Centralized Admissions for Engineering Colleges in India
INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics 49(5):338-354
29 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2018 Last revised: 12 Nov 2019
Date Written: 2019
We designed and implemented a new joint seat allocation process for undergraduate admissions to over 500 programs spread across 80 technical universities in India, including the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Our process is based on the well known Deferred Acceptance algorithm, but complex affirmative action seat reservations led us to make a number of algorithmic innovations, including (i) a carefully constructed heuristic for incorporating non-nested common quotas that span multiple programs, (ii) a method to utilize unfilled reserved seats with no modifications to the core software, and (iii) a robust approach to reduce variability in the number of reserved category candidates admitted, while retaining fairness. Our new seat allocation process went live in 2015, and based on its success, including significant and provable reduction in vacancies, it has remained in successful use since, with continuing improvements.
Keywords: stable matching, college admission, deferred acceptance, affirmative action, algorithm, implementation, market design
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