For the second year on a row, the interested and aspiring candidates registering for JEE (Mains) examinations have gone sharply down. The number has fallen as low as by one lakh this year, compared to the last years’ dip to fifty thousand. Up to last week, 12.07 lakh aspirants have applied for the CBSE conducted national level joint entrance examination for this year. In the last year, 13.04 lakh students have registered for the examinations.
Maharashtra, has been highest in terms of number of applicants in the country (1.63 lakh), followed by Uttar Pradesh (1.50 lakh). Though Maharashtra has the highest number of applications, it has registered the highest steep and has dropped by almost one-third from the last year. The JEE (Mains) is taken up by students to get through to premiere technical institutes like IITs and NITs in India. Top 1.5 lakh students from the total number of students applied for JEE (Mains) will get through to appear for JEE (Advanced). The IIT council has decided to increase the number of selected candidates this year and made it 2 lakh.
The sharp decline in number of students applying of engineering examinations has been seen as due to waning interest of the students in engineering and availability of other professional courses to choose from. According to former national coordinator for Science Olympiads Vijay Singh, “For the last few years, the impression that an engineering degree does not guarantee you a job has percolated down the overall percentage of students. Engineering seats are going vacant dramatically in private colleges in several states. Unless they get admission in good college, many are not keen.”
Due to overall drop in the registrations in the country, there is a drop registered in Maharashtra. It was the participating institute in JEE (Main) until education minister Vinod Tawde announced to withdraw from the test this year and hold its own common entrance test named MHT-CET for engineering admissions. According to the Director of Directorate of Technical Education, K Mahajan, “Students who do not have the capacity to appear for the national level competitive exam for IITs and NITs will prefer skipping it altogether. The ones aiming to get into state institutes will favor the state’s CET.”
According to another official source, this constant changing pattern might have affected aspirants to move away from the examination this year. According to the official, “Also the JEE (Main) final scores are calculated by combining the test scores with class XII marks, which many students are not in favor of.”