The number of first year students opting for a change of branch at IIT Bombay has doubled since 2010, indicating that performance in the institute is a better indicator of academic capabilities than their rank at the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE). According to data provided by the institute, the numbers were 32 in 2010 and went up to 68 this year.
The reason, according to Prof P C Pandey, associate dean of academic programmes at IIT Bombay, may be due to flexibility in the eligibility criterion.
As per changes introduced in 2011, a student with a cumulative performance index (CPI) above nine is now permitted to change from branch 'A' to 'B', strictly in CPI order, provided that the strength in branch B, to which the change is being sought, does not exceed its sanctioned strength by more than 10 per cent.
"Earlier, a student who scored a CPI of nine may not have been able to change their branch because the rules said the numbers in branch A could not go below its sanctioned strength. As per the modified rules, there is no restriction on the strength of branch A, which may go well below its sanctioned strength, during the application of this rule," said Pandey.
The branches, where the maximum number of students have been able to get a change this year, are BTech in mechanical engineering (13), BTech in chemical engineering (12), BTech in computer science and engineering (10), dual degree in electrical engineering (nine), BTech in electrical engineering (seven) and dual degree in mechanical engineering (seven). In 2012, the top three popular choices were BTech in mechanical engineering (11), dual degree in electrical engineering (10) and BTech in computer science and engineering (nine).
In a major shift in another rule, for students to be admitted from 2014 onward, those wanting to opt for change of branch may be allowed to do so solely based on their performance at IIT Bombay and not on the basis of branches to which they were eligible at the time of admission through JEE, which is one of the possibilities at present.