There is good news for IIT aspirants from the minority community. The IIT-JEE Admission Committee has decided to implement 4.5 per cent reservation for them within the 27 per cent seats meant for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) from this year.

Those minority candidates who had submitted the application forms online and have not mentioned their status can do so on the IIT-JEE website — http://jee.iitd.ac.in/obcminority.php — by giving an undertaking that they have a minority status and would submit the certificate before the exam on April 8.

The undertaking has to be given to the respective zonal offices before March 20.

IIT-JEE Chairman G.B. Reddy said the application forms did not carry this information as this development was recent. He asked the students to submit the undertaking first and later submit the certificate to claim reservation.

“We are giving enough time for candidates to secure the certificate. Non-submission of certificate will result in candidates not being considered for the category as a separate list will be prepared,” he said.

“It is for the State government to decide who fits in the minority category and certificate issued by the tehsildar concerned will be valid.”

Following the reservation, around 430 minority candidates are likely to get admission in the 17 IITs across the country going by last year's figure of total 9,500 odd seats.

Professor Reddy said the final figure would be available after March 25, when the IITs have been asked to submit the list of availability of seats. Some IITs increase the seats and some others introduce new programmes. IIT-Hyderabad has written to the JEE Chairman that it will start two new programmes this year — Civil Engineering and Engineering Science, with 25 seats each.

So far 5,07,607 applications have been received by the IITs, slight increase from last year's figure. But the final number may change as some candidates have applied in two zones, while some others have failed to provide the necessary documents. “We are writing to all such candidates to choose the zone they wish to appear in and also submit the documents immediately. The variation may not be huge,” Professor Reddy said.

Kanpur zone saw maximum applicants this year. Madras zone received about 78,000 applications. Last year, Bombay zone received the maximum applications. “We have altered the allocation of cities, where exam will be held, to different zones to ensure equal workload,” he said.