The number of applications for Ph.D. studies at IIT Gandhinagar quadrupled this year, making admission to its graduate program even more selective than the dreaded undergraduate Joint Entrance Examination.
The Institute received 8,160 applications for 66 Ph.D. slots, yielding a selection ratio of under 1 percent, making it more competitive than the JEE, which has selection ratio of 2 percent, admitting 10,000 undergraduate students for B.Tech programs to the 15 IITs from nearly 5,00,000 students who appear for the examination. Ph.D. applications spiked more than 466% from last year, when 1,754 students applied to IIT Gandhinagar.
Admission to IIT Gandhinagar's M.Tech program is even more selective this year. The Institute received more than 20,000 M.Tech applications, triple the number from last year, for 105 available M.Tech slots, yielding a selection ratio of almost 0.5 percent.
"The spike in graduate student applications reflects the growing reputation and visibility of IIT Gandhinagar because of our exceptional educational innovations and the outstanding faculty we have recruited," said IIT Gandhinagar Director Prof. Sudhir Jain.
During the past year, several centers of excellence have been established at the Institute, including a Design and Innovation Center with a three-year $580,000 grant from Ricoh Company; a Safety Center with a five-year $500,000 grant for a fire lab from Chicago-based Underwriter's Laboratory; and a Bioengineering Center with a Rs 10 crore grant from the Gujarat government.
The Institute has also raised substantial external funds to support several innovative graduate student intiatives, including travel grants of Rs. 200,000 for Ph.D. students and Rs 60,000 for M.Tech. students to present papers at national and international conferences. The Institute also offers top-up fellowships ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per month to outstanding Ph.D. students in addition to the Rs 16,000 to Rs 18,000 monthly assistantships that graduate students at all IITs receive.
Electrical engineering attracted the last number of Ph.D. applications to IIT Gandhinagar - almost a quarter of the total. It was followed by biological engineering (20%); mechanical engineering (10%), computer science and engineering (9%) and chemistry (7%). Electrical engineering was also the most popular M.Tech. program, attracting more than half of all applications. It was followed by mechanical engineering (21%) and civil engineering (14%).
IIT Gandhinagar's graduate programs received applications from every state in the country. It received 1,624 Ph.D. applications from Uttar Pradesh, the highest of any state, followed by Gujarat (10%), Andhra Pradesh (8%), Maharashtra (11%) , West Bengal (7%) and Madhya Pradesh (6%).
Uttar Pradesh was also the biggest source of M.Tech. applications (18%), followed by Andhra Pradesh (13%), Maharashtra (11%), Madhya Pradesh (7%), Rajasthan (6%), West Bengal (6%) and Kerala (5%).
Under the Institute's admission process, approximately 10% of the applicants have been shortlisted for written tests and interviews on campus at the end of April and early May, from which it will select the final candidates for admission to its graduate programs.
Although the deadline for Ph.D. and M.Tech. applications has passed, the Institute also considers applications on a rolling basis. As a result, Institute officials said, applications continue to pour into the Institute.
IIT Gandhinagar Prof. Bhaskar Datta said, "Research of faculty at IITGN increasingly portrays the landscape of a comprehensive university. This has resulted in such vibrant response to academic programmes beyond the ambit of JEE."
PhD Applications at IITGN
Biological Engineering 1708
Chemical Engineering 378
Civil Engineering 281
Cognitive Science 62
Computer Science & Engineering 754
Electrical Engineering 2227
Material Science and Engineering 353
Mechanical Engineering 873
Political Science 29
Social Epidemiology 22
South Asian Studies 14
Total applications 8160
M.Tech Applications at IITGN
Materials Science and Engineering 1160
Chemical Engineering 1196
Civil Engineering 2966
Mechanical Engineering 4226
Electrical Engineering 10398
Total applications 20179