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Monday, June 1, 2015

A Guide to JEE Counseling 2015

The last time I wrote a comprehensive guide on JEE Counselling was in 2011. I became Dean of Academic Affairs at IIT Kanpur soon afterwards, and for the next three years, I could not write (but for minor updates). I could not write because of the problem that as a Dean in IITK, I could not say that IIT Bombay Computer Science is better than the CSE department at IIT Kanpur. (I always suspected that the reason to make me a Dean was to ensure that I don't ask students to prefer other IITs.) On the other hand, if I said that IIT Kanpur has great student life, everyone would have suspected that I am following the duties of my office and should not be taken seriously. Now that my term is over and there is a bit of time before I assume the next important role, I can squeeze in a few of my thoughts here.

There is another reason for this update. This time, we are having a joint counseling for admission to all IITs, NITs, and IIITs. So the strategy for filling up the choices would have to be fine tuned. Till last year, students could decide on the choices within IIT system independent of NITs and IIITs, get offers in both groups, and then finally compare those two offers. However, this year, because of the joint counseling, you will have to take the call of comparing what IITs have to offer and what NITs/IIITs have to offer on a program to program basis. Not an easy task, but as we will see below, not very difficult either.

This is, of course, a very long guide. Sorry about that, but I do have a lot of things to say, and I will say them whether you like them or not.

First of all, congratulations on a remarkable feat. There are about 2.5 crore people who are born in a year and survive till their 18th birthday. And considering that one gets two attempts at Advanced JEE, there are about 5 crore potential candidates for those 30,000 seats. And if you are in the top 50,000 candidates who have a reasonable chance at one of those seats, then you really should feel happy about yourself. Of course, it is easier said than done. In my last 10+ years of JEE Counseling, I have hardly come across students and parents who are happy with their performance. Everyone has a story that they lost some marks by a silly mistake. That they deserved a better rank. Stop cribbing. This is celebration time even if you don't get your first preference. And cribbing won't change the reality anyway

Second, tell your neighbors, extended family and other nobodys who have gathered in your drawing room to congratulate you that there is more to life than money. That choosing the right program is a serious matter, and that IITs and NITs do offer programs other than Computer Science.

A lot of readers know me, but still I should disclose my interest in some of these institutions. I am working at IIT Kanpur for more than 20 years. I have taught at IIT Bombay for a semester. I have had research collaborations with faculty members in IIT Delhi. And I am a guest professor at IIT Gandhinagar. (The disclosures are important since I think these four IITs are amongst the best, and you can discount my recommendation if you think it is due to my association with these IITs.) Of course, I have visited most IITs at some point in time or the other, and I have friends in most IITs.

Let me also add that I have no association with JEE. I am not their spokesperson. They did not pay me to write this note, and indeed they would be happier if I didn't write this note. (And I would have been happier if they indeed paid me to write this note.) If any of my views here match the views of anyone in JEE or for that matter anyone in any IIT, that is purely co-incidental.

Very importantly, I am not responsible for your decisions, even if that decision is based on the advice on this page. If you agree with any suggestion on this page, follow it at your own risk.

While I have taken reasonable care to give correct data and processes, I take no responsibility for correctness of any piece of information on this page. Before you take a decision based on information provided on this page, please check from authentic source. Here is the link to JEE Website. 

An advice before you actually start giving your choices. Please don't save on typing effort. Fill in as many programs as would be sufficient to ensure you admission to one of them, unless of course, you are not interested at all in some of them. Every year, we have an odd unlucky soul, who filled in a few choices, does not get any of them, but could have got admission to another program if s/he had filled in that choice as well. And at the end of counseling, s/he is trying to figure out if somehow admission can still be given. Sorry, wouldn't work.


Follow your passion. First and foremost advice on ranking your choice. Do what your heart says. You can convince your brain later. If you always wanted to be an Architect, fill it up on the top. (Of course, you will have to give an aptitude test for this particular choice. Don't be deterred by it.) Your success in life will depend not on which industry vertical you are doing a job in, but what is your performance in that job. And your performance will depend on your love and passion for that job (assuming that you can pick up technical skills in every field, and your soft skills will be same irrespective of the discipline).

Don't worry if you don't have a passion. Most students don't know what they want to do in life, and it is ok to be in that state. And this guide is meant for those who don't know what they want to do.

Don't be shy if your passion is to make money. That is a pretty common passion too. But then you have come to the wrong page. I am not an astrologer and I can not predict what sort of jobs will be the highest paying jobs 50 years from now, and what program you should take today to be ready for those jobs after 50 years. But there are far too many astrologers on the net who would confidently tell you that Computer Science has a larger scope than everything else in the world (not withstanding the fact that Computer Science graduates have the highest unemployment rate in India). Please take their advice. I, frankly, don't even know the meaning of the word "scope." You see I studied in Hindi medium in school.

Which IIT has the best placement record? I have deliberately put this question on the top. This is the question that I hate. IITians shouldn't be worried about jobs. They should be job creators, or go for higher studies, and in any case would get a decent job irrespective of which IIT they join. So why should this be a factor at all in the decision making. But I take it as that the current generation is more enlightened than us oldies, and they know that the world revolves around money. They also know that professors are poor people who want everyone else to remain poor and who are very jealous of the huge packages that some of their students are getting these days. And it is that jealousy which is causing them to advice new students to not worry about packages. But happiness and money are just two faces of the same coin.

OK. So here is the answer. I don't know the placement record for all IITs. But from whatever little I know, I can conclude that IIT Kanpur has the best placement record. Of course, I don't expect you to believe me. After all, your coaching center told you that it is IIT Bombay. You also decided (even before reading this blog) that you want to join IIT Bombay. And you had convinced yourself that your decision to join IITB was because of placement record. How will you now justify joining IITB. Last year's closing rank does not sound an exciting reason (though it is a better reason than placement). So the best is to disbelieve this information.

So what is the story. The thing is that any IIT can claim best placement using incomplete data. If you are a frequent visitor to quora, you will see IITB guys telling everyone how many companies visit them, perhaps more than any other IIT, about double the number that visit IIT Kanpur. You will be told that the percentage of students getting a job from on-campus placement is very high, that the mean, median of those offers is very high, and the number of people getting 50 lakh+ offers is very high, etc. IIT Kharagpur folks were busy last December telling everyone that they had hit a record 1000 jobs in the first round of placement, something that no IIT has been able to do. You could get similar statistics from other IITs as well. When I read this 1000 job news, I asked my placement coordinator, and he asked, is 1000 out of 2000 better or 500 out of 700 better. I hope you get the point. OK. So IITB gets 100% more companies, and they have 20% more graduates. Can I say that the number of jobs offered by companies in IITB is substantially less on an average than the number of jobs offered by companies in IITK. After all 100% more companies are not offering 100% more jobs, but only 20% more jobs. So companies like IIT Kanpur and give more offers.
 
There is a small fallacy in the argument which I will leave to you as a homework exercise to find, but the point again is that placement data can be given whatever spin you want to hear. What I would consider as important statistics (percentage of students getting jobs, median salary, percentage of students getting foreign jobs, etc.), there is no statistically significant difference across IITs of the same vintage (and to the extent there is a small difference, and to the extent such data is available, IIT Kanpur is indeed doing better than others).

Which are the best IITs. Amongst the older IITs, IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay and IIT Kanpur are my favorites. And amongst the new ones, IIT Gandhinagar is really a very exciting place (and I would want my son/daughter to study there, if they could only get through JEE, even if they had a choice of other older IITs). But please read the disclosures again, just in case you have forgotten my links with these four places.

My choice for D/B/K is based on not just my knowing more about these three institutes than other older IITs, but is based on the assumption that the older 5 IITs have a lot of similarity in the quality of faculty, quality of infrastructure, and so on. And I place a huge value on whether the campus provides a liberal outlook. What is allowed and what is not allowed. Will my ward ever get into trouble because of certain views s/he held, or because s/he criticized the Director or some other important person with a huge ego. And there is no doubt in my mind that till a few years ago, Kanpur would have been a clear winner here. The influence of the founder Director, Prof. P K Kelkar and the Kanpur Indo-American Program (KIAP) is still visible on the campus. But I think over a period of time, Bombay and Delhi have caught up with us (and may be we have declined too).

And, of course, IIT Gandhinagar is a world of its own. The kind of innovation they have made in everything, I am quite envious of them. I just wish IIT Kanpur could borrow those ideas. Till last year, I was a bit hesitant in saying it so strongly because a temporary campus can not provide all what is needed for your education. But they have started moving to the permanent campus, and students joining in 2015 will be spending all 4 years on campus. Their 5-week foundation program is exactly what you need to unwind after the hectic 2-4 years of JEE preparation. Having a larger humanities and social science component in the curriculum is what you need for success in your career on a long term basis. They also happen to be very serious on issues like copying in the exam, which is a rarity in today's India. And they perhaps have empowered their student body more than any other IIT. The freedom that you have to do anything. You are treated like an adult, unlike other institutes. It is an amazing place. (But again, let me remind you to not hold me responsible if you take decisions that align with my recommendations. Find out more. Do your own research and take your own decision.)

IITs versus IISc/IISERs: If you are interested in science and can get into Indian Institute of Science, stop right here. Don't waste your time in reading about IITs and NITs. IISERs - I don't know enough. But I have more friends in Pune and Mohali who vouch for their quality, and I trust them. The IISER programs are much more flexible. They expose you to all branches of science, which is, in general, more important to a scientist than to be exposed to several engineering courses (and those courses which haven't really been prepared keeping the needs of the scientists in mind, but focus on engineering needs). But certainly having an engineering exposure can be rather useful to some areas of science, particularly those areas which require a lot of experimentation. The other advantage of studying science in IITs will be the interaction with a broader set of students and faculty, and of course, IIT alumni associations are bigger.

IITs versus going abroad: IITs over the last decade or two have been changing their focus from under-graduate teaching to research. Even earlier, I didn't think that they were in the same league as the top universities of the world even for under-graduate education. I recall that when I was a graduate student in University of Maryland, College Park, we would have this discussion on whether I would recommend a person from Mars (or from Venus, for that matter) to study in IITK or UMCP. We invoked the person from outer space to avoid the answer - a place culturally closer to you. And even at that time, when IIT Kanpur perhaps had the best teaching focus and I had really loved my four years here, my stay in UMCP had convinced me that purely from learning perspective, someone was better off at UMCP. Since then, the focus on UG education has decreased in IITs.

So purely from the perspective of quality of education, I would say that going abroad is better. But, of course, IITs are not bad. They are the best institutes in India, and one really has to see whether the difference in the cost is worth the difference in the quality of education. And, of course, this discussion is meaningful only with a handful of people who can afford the foreign education. The other strong point in favor of IITs is their alumni association. In your career, you would, of course, be supported by the quality education that you receive in a college, but you would also need support from a lot of people who can open doors for you. And IITians have this strong habit of helping fellow IITians, and not just alumni of same IIT, but even different IIT. And given that IITians have occupied a lot of top positions in every sphere, this support is very important. And finally, the culture angle. At a young age of 17-18 years, adjusting in a very different culture is not easy and can cause adjustment problems.

So, overall, I would prefer an IIT over a foreign university.

New IITs, Newer IITs, Newest IITs: I hesitate to recommend the newest four IITs this year. These are the ones in Goa, Tirupati, Palakkad, and Chattisgarh. I wouldn't want you to go to a place where there is no Director. As we have seen in the previous round of establishing IITs, the first Director plays an extremely important role in shaping the institute. The mentor IITs can help by providing initial faculty and other support. The government can help by providing temporary campus and initial funding. But the leadership can make all the difference between a good IIT and an also ran. And remember that establishing new IITs when you have only 7-8 IITs was easier than establishing new IITs when you have 16 (and we still don't have depth in our PhD and research programs to support the existing 16). So you will be taking a huge risk by going for an IIT without knowing the leadership.

The ones that were set up in the last decade are now somewhat established. The leadership in some of these IITs was an issue and they have not progressed as much as some others have. Don't ask me to name those IITs or their leaders, but suffice to say that I rate IIT Gandhinagar very highly and I have a lot of respect for what Prof. Desai has been doing at IIT Hyderabad. But since the issue that you will face is whether you should prefer one of these IITs or an NIT, I would have no hesitation in recommending these IITs over NITs and IIITs. (But only these 8, and not the newest 4.)

IITs versus NITs and IIITs: I think the joint counseling will cause this question to become a prominent question this year. And I am an unabashed IIT supporter, a card-carrying member, if you want to call me that. I would consider the older IITs, including the ones set up in the previous decade, as superior to even the best NITs and IIITs. But I wouldn't recommend the newest four IITs as strongly. I think you should find out which are the better NITs and IIITs today, and place them above these four IITs. (This blog is not about NITs and IIITs.)

There is a huge difference between an IIT and an NIT. The budgets are much lower for NITs. The infrastructure for IITs as a result is of much better quality. IITs have traditionally attracted better faculty. IITs have traditionally attracted better students. And, in general, IITs have got better leadership. The interference and micro-management by the government is way too high in NITs compared to IITs, which means that many people don't want to be Directors there.

But there is a caveat. If you have identified your passion, and that discipline is not available to you at your rank in an IIT, then I would suggest that you follow the passion. Fill up that discipline in a good NIT instead of another discipline in an IIT.

And while you may want to fill up choices from NITs too, but if you are getting admission in an NIT, do think of alternatives like IIIT Delhi, IIIT Hyderabad, and BITS Pilani.

 Should I prefer the institute or the discipline: If you know your passion, follow the passion. Fill up that discipline in the top in all IITs and good NITs/IIITs. Be willing to consider institutes outside this group for your studies. However, if you don't have a particular interest, then select the IIT you want to be at, fill up all disciplines in that IIT (you may, of course, have a negative list of disciplines that you don't want to study, which you may avoid). Then go to your next favorite IIT, fill up all or most choices, and so on.

Does the city matter? Should I join a Metro-IIT. I don't think the city matters at all for under-graduate students. In fact, the strength of IIT Kanpur for all these years was that the city offered very little and hence IIT Kanpur had excellent social interactions, student-faculty interactions, large number of student activities, providing important leadership training. Also, the non-metro campuses are usually much larger, greener, have better living spaces and overall life is so much more comfortable. The weekends at non-Metro campuses wouldn't mean that half the hostel is empty as everyone has family or local guardians. Of course, things are changing in the last few years. The Metro IITs which were very regional in nature are attracting students from all over and becoming cosmopolitan. And non-Metro IITs are being shunned by many city dwellers, are becoming more regional and less cosmopolitan. Overall, I wouldn't consider this as a parameter to decide the order of my choices.

Should I just fill up the choices in the order of last year's closing ranks: That is certainly a better strategy than tossing a coin. But there are several problems with this strategy. First of all, you miss out on some newer programs, who because they were new had a large closing rank. And since most students don't read this guide or ignore this guide and follow the logic of last year's closing ranks, the closing ranks change rather slowly. For example, I think one of the most exciting program in IIT Kanpur is that of Economics. When it started, it had a really bad closing rank. The closing rank has improved every single year (even though the number of seats in the IIT system are increasing every year), and will certainly become a very hot program in a few years, it is not preferred by many students and parents simply because its last year's closing rank was not so good. The same thing can be said about IIT Gandhinagar programs. The first year closing ranks were really random and not based on anything to do with academics at that IIT (no one knew anything anyway), and the closing ranks have changed only very slowly since then.

But if you have no desire to do any research (then why are you reading this?) and have no interests or preferences, and essentially are only bothered about a piece of paper after 4 years, then this is a better method than random preferences. And one advantage of filling choices based on last year's closing ranks will be that it is easier to get a program change from more popular to less popular program, and very difficult in the reverse direction. So if you are in doubt between two programs within the same IIT, it is better to get admission into a more popular (as represented by last year's closing rank) program and seek program change after a year, if desired.

I want to do MBA after IIT: There are several related questions. Is there good CAT coaching available near particular IITs. Second, which program would help me most if I am not interested in science and technology but want to go for management.

The answer to the first question is that every IIT (to the best of my knowledge) has CAT coaching nearby. My friends in Mandi (arguably the smallest town having an IIT) tell me that you can get CAT coaching there too. So that is really irrelevant. And increasingly, any way, the coaching will shift to online. So place won't matter much.

The answer to the second question is that you should select a program which has a larger closing rank, because that is likely to give you less competition within the IIT, giving you enough time to both indulge in extra-curricular activities, and build leadership experience, and also to focus on CAT coaching when the time comes for that. What will help you in your management career are your problem solving skills, which you will enhance in every discipline in an IIT.

You should prefer a 4-year program over a 5-year program. If you are not getting into an R&D or technical career, a master's degree in that discipline is not a very intelligent thing to do.

You should also consider joint BTech and MBA programs. IIT Kanpur offers them, for example. (You choose them after you have completed 2 years at IIT Kanpur. So won't find admission to such programs from JEE.) I believe IIT Kharagpur also has similar option. These programs will save you the hassle of giving CAT and go through the admission process of IIMs, and you also save a year in the bargain.

4-year under-graduate versus 5-year dual-degree programs: I would always keep the 4-year program at the same IIT in the same discipline at a higher preference than the corresponding 5-year program. Making a commitment for Master's degree just after 12th class is not something that I like. If you plan to do master's later on, most IITs would give you an option for program change, and even if they don't, I would prefer to spend extra time than make such an early commitment.

On the other hand, if the option is between a dual-degree program of your choice and an under-graduate program in a different discipline, then I would suggest that you follow the passion, and choose the dual-degree program. You will get an extra degree in your area of passion, and in that one extra year you would be given financial assistance. And you are likely to get a "higher" end job rather than a routine job.

Also, within the dual-degree programs, I would prefer the dual-degree programs which leave the choice of specialization to the 3rd or 4th year compared to the dual-degree programs which force you to choose the area of specialization at the time of admission.

If one is serious about R&D or technical career, then getting admission to a four-year program in an IIT which allows easy migration to the dual-degree program after a couple of years would be the best. (And, IIT Kanpur is perhaps the most flexible IIT as far as moving to dual-degree is concerned.)

Can I get a program change after a year, if I work hard and perform well: All IITs have rules to allow a limited number of students to change their program. However, the total number of students who will be allowed to change the program will be small enough that you should not plan your career around a program change. For example, in IIT Kanpur, which now has a reasonably liberal program change rule (compared to other IITs), would still require you to get an 'A' grade in every course in both the semesters of the first year to shift to Computer Science. Certainly not an easy thing to achieve.

But if you still want to know more about program change, the counseling brochure is likely to have a description of program change rules at all IITs. (They had it till last year, and hence I am assuming it will be there this year too.) From what I recall, IIT Gandhinagar had amongst the most liberal program change rules.

Of course, there are nuances in those program change rules, which will not be obvious from the counseling brochure. For example, at IIT Kanpur, if you choose to get admission to the Chemistry program, you may not be allowed a program change even if you have a very good first year performance. (And hence unless you are absolutely sure about liking Chemistry, don't give this option assuming program change.) 

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Edit on 28th June, 2015:
A clarification on Chemistry branch change at IITK. IIT Kanpur has a rule which states that due to branch change no program can have a student strength less than 55% of the sanctioned strength of the program. Chemistry, in most years, operate at 60-65% of the sanctioned strength, since many students who are allotted Chemistry do not join finally. So in a typical year, only an odd student is allowed to have a branch change. We do not have this problem of hitting the lower limit in any other program (based on recent years' data.) So we can have someone going from Metallurgy to Civil or vice versa even at a CPI of 4.0 (out of 10), while a Chemistry student with a CPI of 7.5 may not get a chance to shift to either Civil or Metallurgy.

Of course, since this time we have joint counseling, it is possible that seats in Chemistry will not be vacant as much as have been the case in the past, and hence you will be able to get a branch change out of Chemistry. But I would warn you anyway and suggest that you avoid taking Chemistry if you are concerned about branch change. If you want to study Chemistry or if you want to study in IITK irrespective of the discipline, then you may choose Chemistry. And for lovers of Chemistry, I may add that IITK department of Chemistry is one of the best Chemistry departments in the country. 
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ISM Dhanbad or IIT Dhanbad? The current government seems quite keen on converting ISM into an IIT. If you care that the piece of paper that you hope to get after 4 years says "Indian Institute of Technology" then it appears reasonably safe to opt for ISM. But don't blame me if somehow political situation does not allow conversion to an IIT. I would not really care for IIT conversion either way. I think they have an excellent reputation in some fields like mining and that reputation will not enhance by change of name. In fact, with a change of name, it takes time for the message to spread and in the interim period sometimes people may think it is a new institute and hence you lose the advantage of previous name also.

I am in top 50 ranks, can get my first choice, should CSE at IITB be that choice?
Yes, of course. I think the Computer Science Department at IIT Bombay is really excellent, and pretty big too. This means that you would have a good choice of electives too. In the recent past, they have also encouraged technology based startups. There is really nothing I can think of which could be negative there, except when you have everyone from top 50-60 rank, the competition can be really tough. If you want to relax a bit, come to IITK.


I am in top 200, will miss IITB CSE, what next, CSE at other IITs or EE at IITB?
How badly you care for Computer Science. If you always wanted to be a Computer Scientist, then go for CSE at IIT Delhi or IIT Kanpur. But if you are asking this question, perhaps you have a doubt regarding your preference for Computer Science. In that case, choose Electrical at IITB. Electrical Engineering at IIT Bombay is also a very large and very strong department.


I am in top 500. Can't get into IITB. Should I prefer CS or EE? Math and Computing at IITD?
I don't know enough about EE, but from outside, it appears to me that EE is a much more difficult and challenging program, while anyone can do Computer Science. We in CS departments believe in inclusiveness. Everyone who can think logically, is welcome. But these EE types want only those who are good at Mathematics. I find EE guys to be always serious, while computer science guys are always looking for more fun. (My bias, of course.)

But more seriously, the world is fast becoming inter-disciplinary. After doing Electrical Engineering, you would be able to pick up Computer Science stuff easily (we are accessible to everyone, remember), but not vice versa. So many people today have started preferring to study Electrical in their under-graduate degree with a minor in Computer Science or even do a Master's degree in Computer Science.


By the way, some IITs have two separate program on Electrical Engineering and Electronics/Communication Engineering. On the other hand some IITs have a single program called Electrical Engineering. In this question, I am suggesting ECE in IITs where they have two programs, and of course, EE in IITs like IIT Kanpur where the name is same and it allows you to specialize in either ECE or Power.

And given that my preference is for a program in Bombay, Delhi or Kanpur, and you do want to study Computer Science, then definitely consider Math and Computing at IIT Delhi. But remember it is a program offered by Mathematics department. So you do have to do many Maths courses, and some CS courses will be taught by Maths faculty. So it is not the same thing as a full-fledged under-graduate program in CS offered by CS department, but you get to learn what you are interested in learning. You can learn enough to get a job in IT industry. You can learn enough to get admission in MTech or PhD programs in Computer Science. But it is certainly not the same thing as doing a CS program, and you will end up doing a large number of Maths courses, which you may not be interested in.

I am in top 1000. How is CS program of IIT Roorkee. How about Engineering Physics.
If you are passionate about Computer Science, why not consider IIIT Hyderabad and IIIT Delhi. I would consider both these programs as superior to IIT Roorkee program. On the other hand, if you are not sure about your interest, and you only want an IIT degree, there are good programs available in other nearby IITs.


The programs on Engineering Physics differ significantly from one IIT to another. These programs invariably include several Physics courses, but what differentiates them from MSc (Physics) courses are the courses from other disciplines. Some IIT may have substantial amount of Electronics in the curriculum, while another one may have material science, and yet another one may have courses from a diverse set of disciplines.

So, please read the JEE brochure, or visit the website for more details before deciding which program matches your interests. But, in general, they are great for those who really wish they could study Physics, but parents are forcing them to study "Engineering" and everyone else is telling them how important it is to get a "BTech" degree as opposed to an "MSc" degree.


I am in top 1500. Why do people not prefer IIT Guwahaty? Is it safe?
To the best of my knowledge, IIT Guwahaty is as safe as any other IIT. The real problem is connectivity. The number of trains is very small, and getting a reservation can be tricky. If you are good at planning your trips or can afford to fly in case of an urgency, there is no problem in choosing IIT Guwahaty. They are well-established by now.

But do not ignore Economics at IIT Kanpur, and don't think that Civil Engineering only means standing in sun for hours every day. And IIT Gandhinagar remains a very exciting destination.

I am in top 2000. Are there jobs in Civil Engineering?
Of course, there are jobs. Good core jobs. You will be building India - the highways, the high speed rails, the airports, buildings and what not. You will also be entrusted to safeguard our environment. You will have to ensure that the next earthquake does not cause damage to our buildings. There is just too much of work. The initial salaries may be lower, but a few years down the road, you won't have regrets.

I am in top 3000. How are programs in Manufacturing, Industrial Engineering, Textiles, and Metallurgy.
Simple answer. I do not know. But why are you not considering new IITs (not the newest IITs). You could get to study a discipline, which you might be more interested in, and you might also have more fun studying there.

But if you are keen to study only in old IITs, you should know that pretty much everyone in an IIT is likely to get a job, and a large number of persons would not be in their discipline soon after their graduation, anyway. So in that sense the discipline does not matter. What IITs give you is not just learning in a particular discipline, but train you for life-long learning. The kind of learning environment you will find in IITs is difficult to replicate elsewhere.


I am in top 4000. What engineering programs (BTech) can I expect to get.
You are likely to have a large number of options. At least the last year's closing ranks in many programs (BTech) are after 3000 and even beyond 4000. Any in any case, you should fill up all the options that you are willing to study and leave it to the providence. If you get admission, celebrate. Otherwise, celebrate any way. But remember, if you are looking for programs in pure science, consider IISc and IISERs as well.


I have got a 4000+ rank in my first attempt. Should I go for a second chance next year, or should I join whatever I am getting this year.

I don't recommend that you drop a year. It is a false perception that repeating a year makes it easier to get a better rank. The perception has been created because everyone who repeats and gets a better rank tells the world about his improvement. But everyone who repeats and does not get a better rank just keeps quiet. While it sounds obvious that given more time to repeat the subject, one will gain more practice, more knowledge and all that to get an improved rank. But in reality, maintaining focus for one more year when you knew that you couldn't succeed last time is very difficult.

The only situation in which I would agree with the proposal to drop a year is when the student can clearly identify reasons for poorer performance this year (like medical, or family issue), and those reasons are not likely to recur next year.

And, there are several programs that based on last year's closing ranks are likely to close after 4000. Then there is Design program in IIT Guwahati, which is very good. You should study the Counseling Brochure carefully to find out the likelihood of getting a branch by looking at the last year's closing ranks. Please note that last year's closing ranks are just guidelines, and in some cases, the closing ranks can vary substantially from one year to the other.

I have a 5000+ rank in Advanced JEE, but a better JEE rank. Should I give preference to NITs.
If you are interested in a specific discipline and you have already filled up that discipline in all IITs where it is available then you may add NITs to the list. However, if you are not interested in any specific discipline then prefer all older IITs and all programs including science programs before you start filling NITs and IIITs. Of course, as I said above, the four newest IITs starting this year may be ignored this year.


Whom to contact for more information:
The first source for all information is JEE website and the counseling brochure.
The second source for information is the website of the institute and the department that is offering this course.
If your query does not get satisfied this way, contact a faculty member and students in that discipline in that IIT. If they respond, that would be great. If they don't respond, then perhaps they are not interested in you. You shouldn't be interested in them either. Remember, you have a choice today. Also remember, some IITs or some departments may have set up facebook page. Search the social media. 

Can we contact you for more information.
I will be glad to answer your further questions, if time permits. But looks very difficult that I would be able to answer many queries. I am out of country till 24th, and then I am shifting from Kanpur to Delhi in the next one week, and this will really be the time when you would want to send that email. But can't help it.

I do not wish to discuss JEE Counseling on phone. Please do not call me. Please contact me only on email, and that too only on my personal email id, and not on the IITK email address. You can send me email at: sanghi[AT]gmail.com (Remove [AT] and replace it by @.) Even on email, I will not be able to answer all the queries. I get far too many emails, and I prefer to respond to those emails, which are easily readable, and where the question is very clear, and not something that I have already answered in this page. Please don't ask me what can be available at what rank. First read the JEE Counseling Brochure for 2015, which you should be getting soon. Last year's closing ranks are available on the Advanced JEE page. My guess at how closing ranks will change this year will be as good as yours. Further, if you send me an email, please note the following:
  • Emails with SMS like language are not readable.
  • Emails with all capital letters are not readable. (It amounts to shouting.)
  • Use of Roman script for Hindi words is discouraged.
  • Use proper punctuation marks, and capitalize the first letter of every sentence.
  • And please do not ask me for any speculative counseling. Please write to me when you know your rank and all other details.
Best wishes.

EDIT:  (On 23rd June, 2015).
I am rejecting most comments here which are asking me to compare option X versus option Y. Most of the comparisons are with respect to institutes other than IITs, and this blog is about options within the IIT system. Second, I want the focus to remain on how to select rather than what to select. As I have said above, "what to select" can be discussed on an individual basis on email, if I have time. I have so far replied to more than 50% of the emails and hope to continue doing so in the next few days. I would not respond if the language is difficult to understand (as stated above) or it asks me to do a lot of work. Clear direct questions with short answers are easy to answer.

48 comments:

Mridul said...

Dear Sir,

I agree that JEE gets a lot of media coverage, mostly because of it being written by 4.5 lacs + students.

I will really appreciate if you can do a similar coverage for GATE. Specifically covering a PG in India, or abroad. If in India, MS(Engg.) from IISc, MTech from IISC, or MTech from IITs.

The amount of research/rigor, freshness yet deeply rooted courseworks, academic reputation of faculty/institute, infrastructure and facilities available can be few criteria which you can compare the institutes.

I agree that Gate has subject specific exams and each institute may have its own strengths. It will be great if you can cover other than CS as well.

Thanks,
Mridul
IITK Y10 BTech

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Mridul, It is very difficult to do it for post-graduate admissions. It is assumed that at that level, the students are more mature, know more specifically what they want, and the availability of faculty and infrastructure in specific areas is a significant factor. They can do their own research, or can ask their respective faculty members. So they have access to resources (their faculty) which is far better than a generic blog by me.

Also, each Institute is looking for specific strengths in students, and thus do their own tests/interviews and very few really take direct admission through GATE.

Manish Kumar said...

When I was IITB-CS(2000-04), only CS department, we used to thought better than us was IITK-CS!!
and most credit goes to Prof. Manindra Agarwal("Primes is in P" came in that period).
I still remember, after that paper came, our algorithm prof. spend full lecture to explain its beauty and how it is easier to do quality research in India in CS than other discipline.

Pankaj Saraf said...

Dear Sir,

It is really nice article on selecting an institution on quality parameters from educationalist point of view. Your suggestions are really really useful for students.

I wanted to raise my concerns over the lagging of cultivation of technical entrepreneurship in India. I have a vision for self-dependent education system, leading it to self-dependence in technology.

Have some suggestions/feedbacks over different layers of educational institutions of India. Some of the articles I have written already.

It would be my pleasure, if you go through one of the petition, I have written for MHRD:
I have been thinking the education below IIT/NIT and other govt. aided institutions.

https://www.change.org/p/honorable-union-minister-mhrd-adoption-of-open-source-in-engineering-education

How piracy is hampering the mind-set in the masses. Secondly the Computer Science is one of the most screwed up branches in India.
If I ask any of the fairly average Mech Engineering about the combustion Engines, he probably could answer.
The same if I ask with computer Science Student about the scheduler in process management. He must be clueless. He never seen the code of the scheduler. So engineering is basically missing.

I have more severe concerns over the Computer Science education in india. I hope to get in touch with you soon in this regard.



Thanks,
Pankaj Saraf

Gangineni Dhananjhay said...

Amazing coverage sir. These are exactly the questions we as parents used to discuss for more than one year gathering outside the coaching institutions where we send our wards in Hyderabad.

Nischay said...

Sir where according to you does BITS Pilani (specifically pilani campus) stand in comparison with IITK, IITB, IITD,IITR?
P.S. Asked this ques. as u didnt mention it nywhere in ur update

Avijit Ghosh said...

It is amazing how you talk of IIT Gandhinagar more than IIT Kharagpur. Is it really that bad?

Rajkumar said...

Dear Sir,
This is really an article to be read at this point of time when many of the "underdeveloped mentors" use their brains to suggest many parents of JEE successful/ unsuccessful wards. To me, it seems your hard work has answered all the questions in one go. Thanks to you.
Sir, I do not know when the time would come when faculties of IIT's would be available to attend the general queries of forthcoming students, to me I never saw any faculties in any IIT ( especially IITD & IITK to mention) Rather to add as you are from IITK, Gate security / reception itself do not give gate pass if you do not name some faculty. I could not get a Gate-pass to see any IITK faculty from CSE/ EE/ Mech. I just wanted to see any faculty for that reason and none specific. Something that IIT's should know that a new visitor may not know the names of teaching faculties yet may need to see one.
Wish that many other senior faculties too would invest some time to show the path to innocent students and save them from getting highly confused.
wish to see you sometime.
Regards,
Rajkumar Kherwa

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Avijit, First of all, I have not compared IIT Gandhinagar and IIT Kharagpur anywhere in the blog. Second, suppose I were to actually say that IIT Gandhinagar is better than IIT Kharagpur. Would it really imply that IIT Kharagpur is very bad. By saying so, you are assuming that IIT Gandhinagar is bad. Why can't it mean that while IIT Kharagpur is doing very well, IIT Gandhinagar has done even better. There is a lot of positive news coming out of IIT Kharagpur lately, particularly since PPC became Director.

praveen said...

sir, what would you say about IIT hyderabad- faculty,campus, research opportunities, placements? is it at par with the older IITs? if not, is it likely to come at par with them in the coming 2 years or so?

shivi said...

What about iiita?

shivi said...

In all your comments you have been biased against iiit allahabad.but it is central government's institute for it and an ini just like the iit's .why don't you do a research anout this institute and enlighten us all about this fantastic institute

H-Pro Tech said...

Hello Sir,
I have a very unique question regarding the foreign education vs IIT point you mentioned. I currently have a scholarship offer from a reputed university in US for my BS in Computer Science. When I disclosed to everyone that I am going this year, everyone started advising me that why do you want to go abroad at such a young age? Why don't you just try for IITs instead when we have way better education system in India? I just have a question for anyone who advocates this point if people love and care about IIT so much over US universities why are they themselves amongst the people who want to go to Us for their masters and don't even consider IIT then. I mean if IITs (according to what everyone is advising me) are so good and education is way better than US why do they just no continue their Masters at IIT too? What I conclude is that people in India are blinded by the IIT trend(First of all not everyone gets IIT because of the super competitition) and will never be fully able to understand how difficult and how much hard work I had to put in to get the scholarship to fulfill my dream! By The Way I am not even commenting on how The holistic admission sysytem abroad is better than the 3 hour Life changing exam(JEE) pattern we follow here!
So sir if you can answerthis question which a lot of stydents on the same journey as me face it would really help us all out!

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@H-Pro Tech, From the perspective of quality of education, top 50 US universities are better than IITs. But there are other perspectives that one needs to consider. Cost is an obvious one. The membership of alumni association, which opens many doors, particularly in India is another benefit. And, yes, considering the kind of protected life young adults have lived during school years, going abroad and being on one's own has its risks. But there is no doubt when it comes to quality of education. And you have correctly pointed out that if IITs were anywhere close to them, there would be at least some people who would graduate from those universities and come to IITs for Masters and PhD. In fact, even the wards of our alumni hardly ever come from US to study even a semester at IITK.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Shivi, As I have said in the blog, this is about IITs and not IIITs. And hence I am not giving detailed information about any IIIT. Yes, I have mentioned IIIT Hyderabad and IIIT Delhi as examples of non-IIT places which one could consider, because I believe that these two institutions are amongst the best for CSE education outside the IIT system. I have been to IIIT Allahabad, and know many people there. I would not consider them in the same category of quality as IIIT Hyderabad and IIIT Delhi. If you disagree with this, and your own research shows otherwise, that is good for you. I encourage students and parents to do their own research and take their own decision. Treat this blog as just another input to your decision making. Feel free to ignore this, if your research contradicts what I say.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Nischay, if you are getting admission in an old IIT to the discipline that you are interested in, I would consider that as a better option than BITS Pilani (Pilani campus). That is my pro-IIT bias.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Praveen, I have never been to IIT Hyderabad, but what I hear about them, and see on the website, they have been doing very well amongst the new IITs. I wouldn't consider them equivalent to old IITs in terms of either faculty or infrastructure. But new IITs have their own uniqueness at times. As I mention in the blog, I am more familiar with IIT Gandhinagar and I think studying there would be a wonderful experience.

Ayush Mishra said...

dear sir,
I have scored a rank of 10691 in jee advanced 2015(GEN). The possibility of getting a seat in IITs(even the newer ones) appear out of question. So considering my interest for physics, I
am in a dilemma to choose between Engg. Physics at DCE to BS-MS in IISER. Please suggest which one to choose from and which all IISERs can I get. And I have heard that candidates upto 15k
are called for counselling which, I don't get why? So please could you throw light on it and its prospects

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Ayush Mishra,

IITs call a much larger number of students than the number of seats because they don't want to be in a situation where there is a possibility of seats being vacant and there is no candidate who has filled up the choices. This year, since IITs and NITs/IIITs have joint counseling, it is even more important to have more students since there is no history to guide us.

Ambar Zaidi said...

Respected Sir,

I have been following your blogs for the last few years. I really like the way you clear many misconceptions of a typical student who had just cleared JEE. Also your blogs give a nice comparison between many of the top rated institutes in India.

In this particular blog, you have suggested CS in IIITH & IIITD over the CS program of IITR for students ranked under 1000. But what I have found is that although it was a tough call, most of the students pursuing CSE at IITR could've easily secured a seat in IIITs but they have chosen IIT Roorkee over IIIT-H. Also as of 2014 closing rank was around 660 for this program and trend is that it drops every year. CSE course structure had been revised recently from session 2013-14. Also student groups at IITR like SDSLabs,IMG, MDG have a very good reputation even in other IITs and they are continously trying to innovate and are doing some nice stuff. There are people pretty good at competetive coding as well( so they can be compared to IIIT-H in this domain ).

Hence I would like to know what are the reasons due to which CSE program in Roorkee is rated below IIIT-D and IIIT-H. I would like to know your suggestions about what more can be done to improve CSE program at IITR and making it a top department. And what should students do in this regard ?

I've just completed my first year as a CSE student at IIT-R and would love to help improve our deptt. I believe there is always a lot of "scope" for improvement.

Thanks
Ambar

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Ambar, While my blog has a very large readership, it does not mean people agree with me. So, I may say that I think that CS programs at IIITD and IIITH are better than CS program at IITR, it does not mean that people will actually start preferring those IIITs over IITR. Most people who join IITs are not joining because they love that subject, or they want to be experts in that subject. Quite the contrary, the craze for IITs is because it is felt that IITians in general are doing better than non-IITians. So anything in any IIT (particularly an older IIT) is better bet than anything in IIIT for most people.

So the fact that most people have preferred IITR CS program in the past (and are likely to do so again this year) does not mean that IITR CS program is better than IIITD/IIITH programs. It just means that IITR name brand is better than IIITD/H name brands.

I don't consider that behavior as irrational or anything wrong. Different people will have different ways of looking at the same issue. And my suggestion in my blog is that if you are joining the CS program at IITR because of branding, then perhaps you should consider non-CS programs at IITD, which in my opinion has an even better branding than IITR. So, if you are looking to be a great computer scientist, don't worry about brand, and join IIITD/H. If you are interested in a brand, then why not IIT Delhi. Of course, I realize that the decisions are not black and white, and people will prefer partly a brand and partly a chance to be in a hot field like CS, and hence many will join IITR.

Why do I think that IIITD/IIITH are better CS programs. Well, many reasons. For whatever reason (may be because they did not even have a separate CSE department till recently), IITR has not been particularly successful in recruiting a lot of faculty members in CSE. Both IIITD and IIITH have been far more successful in recruiting faculty, both in numbers, as well as from diverse sources, including some from the very top universities of the world. The faculty at both IIITD/IIITH cover more fields of Computer Science (just because the numbers are larger). Also, the program per se. I am not excited about even the new program at IITR which has too much CS content, too many compulsory courses. The under-graduate programs are not meant to make you an expert in the discipline. It is supposed to broaden your horizons and give you exposure to a wide variety of things. Of course, that is my view, and people disagree with me on this, which is fine. I would not recommend programs which teach you too much. (In fact, there is a research which shows that there is an inverse relationship at large between the number of discipline courses and the quality of that program, but such results are more statistical in nature and do not mean that every program can be qualified in such a way.)

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

I keep getting many comments on this page. I am rejecting most of them since they all related to their personal situation, which as I have said you could discuss with me through email, and not on this blog.

siddharth jain said...

Sir just your own thought regarding the future prospects of CSE. In last two three years we are seeing a mad rush for CSE and it has clearly become the first choice miles ahead of any other stream. Don't you sometimes feel that one anything gets so much hyped its usually at its peak and a slide could be very near. Don't know whether its appropriate to say that its the peak yet.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Siddharth, there has been a mad rush for more than a decade. And this is primarily because people indulge in wishful thinking. The total number of graduates in CS/IT/MCA, etc. is about 10 lakhs a year while the IT industry is recruiting around 1.5 lakhs. Let us be generous with the estimates of non-IT industry recruiting CS/IT persons and assume another 0.5 lakhs. This still means 80% unemployment. This is perhaps the highest amount of unemployment amongst all engineering discipline. And yet people prefer CS/IT over other engineering disciplines. And I am not talking about IITs and NITs. The graduates of good colleges would anyway be in the top 1.5 to 2.0 lakh graduates of the country. But smaller college. Why. Because the media talks about high packages, high number of jobs created, and never talks about unemployment. It does once in a while mentions unemployability, which means that the training is so poor that they can't get jobs even if there were jobs. So everyone assumes that they will study hard, and they will be in the top 1.5 lakhs, after all 1.5 lakh is a very large number and to assume that you won't be in that number is difficult for an individual. And when everyone in the country is doing that, it is difficult for an individual to say that most parents and students are being stupid. There is safety in following the herd, till it hits you after 4 years that you don't have a job.

The same thing is happening at IITs. Follow the herd. We shall choose disciplines based on last year's closing ranks. After all, not everyone last year could be stupid.

You are going to have a career over 50 years. It is very unlikely that you will have a single career. You would probably change your career 3 times, and you are likely to make more money in later careers than the first career, that is why you will change. Does it then make sense to worry about current placement data. Does it not make sense to think of what will enable you to change careers, what will enable you to keep doing well in a career which is not in the area of your under-graduate studies. Is there any statistics that point to that people who did CS 10-15-20 years ago are richer than their non-CS counterparts. (Actually, I have examples to the contrary.) But in the era of instant gratification and with a strong sense of entitlement, one can not look beyond last year's closing ranks and placements.

I get a lot of emails telling me how useful this blog has been for them. A lot of sites link to this blog. However, what is the impact. So one year, I got the data from JEE about the program that all the candidates got finally. I looked at the data from the following angle: How many students got the program which was the best s/he could have got based on last year's closing rank and the next two programs in order of closing ranks, or the best option (again in order of closing rank) within the zone of that candidate. (It was little bit more complex.) More than 98% candidates had such a program allotted to them. Just think about it. We would like to believe that these 10,000 are absolutely the best that this country's school system has produced. And almost all of them go with the herd. Even the toppers amongst a billion people do not have the confidence of thinking independently. This blog has no impact what so ever.

So, CSE will remain the best option for many years to come.

Shyam Kumar said...

Dear Dhiraj,
My son has scored AIR 84 in JEE 15 and wants to pursue CS because of his pure love towards logic , math and coding.I have been helping him out in selecting an IIT that will suit him the most.He has finally chosen IITM ( as IITB may just be outside his reach) . Though we have consulted with a few students and alumni , it was interesting to note you had no views about IITM CS. why was it so?
Shyam.

Justine Chacko said...

Please give your email address sir.

Saurav said...

I don't know if I'm entitled to write here or if this will be moderated..yet..a little of my experience I'l like to share here..
I'm an engineer-scientist, nuclear engineering field, have been teaching MTech students to for the last 10 year or so....

My experience with different engineering subjects and their contents...and also interactions with engineers from different disciplines for many years...show only one thing...i.e. some disciples are INTERESTING TO STUDY AND WORK IN and others are not...
in that regard you could take metallurgy or mining..but these are not interesting as compared to CSE for sure....what remains with a student, all his life, is the subject and not the University...that's the crux...its the subject, if its as interesting as CSE then do pursue that...of course, there are many who would take interest in subjects like Chemical or Metallurgy but only some...

Ofcourse, for IITians I presume, placement is not a problem anyway...if these guys don't get jobs then the whole country won't either...so why bother...

In conclusion, CSE is the most 'interesting subject' and its this reason, rather than any other, for which the top few 100 Jee rankers opt for this disciple..this trend will continue for many decades to come till perhaps....another subject, bio-technology etc. takes over (if at all)..

ashwin gopal said...

Sir,
I am Ashwin Gopal and i cleared JEE(Advanced) with rank 5895.
I am interested in pure science mainly in physics and i would like to do research in future .According to last year's trend i might get at IISER P.I heard that IISERs are very good from cousin who study at IISER K. But i also might get BITS GOA (heard their physics department is good) so there is a little confusion.
You posted you have friends at IISERs.So can you give me the email id of the professors there or email their detailed opinion on this matter.
Please help me from this situation
Thank You.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Shyam Kumar, I believe that B/D/K are better than M/KGP. But that does not mean that there is something wrong with M/KGP. Indeed I have mentioned above in a comment that since PPC became Director of KGP, things are improving there. May be, if the things keep moving the way they have been in recent times, in a small number of years, I would have to change preference of Kanpur in a few years.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Justine Chacko, my email address is given in the main blog.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Saurav, I beg to disagree. I think it is a very personal thing. I know people who just hate programming. There are people who just love abstract mathematics.

Justine Chacko said...

Excuse me sir,
I can't find either main site or email address anywhere. Would you mind posting your email address here.
Thank you

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Justine, my email address is: sanghi [AT] gmail.com
Please replace [AT] by '@'

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Aswin, please visit their website, you will find email addresses of faculty there.

Ipshita Agarwal said...

hello sir
i liked your blog very much (actually its the best of all advices i am getting from over a month)
and though you dont have the view- cs is best but still i have doubt
india is fastly running towards digitalization. roles of other branches is reducing and will continue to reduce seeing the current scenario.(digitalization makes every task easier and simpler and so is of course the future)
PM's digital india program is a proof,hope you have read it in detail.
or lets take a very basic example,i dont know much but i think car making is said to use much of mechanical engg skills and its in the news that google is making a car.there are many such examples(of people and news) in front of me where much of work of mechanical,civil,etc engg is being taken over by computers.
my father says mechanical engg is history and cs is the future.
i didnt have cs in 11th and 12th so i know little about its curriculum and syllabus in b tech but i love maths
i find mechanical engg interesting than all other fields.(people say that girls like me who prefer to sit than do physical work shouldnt take this field.is it right?).electronics is also interesting but lesser than mechanical.
also i got responses that the new iits(not newest) are not worth going to other states if i am getting in dtu and nsit.(which are not far from my house)
kindly do guide me

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Ipshita, First of all, one has to see what does it mean to say, "CS is the best." From my perspective, any discipline is good for which you have passion, and there is a likelihood of getting a decent job in that discipline. I am sure you would agree that there is no technology available today which allows you to be present in two locations at the same time, and hence doing two jobs simultaneously is not possible. I am sure you would also agree that what jobs others are doing and whether they are happy with those jobs or not, does not make you happy or unhappy.

The perspective with which people say, "CS is the best" is really this. The industry is creating a large number of jobs in fields where CS graduates are to be hired. Between 1.5 to 2 lakh jobs a year. On the other hand, if we look at a discipline like Civil, we are perhaps creating a fraction of those jobs, around 25,000 by some estimate. So it is not that Mechanical has no job, because even cars have a computer in it, it is just that CS has more jobs because everything requires some CS input.

However, we should not just look at how many jobs are there in a discipline, but whether I will get one good job in the area of my passion. And if we look at it from this perspective, we have more than 10 lakh CS graduates every year. The largest unemployment rate of all disciplines of engineering is in Computer Science. I know of at least one person who after doing BTech in Computer Science was working as a servant in a house, cleaning dishes.

The second thing that is happening in CS is that there are some jobs which are very highly paid. Almost 100 students every year will get 50 lakh offer or even higher (a few would even get a crore). Now, 100 students out of 10 lakh is not a very high percentage, but this is what attracts everyone to CS. Even amongst the 2 lakh jobs, more than 90% of the jobs will be at 3 lakh level. But all this is ignored by people because it is easy to assume that you will be amongst the top 100 in the county or at least in the top 5000-10000 in the country who will get 5+ lakh job, even though most of these people were not in the top 5000-10000 students in their boards, or in JEE, or in any other exam.

Also, if money is the primary motivation to select a college/discipline, should you select it on the basis of first month salary, or should you select it on the basis of career earnings. Now, of course, one would argue that getting data on career earnings is next to impossible. But what about data on first month salary. Do you really trust the impressions that colleges or their students try to create. I don't. I have seen enough authentic data from colleges to know that what is accepted on social media is far from reality.

So the long and short of this whole comment is that if you are interested in Mechanical Engineering, you should study Mechanical Engineering. You only need one job, and hence that IT/CS creates 2 lakh jobs should be irrelevant to you.

Pankaj Saraf said...

Dear Sir,

I just wanted to put an informative lines of understanding for the aspirant to choose the field. The core building block of education is science.

"Science is about fundamentals, concepts and proven records and methods. Like Circles' property is fundamental science"
"Engineering is converting the fundamentals to evolve it has the useful product. If I user Circle shaped Wheels."
"Technology is using the engineering pieces and concepts of science to build a easier platform. For example: I can use 4 wheels and build a carriage."

Since our Education System is evolving day by day. We are hoping that we could take part in main stream research and product Development in the upper layer of the scientific researches in the world.

So Even though we are quit behind in core technological innovations. Let me put a perception of the Computer Science. It is like you can automate things, anything. Because you can put logics work in a machine, It is great tool.

Now take an example of BMW designing Team. They used to work for a design, then on the prototype and initial test on the real conditions, they fix the defects and problems then do it again, till they reach the fairly acceptable model of new technology. But now a days, they work on designing/analysis/simulation tools. the technology has become 5-8 time faster than it used to be in 80s and 90s.

You guys need to watch the changes. Only mechanical engineer can build the software for their own stream. Because he is better in Mechanical Science. Not he just need to learn some basics to program the tool for their own use. Consider the computer Engineering as a tool, and automate anything. There is huge potential in going multidisciplinary. And you will see the future is coming in this lines soon.

In my personal views, I have believed in Indian minds rather than the education system. There are a lot to do it education. The new generation must take part in path of research and contributing to the education, by maintaining the research spark being in the system.

We have the huge challenge as a nation growing and currently more than 65% is under age of 35. This is fairly huge amount, The opportunities are limitless. And New generation must think to have sense of service and contribute the education back. It will be bread and butter and giving back to society, both at the same time.

Arvind said...

I want to know is mechanical engineering b-tech student eligible for MSC physics through iit-jam? I try to contact with IIT admistrative but never get a response.please clarify.

raj kumar said...

sir which has more exposure to research nd innovation opportunity in iitr or iiitd iiith

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@raj kumar, For Computer Science, IIIT-Delhi and IIIT-Hyderabad have better research opportunities.

Nikhil Bansal said...

Hello Sir, really appreciate you spending valuable time to guide perspective students!
My Brother got AIR 187 this year and is confused between IITD CSE 5 Year Dual degree and IITK CSE 4 year program before he freezes his choice. What do you think will be a better choice from a perspective of Academics, Future Research/Phd opportunities, Latest tech developments/focus, Alumni network and Overall development of social/interpersonal skills.

Looking forward to your response. Thanks in advance!

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Nikhil, I don't think you have any option now. But in any case, I think both are great institutions. Both will provide good education, networking, extra-curricular, etc. The major difference I see is that you have to commit to do MTech at IITD, while at IITK, you can decide in the 3rd year whether you want to switch to dual-degree or not. I think that flexibility is very important since at this stage you don't know what you like and what kind of career you want to get in. Of course, I advise everyone that if you have decided by the 3rd year that you want to have a technical career, switch to dual-degree and get an MTech as well. I think dual-degrees are great programs, but asking to commit at the admission time is a problem.

Shobhit Behl said...

Sir I got 4865 rank in jee advanced. What should be my priority among ism mnc, applied maths + cs in bits goa or cse in iiit bangalore.

Pankaj Saraf said...

From the core competency point of view: Bits Goa: maths+ CS . But it is quite subjective to your interest, which one you should opt for.
The course content and faculty makes huge difference in your learning curve and direction on it. You must look at the faculty first. Courses names may be sometimes misleading in India.

Tyson Granger said...

Hello sir,
i liked ur blog though i'm quite eager to know- why would u prefer IITB,IITK and IITD over IIT KGP,inspite of it being the oldest IIT in India? Is it because of Placements, though i have read, it is the best in terms of infrastructure?

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Tyson, Before PPC, there were leadership issues at Kharagpur.

Nishan Das said...

Sir, first of all, thank you for taking the time to write this article. Sir, I want to dedicate my entire life into A.I. research and I'm not quite sure if I'll get the exposure I need from the IITs. I'm currently in class 12 and I'm doing everything I can to clear JEE Advanced. Sir, you referred to IIT Gandhinagar quite a lot; so I was wondering if luck isn't with me and I happen to perform not up to the mark during the exam, should I opt for CSE in IIT Gandhinagar- will it provide me with the exposure I need? Is there any option for student exchange from IIT Gandhinagar? Would you choose IIT Gandhinagar over IIT Kanpur? If so, why?

kshitiz gehlot said...

Sir i have a question. I have interest in both computers n IT, and in construction and structures. Also, I am expecting rank about 2000, in worst case, will be about 3000. Also, by mains rank, i can get cs or it in DTU or NSIT. I m confused between cs n civil, as some says go for cs, while some says civil from old IIT would be better. What according to you, will be better. Also, would you prefer IIT gandhinagar or mandi over dtu, or dtu is better than them (for cs, as i m a liiter more inclined towards computer over civil).