Dropout ratio falls in IITs despite increase in seats

Abhay Anand | Apr 13, 2018 - 6:20 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI, APRIL 13: The dropout rate in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have gone down significantly with only 32 students dropping out per 1000 students in 2017 as compared to 53 students a couple of years back. The dropout rate scenario in India’s premier engineering institutions have improved despite the fact that the number of admissions has gone up every year between 2015-2017.

The maximum number of dropouts happen in the Postgraduate (PG) and Ph.D. programmes. As per the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the main reasons behind the dropout at post graduate level are offers for placement in Public Sector Enterprises and personal preference for better opportunities elsewhere.

In the year 2016, 802 students dropped out of the premier technical institutions of which nearly 71 percent were PG students, close to 200 were Ph.D. scholars and 63 B.Tech students.


Total Admission vs Dropouts

As per the data presented by MHRD in Upper House during the budget session, in the past three years, a total of 57,941 students took admission the IITs including 18314 in 2015; 19423 in 2016; and 20204 in 2017. The number of dropouts during the period was 2405 including 968 in 2015; 802 in 2016; and 635 in 2017.



Total Admissions

Total Dropouts

Drop Out %













The data reflects a much improved drop-out rate over last three years. The percentage of dropout students in 2017 came down to 3.14 per cent from a high of 5.29 per cent in 2015.

Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Union Minister of State Ministry of HRD giving reply to a question in Rajya Sabha said that the drop out in Undergraduate programmes is attributed to withdrawal due to wrong choices filled, poor performance and personal and medical reasons. As per many of the experts inability to cope with academic stress has also been an important reason for high dropouts IITs.

He further added that the IITs have initiated a number of corrective measures to minimize the dropouts, which include the appointment of advisors to monitor the academic progress of students, provision of additional classes for academically weaker students, Peer Assisted learning, counseling to de-stress students, psychological motivation, and extracurricular activities.

An IIT Roorkee faculty member speaking about the recent trend said that it is a good thing that the dropout rate is going down in IITs which is likely to consolidate in few years. We are still seeing dropout at the B.Tech level and this is happening in the first year mostly as the students leave to take admission in other institutions where they get the branch of their choice.

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