NEW DELHI: The HRD ministry on Thursday allowed common counselling from next year for admission to seven Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs) along with IITs and NITs. IITs/NITs introduced common counselling last year.
Though IISERs were keen for common counselling from this year, the ministry said it should not be rushed. “We advised caution. It is a good idea. Common counselling has found support among students,” a highly placed source said after the day-long meeting of the standing committee of IISERs. There are 1,120 seats in the seven IISERs — 200 each in the five campuses in Kolkata, Pune, Mohali, Bhopal and Trivandrum, and 60 seats each in the newer centres of Tirupati and Behrampur.
Like in the IITs, it has also been decided that 15 per cent of the supernumerary strength of each IISER will be made available to foreign students. However, the candidates will have to clear the joint entrance test. Indian students make it to the IISERs through three routes: by clearing JEE, bagging Kishore Vaigyanik Protshahan Yojna (KVPY) awards and being among the top 1 per cent of each school board, including CBSE.
As for NRI students studying in India and getting admission through one of the three routes, the fee charged will be the same as those taken from Indians. Foreign nationals will also be allowed admission for post-doctoral research. “They will have to fulfil all the existing criteria,” a source said.
Outside the media glare in little less than a decade, the five original IISERs started during UPA-I have made a mark with cutting-edge research in various fields, especially biotechnology. “In ranking and research, IISERs are just below Indian Institute of Science,” a senior official said. In terms of output, each IISER has about six or seven US patents and also have on an average 1,000 research papers published in international-refereed journals.