Understanding Quota and Category Schemes for JEE Main 2018 Admissions


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Quota and Category Schemes for JEE Main 2018 AdmissionsBeing an engineering aspirant, you should be clear about the difference between quota / reservation and category as this directly affects your admission chances for various institutes that accept scores of JEE (Main) for admission to B.E/B.Tech, including the NITs (the National Institute of Technology), the IIITs and the CFTIs.

Do you know what are the different quotas and reservation categories? Amidst all the confusion about the exam itself, many of the students do not think about this. But this can’t be avoided. Many others who are aware, are really confused about what exactly is the difference between quotas, reservations and categories, and how it would affect their admissions and what kind of quotas and categories actually exist that an aspirant can avail.

What is the Difference between Reservations, Quotas & Categories?

It is a well-known fact that reservations are governed by the government guidelines, which are applicable across the country for all national and state level entrance exams in India. Below are the major difference between quota/reservation and category.



1. A Specific percentage of seats in government or participating institutes is set aside for candidates belonging to specified quota or reservation apart from the category ones.   2. This can vary as per the institute guidelines or the state guidelines – for eg. quota for women, local/non local candidates, Defence personnel

1. Specific percentage of seats in government and private institutes are kept aside for candidates belonging to certain social backgrounds (SC, ST and OBCs)    
2. This percentage is mostly constant and same across the country.  

For NITs, the Quotas/Reservations Applicable for Admissions are divided into two categories:

Home State (or HS) Quota- Under the home state quota, the seats are reserved for candidates based on their state of eligibility which is basically the state where they have completed their Class 11th and 12th from. Remember, your home state quota is filled as per as your All India Rank. Almost 50% seats are reserved for HS quota students.

Other State (or OS) Quota- Under the Other State Quota, the seats are reserved for candidates of beyond the Home State. Here also, around 50% seats are reserved for OS quota students.

To make the above concept clearer, here is an example:

Rahul stays in Kerala and acquires a certain rank in JEE Main. Since, Rahul has a domicile of Kerala, he can apply to a Kerala college through the home state quota.

Now, in case, he got a rank around 1000 and NIT Calicut, in the 1st round, is offering a computer science seat at an All India rank of 900. Since Rahul has a home state quota, same seat would be offered to him at a rank of 1000 or even at 2000 also. Thus, Rahul is left with two options- First, to apply through the All India route or second, to apply via home state quota route. Here the choice completely depends on Rahul.

State of Eligibility: It is the state from where the candidate has passed the qualifying examination.

The Four Broad Categories for JEE Main 2018 Admissions

  • General

  • Other Backward Classes (or OBC) for only Non Creamy Layer candidates (their family annual income should not be greater than Rs.8 lakh)

  • Scheduled Castes (or SC)

  • Scheduled Tribes (or ST)

Apart from these main categories, Persons with Disability (or PwD) is a sub-category under each of the above categories as well. Thus in total, the number of categories available becomes eight-

  • General

  • General - PwD

  • SC

  • General - PwD

  • ST

  • General - PwD

  • OBC

  • OBC - PwD

Category Wise Percentage of Reservation in JEE Main 2018


% of Reservation

OBC (NCL- Non Creamy Layer, whose family annual income is less than Rs.8 lakh)








Important: Reservation of seats in JEE Main 2018 will be done as per the list that is released and maintained by the Central Government of India. The applicants of some categories will be admitted to seats reserved for them under relaxed criteria for ranks under reserved categories.   

Eligibility for persons with disabilities (PwD) category: To be eligible for consideration under persons with disabilities category, the candidate must have a minimum of 40% disability, which is subject to the condition that the candidate is capable of carrying out all activities related to theory and practical work as applicable to B.E. or B. Tech or B. Arch. Courses.

Clauses for Reservation Claims

  • In order to claim the reserved seats candidates have to submit proper documents at the time of admission in proof of their category.

  • The candidates will be given benefit of reservation only if their documents have been issued from proper authorities and in that too in proper format.

  • The benefit of JEE Main 2018 Reservation of Seats will NOT be given in case the candidates are not able to submit proper documents or if their categories are not included in the Central List.

  • As soon as the CBSE announces Reservation of Seats for JEE Main 2018 candidates will be notified.

Options of Ranks

An applicant’s rank card displays four different kinds of ranks. Like, if he belongs to the Scheduled Tribe, in that case he would have the following ranks to choose from:

  • All India Rank

  • All India ST Rank 

  • State Rank

  • State ST Rank

Hence, it all depends on the intelligence of the aspirant to apply on the basis of his or her rank in different colleges as per categories.

Reservation for women

Different colleges offer reservation to women in different ways. Normally, every college has 5% reservation for women. Therefore, a girl candidate has two options to apply- through All India Level and through the Women Quota System.

There are colleges which offer relaxation to girls in terms of percentage of marks too. So for example, if the cut off is somewhere around 97% for a particular seat or course, then a girl can apply for the same seat at around 93%.

For PwD women students, this relaxation is approximately a further 3%.

If facts are to be believed, DTU (the Delhi Technological University), some time back introduced a ‘Single Girl Child’ quota and according to the same, it has one seat each in all the B. Tech courses reserved for single girl children from Delhi.

Quotas for Private Universities

Often, private universities or colleges do not accept any quotas and actually, till the third round of counselling, such institutes do not have any role to play. Such colleges only appear in the spot round and extra spot round. So, no government institute can be part of the extra spot round but the private universities or colleges. And, these institutes have larger number of seats as compared to the government institutes and admit students at lower ranks.

But, private institutes do have to consider reserved categories. Private institutes like Amity, LPU, Sharda University, etc. neither accept any sort of quota nor do they have a home state quota as they only accept All India Ranks. But along with AIR, these colleges too have to offer seats to students from ST, SC and OBC categories.


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