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JAM Engineering Admissions: A Review June 9, 2008

Posted by Karan in General.
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An year ago, I came across this survey in the JAM site asking engineering students to fill a form about their college. Though I ruled it out as another of those questionnaires out of which results never come, I could not resist filling it up for the heck of my college, IIIT Hyderabad. Last week, the book finally released. And I must say, the book’s not disappointed me at all… In fact, it’s one extremely informative book. Unlike the dumbass India Today ratings, a lot of effort seems to have been put into this review. And to say the least, the results show! So, cheers Rashmi and her team at JAM!

I’ll probably list out the positive and negative points of the book. Positive first.
• There are no rankings, just the division of colleges into categories- A++, A+ and so on till C-. This’ll probably ensure that friction levels are kept to a minimum.
• The division by itself. In most cases, a lot of research seems to have gone into the entire thing. Besides, taking in inputs from engineering students at a popular youth site was a good idea. Though I resent IIIT Hyderabad being put in the A+ category (I think we deserve an A++), I’m still happy with most of the ratings.
• The sheer size of the database– the book manages to cover more than 500 colleges! None of your other surveys have covered this number till date. Who would have thought that your GITAM, CBIT etc would be covered in an engineering survey. The number makes the book useful not just for budding IITians but also those who’re looking at other national and state level colleges.
• The articles in the magazine cover a plethora of topics ranging from the types of engineering, life at engineering colleges, life after graduation etc. For all those who wanted to get into an engineering college but didn’t know why, or those who have no idea of what BE and B.Tech are all about, this is a perfect place to start off. Some of the articles like the one on birthday bumps and treats, the one on placements by Bansal herself, and the one on donation are brilliant! They accurately and vividly describe the actual situation. There are other very good sections like the Editors’ pick, way of living and all.
• The book does a good job of describing some of the major branches in detail. It gives you a fair idea of where your aptitude lies.

However, being a first time work, the book does have some chinks in the armour, though not major ones.
• I can’t say much about other states, but for me, as an Andhraite, there was an error too many. For instance, the spelling of GITAM is messed up with. There are hardly any articles on colleges in Andhra. The book says that admission into NIT-W is still through EAMCET (as well as AIEEE), which is far from the truth.
• Some of the rankings seemed a little unfair. Indore’s GSITS was put at A+ whereas NIT Bhopal is at A. Even considering the advice (given in the book) that national colleges (like NIT Bhopal) be put at one level higher (A+ in this case) while comparing with local colleges, the ranking seems unjustified. The fact of the matter is NIT Bhopal is quite ahead of GSITS.
• The unofficial prospectus gets repetitive after some time. Engineering life is more or less the same across the country, with some variations with place, type of college etc. Considering the above fact, a few articles in this section can easily be removed.
• Articles on topics like reservation, ragging, college fests etc could have been covered.

All in all, the hiccups are far and few in between. The overall feeling of reading the book is pretty positive. I hope it replaces India Today as the primary engineering survey in India. Hats off to JAM for coming up with such a wonderful and useful book. I’ll call it a must have for all engineering aspirants.


1. AGATADEV » JAM Engineering Admissions: A Review - June 9, 2008

[…] Original post by Karan […]

2. Vipul - June 9, 2008

looks like a nice book from ur review … i’m waiting to grab a copy n read it. and ya i agree IIIT deserves an A++ 🙂

3. Rohith - June 9, 2008

For IIIT to deserve an A++, we need to have several branches and some proper basics to be taught in first year. Unfortunately, we can’t introduce more branches and the reviewers can’t compare us with A++ colleges because of lack of branches.

4. Anon - June 10, 2008

I dont understand what is the funda of multiple branches. If multiple branches can be a criteria then number of students should also be criteria. Any rubbish engineering college can beat all these criteria and become numero uno.

IIIT has evolved in a single branch so much that each research center can be considered as a separate engineering branch (people join these research centers in the vacations after second year itself and other college cover subject like physics chemistry and stupid experiment courses in these subjects till their third semester). Isnt it enough to compare us with other engineering colleges in quality only with a single branch itself.

For IIIT to deserve an A++, we need to have several branches and some proper basics to be taught in first year.

I would say remove even physics from first year syllabus. People already know physics a lot and it’s not useful further. Just for the sake of ranking why should we introduce these useless courses. Instead introduce quantum physics. Atleast it is useful for people who wish to do research in quantum computing. People can take this subject as a regular subject instead of taking it as an elective/open elective. We need some more mathematical courses. Whatever mathematics courses are offered are enough but some people need highly specialized mathematical courses.

Well, if anyone else need these basic subjects in future he can always take subjects like physics, chemistry, biology as a part of bio-informatics center or computational natural sciences center. Why everyone need to study every stupid crap on earth. This is not 1950 when scientific literature was meagre.

Just consider CMU. This university (whole university) is on a 127 acres of campus (twice the size of our campus–small right!!). This university has the best computer science department in the whole world even ahead of MIT (check usnews ratings of CS). This is only because of Robotics Institute(RI) and to some extent Language Technologies Institute (LTI). If they can be rated numero uno in computer science on the basis of two research centers why cant we be rated in A++ category in engineering colleges on the basis of two branches. Anyways, it seems that Prof. Sangal has huge plans to evolve further. Third building is coming up with 6-7 floors on a huge ground. New faculty quarters are coming up. Let’s see what’ll happen. Three huge-huge buildings again for two branches.

These ratings doesn’t matter anyways.

But, it would be interesting to know branch-wise ratings as people can give up a slightly better college in favour to a much better branch.

PS: Who the hell made IIIT website. When is new website coming up. It doesn’t show anything properly.

5. jimmy - June 10, 2008

@ anon:
I am quite curious: What you say, and your way of saying it, are fair and fine. Why then, do you post anonymously? (Another example: a comment on shark’s I.T.rankings part II)

6. GuessMe - June 13, 2008

I would say remove even physics from first year syllabus. People already know physics a lot and it’s not useful further. Just for the sake of ranking why should we introduce these useless courses. Instead introduce quantum physics.
I initially thought you were being ironical. How the heck can you even attempt to understand quantum physics without a thorough grounding of Wave Optics, Electromagnetism, Thermodynamics, Statistical mechanics and the beautiful structure that all the Classical Physics is.
This is the precise reason why, I think it is very premature to ask undergraduate students to pursue “research” right from their second year. They don’t even get enough time to appreciate the beauty of the work their predecessors have done. I don’t understand how it is possible to build upon existing structure without having made a good sense out of the ideas that took enormous efforts of their creators!!
To think that you can get started with “research” with such shaky foundations, is nothing different from the way Don Quixote set out on adventures after reading books of chivalry.
All you get to do in your remaining academic career is the mad rush for publishing “papers”, getting recommendation letters, and working as a Teaching Assistant without a knowledge of what you are teaching and finally a PhD worth not a penny.

7. gaurav jaina - June 25, 2008

can someone please tell me which grade does NIT Silchar (its in assam, north east india) belong to.
I cant find a copy of this anywhere in assam.

8. gaurav jaina - June 25, 2008

and as for IIIT, i think i doesnt deserve to be in the same category as IIT bbay etc.
seriously no. of branches do matter.

9. deekay - June 25, 2008

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10. pranavsaraf - February 15, 2009

sounds really cool … hope we had a such a book while we were applying to colleges

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