and regulate admissions to 92 tertiary institutes administered by the Union government.
According to the website, the IITs that are set to announce the first round of seat allocations on June 28 will offer admission for 10,962 seats this year - a rise of 387 over the 10,575 seats offered last year.
An official in the IIT Council said the tech schools' top decision-making body headed by HRD minister Prakash Javadekar had last year decided to increase the number of seats at all levels. Later, though, the older IITs had said they couldn't increase the seat strength at the BTech level.
"There is scope for expansion in the new IITs. They have increased their strength this year," the official said.
Among the new tech schools, IIT Ropar has increased its number of seats from 155 to 260 this year while IIT Bhubaneswar has added 90, taking its BTech seat strength to 350 from 260 last year.
The other IITs that have increased their seats are Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Patna, Guwahati, Jammu and Roorkee.
While IIT Guwahati was established in 1994, the others, except Roorkee, came up in the last 10 years.
One of the new tech schools, IIT Palakkad, has reduced its seat strength by three - from 123 to 120.
The number of seats in IIT Kharagpur, the oldest among the IITs, remains unchanged at 1,341.
Nearly 50,000 students, including 7,000 girls, have cracked this year's JEE-Advanced that IIT aspirants need to clear to enter the premier tech schools.
The IITs have decided to set up a special web desk to clarify the concerns of girl students, realising that many don't take admission after getting offers because of safety issues.
Over 100 women teachers, students and alumni run the initiative that would advise women candidates on the facilities available and a range of extra-curricular activities, including sports and cultural and literary events.
IIT Delhi had last week held an Open House exclusively for female candidates to explain to them what education meant in an IIT.
In the NITs the number of seats remains unchanged at 19,000, while the IIITs will offer 4,000 seats. These institutions will hold seven rounds of counselling together so that no candidate can block seats in more than one.
The NITs will hold a separate eighth round of counselling this year to fill up vacant seats, if any. An NIT director said the government was planning to amend the statute of the NITs to allow admission of students from other states against vacant seats under the 50 per cent domicile quota.
Each NIT has a domicile quota for students of the state concerned but they must have cleared the JEE-Main examination.
Many seats remain vacant every year in NITs in the north-eastern states. An NIT Council meeting that Javadekar chaired last month had discussed this issue.