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The first round of counselling is over and out of the 34,000 seats available for filling, the number of seats that are left vacant is as staggering as 645 for IIT alone, with an overall count of 7,335 seats left unfilled including NITs and IIITs.  

Earlier until 2014, a large number of seats would go vacant for students had two different options and they applied in both. Resultantly, choosing one would mean leaving the other with a vacant seat. To address this problem, from the year 2015,the Joint Seat Allocation Authority(JoSAA) came up with a new system wherein students cannot block two seats and have to choose only one seat once it is allocated. If the student does not get his/her desired institute of course in round one, he/she can participate in the second round and then accept a seat of choice without blocking any of them. As per the current process, even if a candidate gets a better opportunity outside JoSAA, there is no provision of surrendering his/her seat. A seat once blocked will remain blocked and will not be allotted to other candidates despite the original claimant wishing to withdraw admission. The JoSAA brochure reads, “There is no option to withdraw from seat allocation or to surrender an allocated seat other than by rejecting the seat.” If a seat is still rejected by a candidate, the candidate can no longer be a part of JoSAA seat allocation and will also lose his/her seat acceptance fee effectively. 

“This is just the first round and we can only comment on the status and reasons behind vacancies after all rounds are done,” said an admissions official.

This year, even top IITs like IIT Bombay and Delhi have 24 and 17 seats vacant respectively after round one, while IIT Kharagpur, which has the largest number of seats to offer at 1,343, has filled 1,252 of its seats. While computer science remains the most popular choice among IIT students based on the choices filled by them last week, IIT-Bombay officials said they were yet to compile a course-wise data on admissions for round one.

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