How Many Students Get IIT Admission Every Year?

by Sagar Mankar, July 8, 2020

The Indian Institute of technology is one of the most reputed institutes in India. The institute has branches scattered all over the country. It is an autonomous public institute. Studying in an IIT is every student’s dream who aspires to be an engineer. Students prepare day and night for years to clear the entrance exams of JEE to get a high rank and score to be placed in any of the IIT’s around the country.

There are millions and millions of aspirants and there are only a limited number of seats. Also, in a culturally diverse country like India, other factors are considered too during admission and seat allotment in IITs or any other college. There is an economically backward caste (OBC) reservation, which is based on tribal population (General, ST’s, SC’s) and based on PwD candidates and other such minor reservations. 

The system of reservation in the admission procedure acts as a major opponent in a student’s way to get a seat (if the reservation is not in their favour). Many times the brightest of students don’t get into IITs because the quotas and other considerations filled up the seats, and the system couldn’t accommodate any more students. This is indeed a major setback.

This article here puts forth how many students get through IIT admissions. It will help you get a clearer picture of how hard you have to work to get that seat and under which category you would fall.

IIT Admissions - A Journey To The Top

You have to map a long road before you can make it to an IIT. First of all, you have to appear for the JEE Main examination after your higher secondary education. This entrance exam consists of two papers, and a duration of three hours (4 hours for PWD candidates) is given to solve the papers. Then the second phase of exams is held for those who clear the JEE Main. This is the JEE Advanced examination. These entrances have a tricky marking scheme of four points for the right answer and one negative marking for each wrong answer. Lakhs of students appear for the JEE Main, out of which 20000 to 25000 candidates qualify for the Advanced. In JEE advanced exam, the first 10,000 rank holders to qualify the exams are placed in any of the 23 IITs in the country. 

The seats are distributed according to the student’s rank and the IIT’s rank amongst other IITs, i.e., the higher the rank of the candidate, the better-ranked IIT s/he gets into. Now, the number of seats in each IIT vary following with infrastructural development of the IIT, its establishment period, the location of the institute, etc. this increases the student’s struggle even more.

Admission Criteria

As mentioned earlier, IITs offer reservations like any other college/ university in India. It provides reservation to the backward and deprived section of the society as it believes in providing equal opportunities to the privileged and unprivileged. However, IITs follow slight different reservation criteria to make the system seem more fair and just.

A reservation approximately of 15% for the scheduled tribes (SC’s), 7.5% for the Scheduled tribes (ST’s) and 27% for the Other backward castes (OBC’s) categories are offered. ST/ SC/OBC candidates who cover 2% of the top ranks among them categorically make it to the IIT’s. There are separate seats allotted for female candidates in proportion to the total number of seats offered by each IIT. The criteria are to reserve 20% seats for female students. For example, IIT Bombay with a total seat count of 963, offers 192 seats compulsorily to female candidates. This initiative has been taken to promote girl child education. 

Moreover, 5% of seats in all categories are dedicated to Persons with disability (PwD) candidates. Two seats in every IIT are reserved for “Defence Service Candidates,” and up to 10 % of seats with supernumerary are reserved for foreign nationals. Another 4% of seats are reserved for the economically backward sections of the society. This sums up to about 85% of seats being reserved. All these reservations at the end leave up to only about 15% or less percentage of setas for the General category. A general candidate can be given the recession in scores between .25% to .50%. All these figures are approximate numbers as the percentage keeps changing every year. Students keep protesting for more concessions and considerations, and the governing body also tries to make the selections as justified as possible. Making it more difficult, the students who belong to the creamy layer of OBC are shifted to the general category during admissions.

In a case where seats from the reserved categories don’t fill in, and vacancy is left, the cut-offs are lowered down to maximum till 50% for them. These students who make it through after such relaxations have to undertake a one-year Preparatory Course that covers physics, chemistry and mathematics in its syllabus. After the served period, the candidates who clear the cut off in the end semester exams are allowed to enroll in the regular curriculum of an IIT. A piece of good news is that there is no provision of paid seats in IIT. This means that no student can get a place in IIT by paying money. This rule is followed by the authorities with the utmost strictness to avoid any kind of unfairness.


From the above statistics, it can be seen that the journey to qualify for IIT is a rigorous one, and even then, one might not be able to make it to the best-ranked IITs due to the reservation system. In a very generalized view, the reservations seem unjust for the general population and they keep protesting for the same. But there are other factors as well which play a key role in grabbing a seat.

If the candidate does not accept an allotted seat by paying the seat acceptance fee within the deadline, then that seat for that particular candidate stands cancelled. That seat then becomes vacant for a candidate waiting in the upcoming seat allocation lists. This is luck with the chance situation and very unreliable.

Even the 10000 students who make it to the qualifiers list from the thousands and lakhs of students who appear for the entrance seem unjust, but it is only that much that the present IITs can accommodate. However, to increase the seat count, projects for opening up more institutes of IITs are being introduced. Hopefully, in the future, this works in favour of the large student population.  

Thus, this article on how many students get IIT Admission not only gives you an overall headcount but also supplies you with information regarding seat distribution during admissions and the reservation provided. You can now assess for yourself which category you belong to. But remember one thing, being eligible for a reservation should not mean you take it for granted. The long way that you have to traverse requires hard work and diligence throughout.

How Many Students Get IIT Admission Every Year?