Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

Joint Seat Allocations in IITs and Other CFTIs: Impact of an Algorithm

ASET Colloquium
Speaker: Surender Baswana (Indian Institute of Technology Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering Kanpur 208016)
Date: Friday, 17 Mar 2017, 16:00 to 17:00
Venue: AG-66 (Lecture Theatre)

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Abstract:  Until 2014, the admissions to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) were conducted separately (based on JEE Advanced ranks) from the admissions to the non-IIT Centrally Funded Technical Institutes (CFTIs) (based on JEE mains ranks). The same set of candidates were eligible to apply for a seat in each of the two sets of institutes, and several hundred candidates would indeed receive two seats from the two different sets. Each such candidate could use at most one of the seats, leaving a vacancy in the other seat; this would be noticed much later, in many cases after classes began. Such seats would either remain vacant or would be reallocated at a later stage using spot rounds organized locally which used to be inherently unfair and inefficient.

In 2015 and 2016, a new combined seat allocation process was implemented to resolve some of these issues, especially the vacancies. The process brought all CFTIs under one umbrella for admissions. Each candidate submitted a single choice list over all available programs, and received no more than a single seat from the system, based on the choices and the ranks in the relevant merit lists. At the core of this seat allocation process lies an algorithm adapted elegantly to many business rules of admissions and engineered to handle many practical challenges. At least 90% of the talk will be accessible even to a non-expert.

About the speaker: Prof. Surender Baswana obtained his BTech, MTech, and PhD from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Delhi. Thereafter, he spent nearly three years (2003-06) as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Saarbruecken, Germany. In 2006, he joined the faculty of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Kanpur.  Prof. Baswana received the INAE Young Engineer Award in 2009. His area of research is the design and analysis of efficient algorithms. He is a member of the technical committee for the Joint Seat Allocation project since mid-2014. Along with his students at IIT Kanpur, he developed the software which is now used for Joint Seat Allocation.