The Indian Institutes of Technology will offer, on average, 500 seats to candidates from the economically weaker sections from the 2019-’20 academic year, reported Hindustan Times. The move follows the Centre’s introduction of 10% reservations for the poor among upper castes in January.

The total number of seats will be increased to bring in students from economically weaker sections. “With the introduction of EWS [economically weaker sections] category in 2019, IITs are going to offer around 500 seats to EWS candidates, which is approximately [a quota of] 4%,” IIT-Roorkee Director AK Chaturvedi told the daily. “The increase in the total number of seats will be less than 9%. Thus, the total number of seats will cross 12,500.”

IIT-Roorkee, which will conduct the Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced) this year, has said that the top 2.45 lakh candidates from the JEE (Main) would be eligible for the JEE (Advanced) this year. This includes 9,310 candidates from the General-economically weaker sections category and 490 for the General-economically weaker sections-disabled category.

Siddharth Pandey, chairperson of the JEE (Advanced) 2019 for IIT-Delhi, said: “This year, IIT-Delhi will be implementing 5.6% EWS quota. We will have an overall increase of 105 seats. For this, we are already constructing a girls’ and a boys’ hostel.” JEE is the examination through which candidates enter the Indian Institutes of Technology.

IIT-Madras will introduce 4% quota for the economically weaker sections this academic year. “This will throw infrastructural challenges, but it is doable,” Director Bhaskar Ramamurthy said. “Classrooms will not be much of a problem but accommodations have to be worked out.”

Officials at IIT-Kharagpur, who did not want to be identified, said the college may reserve 3% seats for candidates from the economically weaker sections. However, they added that infrastructure problems will arise when a fresh batch of students would have to be accommodated in the second year of the implementation of the scheme.