Like every year, our aim with conducting the Freshers’ Survey is to gain an insight into the incoming first-years, in all their bright-eyed excitement and naivety. With things finally opening up after the pandemic, the 2022 entry batch is the first batch in the last three years to have their first year completely offline (so far, at least). Through this edition of our demographic survey, we’ve tried to provide our readers with a snapshot of their lives - from their backgrounds to their habits, personal beliefs and outlooks, and their experience so far at IIT Delhi.
Out of a total UG strength of 1293 students, we were able to reach out to 584 freshers, 45% of the total batch strength. Since the survey was floated during the winter break, we had to rely on email and social media communication to invite responses. This is the primary reason for the drop in responses from 78% in 2019’s survey. The percentage of female responses saw an increase of 6% from 18% in 2019 to 24% in 2022.
Where are they from?
Types of areas (Metropolitan, Urban, Suburban and Rural) Almost a fourth (23.1%) of the respondents are from metro cities, 48.1% from big cities, 17% from towns and 11.8% from villages.
Delhi-NCR vs non-NCR 16.1% of respondents hail from Delhi-NCR, a drop from 20% last year. As many as 75% of the respondents were from North and Central India.
Languages Spoken Around 94.3% of respondents speak Hindi, and 81.5% speak English. We also asked respondents to rate their comfort with the two languages on a scale from 1-5, with 5 being the most comfortable. 73.1% of respondents rated their comfort with Hindi at a 5. 39% of respondents rated their comfort with English at a 4, and 38.7% at a 5. As seen in the previous years, most people comfortable with English (4-5/5) hailed from either cities or metropolitans (78%). 11.6% of students also faced a language barrier, with only a tenth of them hailing from metropolitans. Telugu (6.2%) and Marathi (5.6%) were among the most spoken regional languages.
First-Generation College Students Around 11.8% of the respondents are first-generation college students. Meanwhile, 35.8% of the respondents have a family member or a close relative who has been in an IIT, either as a student or a professor.
Coaching 83.6% of respondents were enrolled in a coaching institute, with a majority of them (43.2%) attending two years of coaching. About half of them (50%) attended coaching in their hometowns, followed by 27.2% going out-of-station and 21.1% of students opting for online and self-study methods. As expected, students hailing from towns and villages tended to opt for out-of-station coaching institutes (51.1%), while most students hailing from cities and metropolitans opted for coaching in their hometowns (64%). 40.9% of students were enrolled in a dummy school for 11th and 12th grade, and about a third (29.8%) took a drop year.
Schooling 93% of respondents completed a significant portion of their education at an English Medium school, which is surprising considering only 81.5% claim they can speak English. This discrepancy could be attributed to a lack of metrics of fluency in the survey. Thus, some respondents could’ve taken into account their fluency and comfort in the language while answering. Computer Science(32.9%) and Physical Education(40.1%) were the most popular choices for the 5th subject in 11th and 12th.
IIT Delhi and Beyond
Primary Reason For Choosing IIT Delhi The prime reason for most respondents was the brand name of IIT Delhi (71.4%), followed by placement statistics (45.5%), proximity to home (38%) and branch interest (28.3%).
Department Change 38% of respondents look forward to a department change at the end of their first year, whereas 38% are still on the fence. Looking at a branch-wise distribution, Computer Science students seemed most satisfied with their branch, with 85% of them not wanting a branch change. Conversely, only 11.6% of Textile and Fibre engineering students did not want a branch change.
Academics at IIT Delhi We asked the students to rate their experience with academics at IIT Delhi on a scale of 1-5. It is important to keep in mind that the survey was floated towards the latter half of their first semester. Most students (36.8%) rated their experience at a 3, followed by a quarter (25.3%) rating it at a 2. Only 3.4% of the respondents found their experience to be at a 5.
Post-graduation plans 41.3% of respondents are unsure about their future aspirations, a significant jump from 27% in 2019. Placements drew the highest number of responses, with just over half of the respondents considering them an option. Only 8% of respondents from metro cities chose Civil Services as an option, as compared to 27% of those from villages. This trend is similar to that seen in 2019. Similarly, we saw the following recurring trends too:-
48% of the Civil Engineering department considered working in Civil Services as an option.
42% of the Engineering Physics department considered Higher Studies as an option.
Sleeping Habits 55.5% of respondents claim to get 6-8 hours of sleep at night on most days, while 41.1% claim to get less than 6 hours. Almost two-thirds of the respondents claim that college has had a negative impact on their sleeping habits, leading them to sleep for fewer hours than before.
Extracurriculars Apart from academics, most people enjoy hanging out with their friends (74.1%) and participating in extracurriculars (55.8%). Interestingly, exploring Delhi (33.6%) and online courses (15.4%) are also popular options, with people hailing from metros preferring the latter, and people from villages preferring the former more than people from other places. Debating Society and Photography and Films Club remain the most popular (43% each) among the cultural clubs, followed by the Dance Club and Design Club. Entrepreneurship Development Cell (50%) and Economics Club (44.2%) were the most popular among technical clubs, and Finance Club (35%) and Adventure Club (38%) among the unofficial clubs. Among sports, Badminton was the highest in popularity (56%), distantly followed by Table Tennis and Cricket. An important point to note, however, is that sports such as Weightlifting and Cricket have yet to form any official women’s team, and a lack of opportunity could’ve influenced the answers.
Identity and Communication The majority of the respondents (84%) identified as heterosexual, with around 7% of the respondents identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community. However, we noticed that there were a few respondents who weren’t able to understand the question. We would like to refer them to our Inclusivity series article on the LGBTQ+ community on campus in case they’d like to learn more (click here). 65% of respondents claimed to be comfortable conversing with different people of any sex or gender, while 17.3% were comfortable conversing with people of the same sex or gender only.
As seen in previous surveys, we found students from urban areas to have notable advantages, including higher English fluency (the medium of teaching at IIT Delhi). The language barrier has also impacted people’s ease of communication with other individuals and socialisation.
The impact of the hectic life at IIT Delhi can be seen in its effect on the respondents’ sleep schedules, with most of them having had their habits change for the worse since onboarding. With things moving offline again, we have seen a dip in the proportion of students getting 6-8 hours of sleep, from 82.5% last year to 55.5% this year.
Due to the questionnaire being in English, we may have missed out on responses from students who are less comfortable with the language. Certain questions had a degree of subjectivity to them, which could have led to differences in interpretation (as can be seen in the discrepancy noted in the “languages spoken” and “medium of schooling” questions). We have attempted to point these out wherever applicable.
The questionnaire can be viewed at: https://forms.gle/8fbip2W72kkcRxxL7
54% of respondents opted for NSO, 41.4% for NSS, and only 4.6% for NCC. One reason for the small share of people in NCC could also be the fact that it is not available to female students as an option.
Most students found the library (63%) to be the most comfortable place to study, while 58% liked their hostel rooms, 32% liked LHC, 28% their Hostel library, 15% CSC and 6% Ex-hall.
Whatsapp and Instagram remained among the most popular social media platforms, with 67.5% of students claiming to be highly active on the former and 40% on the latter. Facebook was on the other end of the spectrum, with 68% of students claiming not to use the platform at all,
70% of respondents have participated in a few extra-curriculars and are looking forward to trying out more. Meanwhile, 13.7% of respondents did not take part in any activities.
85.6% of respondents claimed that the facilities given to them (e.g. Mentors, BSW representatives) were sufficient to help them adapt to the IIT life.
60% of respondents found the food provided at the hostel mess to be decent.