Shashi Gulhati's book has some information about the "children who qualify through the JEE for admission into the 'portals.' The profile has changed only marginally over the last decade." Here, then, is the profile -- from page 34-35 of The IITs: Slumping or Soaring:
- Seventy two/three percent still come from cities, a little over 20 percent from towns and the balance from villages and that percent has increased a little from 5 to 8 percent.
- About 40 percent are 18 years old; the percentage of 17 years old has reduced from 33 to 23 and that of 19 years old has increased from 20 to 25, indicating that somewhat older students are coming in through the portals.
- They are somewhat older, perhaps because the percentage of those who are succeeding in getting admission in the first attempt has reduced from 52 to 40 percent, whereas the percentage of those succeeding in the second and third attempts have gone up from 40 to 43 and 8 to 14, respectively. [numbers don't add up for the latter year; see the note below]
- Many students are coming from CBSE affiliated schools, up by 8 percent from 45 to 53; and fewer from schools with ICSE affiliation -- down from 14 to 8 percent. The balance, about 40 percent, have taken the state board exams.
- Students who qualify are those that are also performing better in their Class X examination; the proportion of those with more than 90 percent has almost doubled -- from 17 to 32 percent; those with scores from 80 to 89 percenthave increased marginally -- from 47 to 50 percent; and those with scores less than 80 percent have dropped from 36 to 28 percent.
- The educational and professional background of parents of children who are qualifying has not altered; about 45 percent are still children whose fathers are in public/government service; those having both parents who are graduates are about 60 percent, with one graduate -- 30 percent and with no graduate parent about 10 percent.
Note: Gulhati does not cite a source for the data; so I presume the source to be an internal IIT study. Further, in all these comparisons, the years being compared are not specified. The latter year appears to me to be either 2005 or 2006. [Take a look at the data for 2006, and some of the numbers are similar. For example, the successful first attempters were about 43 percent of the 2006 cohort, what you get from Gulhati's numbers -- 100 - 14 - 43 = 43 -- is the same, except that he mentions 40 percent). As for the base year, Gulhati's earlier statement (that "the profile has changed only marginally over the last decade") indicates that it's probably 1995 or 1996 (but I am not sure).
These numbers, I presume, are for the JEE-qualified; the numbers for those who actually join the IITs (and a few other institutions including my alma mater -- IT-BHU) would be somewhat different. Gulhati does not provide any figure for how many of the JEE-qualified actually join the JEE-affiliated institutions.
Gulhati goes on to provide some statistics about the students' financial background:
... One may presume that the responses [regarding family income] understate the amount. Nevertheless, it is interesting to observe that for JEE 2005, only about 19 percent of the qualified students had declared that the income exceeded Rs. 3 lakhs [Rs. 300,000] per annum; 24 percent stated that it was between Rs. 2 lakhs and 3 lakhs; 30 percent mentioned it was between 1 lakh and 2 lakhs; 18 percent that it was between 0.5 lakh and 1 lakh, and 9 percent reported a family income of less than 0.5 lakh. ...