Why most drop-outs from IITs, IIMs are from reserved category? -Shyna Kalra

-The Indian Express

In terms of IITs, the maximum dropouts are seen in IIT-Delhi, while at IIMs, most dropouts took place at IIM Indore followed by IIM Kashipur. At IIM-Kashipur, all the dropouts in the past two years were reserved-category students.

Out of 2,461 students who dropped out from Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the last two years, 371 students were from the Scheduled Caste (SC), 199 from the Scheduled Tribe (ST) and 601 from the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), informed the Human Resource Development Minister, Ramesh Pokriyal Nishank, in a written reply to the Parliament. In case of Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), out of 99 students who dropped out, 14 were from SC, 21 from ST and 27 from OBC category, as per the official HRD data.

This implies that nearly 48 per cent of students dropping out of the IITs and over 62.6 per cent from IIMs are from the reserved category. The percentage of dropouts for SC/ ST and OBC candidates is equal or more than that of unreserved category, while their number of admissions is below unreserved category candidates, raising concerns. While this can hint at discrimination against these candidates, there are also questions against a caste-based reservation system that allows reserved category candidates with lower marks to take admission in an institute.

In terms of IITs, the maximum dropouts happen in IIT-Delhi where a total of 782 candidates dropped out in the past two years, of which 111 were SC, 84 ST and 161 were OBC candidates. Among IIMs, most dropouts were seen in IIM Indore, where a total of 17 students dropped out in past two years, of which 9 were from reserved category. IIM-I was followed by IIM-Kashipuram where all 13 dropouts were from the reserved category (11 were OBC candidates and 2 ST category candidates).

The reserved category candidates have a lower cut-off criterion in the entrance exam, but once in college, the passing marks are the same for all. This makes experts wonder if students are unable to deal with pressure over their performance. Academic stress was cited as one of the reasons for dropouts, by the HRD.

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The Indian Express, 12 August, 2019, https://indianexpress.com/article/education/most-drop-outs-from-iits-iims-reserved-category-students-is-it-lack-of-merit-or-discrimination-5885823/?fbclid=IwAR2xGk

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