The OBC story in Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) is that of bitter-sweet success. Several OBC students did not use the relaxation to get into tech schools. On the other hand, 436 seats reserved for OBC candidates had to be transferred to the general pool as the number of reserved category students from the non-creamy layer was not enough to fill up the quota.
The Indian School of Mines-Dhanbad saw the maximum shortfall in OBC candidates and the school offered an additional 123 seats to general category students. The new IIT in Ropar too had very few OBC takers; 92 seats meant for them were opened up to the general category pool. Even at the Powai institute, six seats were added to the general pool.
"In nine of the 17 institutes, we had to convert some seats meant for OBC students as the seats were vacant. There weren't as many takers," said officials from IIT-Kanpur, which was in-charge of JEE-2011.
Last year too, 469 OBC seats were transferred to the open category. In 2009, 51 seats were added to the general pool as there were not enough OBC students even after a 10% relaxation in scores.
Each year, some reserved category students make it to the common merit list. Many use the 10% relaxation to enhance ranks and opt for an attractive stream. So IITs put out a common merit list for general category students but separate lists are put out for each reserved category. Seats are apportioned for quota students based on the total seats available in each course.