So, finally, the joint IIT and NIT admission counseling is happening for the first time. Also included are a large number of IIITs and several other Government Funded Technical Institutes.
The major advantage of join counseling has always been touted as that it will reduce the number of vacant seats in top institutes of the country. But will this really happen. The answer, unfortunately, is NO.
If we look at the business rules of the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JOSSA), there is something very interesting there. So you get a seat in an NIT in the first round the results for which will be announced on 7th July. Now, you are supposed to pay Rs. 45,000 (Rs. 20,000 for SC/ST/PH), and visit a reporting center for document verification to confirm that seat.
If you do not confirm that seat, then you are out of counseling process. You will not be considered in a future round, even for your higher preferences. This is how it normally has been in the past.
However, if you do confirm your seat by paying Rs. 45,000 and reporting ans showing your documents before the deadline of July 12th, then you can not leave the process at all. You will certainly be allotted a seat (either the same seat that you were allotted in the first round, or a higher preference in the subsequent rounds, depending on your option of freeze, float and slide).
Now, what happens if this student gets an offer from BITS Pilani (or any other top institute in the country which is not part of JOSSA) on 13th July. If you prefer BITS over NIT (and most people do), and agree to take admission in BITS, there is no way you can inform JOSSA in any formal way. JOSSA will continue to believe that you have a seat through them and will not give that seat to anyone else. (As an aside, it will not refund your Rs. 45,000 either, since it has allotted you a seat, a seat that you asked for and confirmed.) At the end, that seat would remain vacant since it is only the Institute who will eventually find out that the seat is vacant when you do not join them till the last date of registration or reporting to that institute. And then it will be too late to offer that seat to someone else.
In the past, there have been a date for withdrawal which was decided in a way that there was at least one more round of seat allocation after the last date of withdrawal. And if you informed the appropriate authority regarding your wish to withdraw, not only that seat will be available to others in the subsequent round, but you will also get full refund (but for a small counseling fee).
Lack of withdrawal facility not only cause a huge financial loss to the students, but it also means that a large number of seats remain locked in with the students who will not join.
So don't count on joint counseling solving the problem of vacant seats. In fact, this may worsen the problem. Looks like someone is trying to ensure that this is the last year of joint counseling.