The country's premier B-schools have all wrapped up admissions and started classes but seats are still vacant in some of the younger ones.
According to figures available, at least 55 seats are yet to be filled up in three of the new IIMs — Shillong, Trichy and Rohtak.
"This is a national loss," said a source, adding that vacant seats meant loss of revenue.
While 106 students have taken admission in IIM Shillong, which has 120 seats, 84 have enrolled in IIM Trichy, leaving 36 seats still vacant. Five seats are yet to be filled up in IIM Rohtak.
The three IIMs, part of the seven set up in the last three years, have declared admissions closed for this year and have started classes since July 4.
In all, there are 13 IIMs in the country that have a combined strength of nearly 2,700 seats in postgraduate programmes.
A top official involved with the Common Admission Test (CAT) that candidates need to crack said part of the vacancy problem lay in "simultaneous" admissions, which means preference comes into play.
After clearing the CAT, students have to apply separately and appear for group discussions and personal interviews (GDPI) for admission to the institute of their choice.
Each institute follows different criteria to select students, who invariably apply to multiple IIMs and get offer letters from these institutes. But they prefer to take admission in the older IIMs. The result is seats remain vacant in the younger IIMs despite hundreds of names on the waiting list.
"Some seats remain vacant in the new IIMs every year. This could be avoided if all the IIMs do not conduct their admission simultaneously," CAT convener Himansu Rai told The Telegraph.
"The IIMs stick to the uniform admission schedule under which it has to be completed by July 2," he added. "If the younger IIMs defer their admission process by a fortnight, they would not face this problem."
A source said vacant seats not only meant loss of revenue for the institutes but also denial of admission to "deserving" candidates. "When there are hundreds of students on the waiting list, the IIMs stop the admission process with several seats still vacant. While the institutes lose out on revenue, the deserving students have to look for some other institutions."
Another possible solution could be common counselling and common GDPI. The human resource ministry had proposed common counselling but the institutes had rejected the suggestion.