IIT Joint Entrance Examination (IIT JEE), now referred to as JEE Advanced, is an entrance exam for the premiere engineering institutes of India – the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Lakhs of engineering aspirants prepare for the exam every year. Some opt to study on their own while some join various coaching institutes – online or offline – to help them with JEE exam preparation. Only a few thousand are able to secure seats in the IITs – and still fewer are able to get a seat in the course of their choice and/or the institute of their choice.
Over the years, IIT Bombay or IIT Mumbai has emerged as the clear favourite of the IIT JEE toppers – overtaking the other popular IITs such as IIT Delhi and IIT Madras. Here are some stats for you:
In IIT JEE 2012, Information Technology or IIT was the favourite engineering discipline and IIT Bombay was the favourite institute of the Top 100 rank holders. 86 JEE 2012 toppers wanted to study at IIT Bombay (only 77 got admitted to the institute later) while 12 indicated IIT Delhi as their first choice (19 got admitted to IIT-D later). Only 1 topper this year went to IIT Madras.
From the Top 100 JEE 2013 rank holders, 67 were allotted seats at IIT-B, 29 went to IIT Delhi while the remaining 4 candidates went to IIT Madras. Out of Top 10 rankers in 2013, 8 chose the Powai institute (IIT-B) while 2 chose to join IIT-D.
The trend had continued for JEE 2014. Among the Top 50 JEE 2014 rank holders, 44 chose to join IIT Bombay. 58 out of Top 100 scorers made it to IIT-B. IIT Delhi remained the second choice of JEE toppers with 36 of them joining the institute while IIT Chennai bagged the third spot with 4 toppers in its kitty. Surprisingly, the first and the oldest IIT – IIT Kharagpur – didn't receive a single entry from the JEE Advanced 2014 toppers.
Here are the 5 key reasons why IIT Mumbai is the favourite of JEE Advanced toppers and what has propelled the brand value of the IIT-B campus:
Undoubtedly, IIT Mumbai enjoys the luxury of excellent location. It has beaches, it is a Bollywood hub, and it has great places to visit. Mumbai is the Financial Capital of India and draws more employers than any other IIT. IIT Delhi comes a close next but IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur and IIT Kharagpur are far below in the scale of location value. Living in a metro has its perks like better connectivity and better hostels. IIT Bombay is considered safer than IIT Delhi – for girls and for boys. Besides, you have more fun options to explore and of course, pretty girls to check out (don’t forget that IITians, even JEE toppers, are college students too).
Besides, it is a great place for networking as people from all regions come to Mumbai. With a reputation as the City of Dreams, it is not surprising that the Powai campus has a very neutral demography. Student majority at most other IITs is North Indian, South Indian or East Indian – which is not the case at IITB.
Wide Range of Courses
IIT Mumbai’s menu card has the greatest number of course options on it. The wide range of courses and their combinations are designed according to the current market demands and the potential demand in the near future. Hence, they prove to be greatly beneficial to students in terms of employment prospects.
The institute has recently focused to introduce strong graduate programs too. The Computer Science at IIT-B which is the first choice for most of the JEE achievers offers a ‘dual degree’ programme option to students which allows as much as 2.5 years to work on a project or research work.
It is not unjustified that Mumbai is considered a street food praradise. At most other IITs, you are stuck with either North Indian or South Indian cuisine. Cheap South Indian food at IIT Delhi, and good quality inexpensive North Indian meals at IIT Madras are not so easy to find. But if you are an IIT-B student, you can eat Pani Puri at one stall and then dug into Dosa delights at the stall next to it. Plus, you have the choicest high-end restaurants and cuisines from just about anywhere in the city to explore.
Flexibility in Engineering Branches
IIT Mumbai allows students who score good GPA in the first year to change their engineering branch to one of their choice. Besides, IIT-B students can also pick up minor courses of their interest along with core engineering courses. This flexibility attracts JEE toppers as they can pursue their interests as well as prepare to face market demands for later.
Best IIT Placements
Over the past few years, IIT Mumbai has been able to attract best pay packages from multinational corporations across the world. Last year, the 5 biggest salary packages offered to the IITians were offered to IIT-B students. In 2013, as many as 5 IIT Bombay students received a salary offer of about Rs 30 lakh from MEC Japan – which was amongst the highest international offers made by the company.
Powai campus is also the most visited IIT campus by MNCs and big domestic industry giants.
This year, the IIT-B girl Astha Agrawal got an offer worth Rs 2 crore from Facebook which caught media attention.
Beautiful Serene Campus
Mumbai is undoubtedly the hub of finance, business and entertainment in India. Situated at the heart of this burgeoning metropolis, lush green IIT-Bombay campus comes as a surprise. Serene, peaceful and pollution free, it is like a small township in itself. Nestled among hills and flanked by Powai and Vihar lakes, it houses high-tech amenities; basketball, squash and tennis courts; cricket, football and hockey grounds; and even two swimming pools.
Well-connected to the city by buses and local trains, Powai campus has two schools for children, a well-equipped hospital, a shopping centre and banks. Most IIT faculty and staff members live in quarters on campus while student hostels are well-furnished too. The cluster of buildings in the IITB campus include academic area (which includes the main building, many departmental annex buildings connected by a corridor, and auditoria), the Convocation Hall, and 15 hostels including 2 for girl students.
Close to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, the campus boasts of occasional sightings of leopards, panthers and Gharial crocodiles.
Cultural & Extracurricular Activities
IIT Bombay;s annual cultural festival called Mood Indigo is the largest of its kind in Asia. Usually held in December, this 4-day event attracts influence personalities like R D Burman, Amit Khan, Sachin Tendulkar and Sir Mark Tully. Undoubtedly, it is the best event held by a student body and is known for holding best cultural competitions, games and musical concerts. It is also known to draw out best talent from across India.
Besides this, there are several other vibrant cultural, club and extracurricular activities held at IITB campus throughout the year such as Performance Arts functions, department trips etc. Hence, IIT Bombay is considered one of the best college campuses for personal development.
Dramatics, Literary Arts, Fine Arts, and Music – all form an important part of the lives of IIT-B students. Recently, IIT Bombay also won the famous National Law School Parliamentary Debating Tournament. Besides, there is Techfest (annual IITB Science & Cultural Festival) which includes science exhibits and competitions and guest speakers from around the world. Business activities like The Entrepreneurship Cell aims to provide assistance and guidance to budding startups.
There are specific festivals for different engineering streams too, such as Radiance for Mechanical Engineering, AZeotrpy for Chemical Engineering, Aakaar for Civil Engineering, Aagomani for Electrical Engineering, Zephyr for Aerospace Engineering and Padarth for Metallurgy and Material Science Engineering.
IIT Mumbai has made its curriculum quite flexible in the last few years – much more relaxed or intensive than other IITs as per students’ choice. While the regular curriculum allows a lot of free time to students, there is a Minors and Honours System to allow students to choose as many courses they would like to pursue per semester.
Many IIT alumni (who are not from IIT Bombay) believe that one of the main reasons why IIT Bombay has become a traditional choice of the JEE toppers is the coaching class legacy. Many of the faculty members at the famous engineering coaching institutes of Kota were IIT Bombay alumni and promoted it as the best IITs. When a particular number of Top 100 JEE rank holders decided to that IIT Bombay is the best, some of the others would get influenced by them and opt for it too. This has developed into an artificial trend that favours IITB.
Earlier, students used to choose IITs based on the departments they wanted to join – Chemical Engineering was good at IIT Bombay, Computer Science at IIT Kanpur and Electrical Engineering at IIT Madras. IITs also conducted personal counselling sessions where students were advised that all branches and all IITs were equally good. Now that such sessions and distinctions have dissolved, all that remains is public perception of the IITs where IIT Bombay enjoys a good reputation.
Conclusion: IIT Bombay vs the Other IITs
In the end, the JEE toppers choose from the Top 5 IITs - the older ones which include IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur and IIT Kharagpur.
While IIT Kharagpur is the oldest IIT, its location makes it unattractive to bright students with all the options open for them. If someone is from North India, the closest IITs for them would be IIT Kanpur and IIT Delhi. Since Delhi has better connectivity and is the Capital of India, it wins out over IIT-K. For South Indians, the choice is between IIT-B and IIT-M. Mumbai, being the Financial Capital of India and offers more opportunities to students in all fields of life, wins over Chennai here.
Naturally, the trend shows that North Indians go to IIT-D while South Indians among toppers join IIT-B. Those who are from west, east or central regions just tend to follow the previous year trends. Since, South India has been yielding more and more toppers among Top 100 JEE scorers every year, IIT Bombay has emerged as an obvious choice for them.
Hence, we can say that while IIT Bombay is among the best IITs of India, the best IIT for you depends on your choice of department, home town where you come from, your academic life preferences and your life goals.