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22,000 engineering seats vacant

22,000 engineering seats vacant

Few takers for core branches; biotech no longer a favoured course

Chennai: Only a week remains before the single window counselling for B.E/B.Tech seats in the State is to end, but more than 22,000 seats remain vacant across 250 colleges in the State.

Going by the present trend, academics and analysts feel that at least 17,000 seats may not be filled before counselling ends. Of the 35,631 seats allotted so far through counselling, nearly 80 per cent the seats (28,345) were in the `circuit branches' — ECE, Computer Sciences and Engineering, Information Technology, Electronics and Instrumentation or Electrical and Electronics branches.

Last year, at about the same time, only 72 per cent of the total seats went to the `circuit branches.'

This year, there were 1,505 seats in Anna University's constituent colleges, 3,178 seats in government and aided institutions, besides 53,093 seats in self financing colleges when counselling began (making a total of 57,776 seats) — 14,430 seats more than that was available last year.

Of the 250 colleges, only 12 colleges have filled all seats. This includes two self-financing institutions — Sivasubramania Nadar College of Engineering, Chennai, and the Institute of Road Transport Technology in Erode, says Salem based analyst, Jayaprakash Gandhi.

He notes that the College of Engineering, the A.C. College of Technology at Chennai; the Alagappa College of Technology at Karaikudi, the MIT-Chrompet; Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai; PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, the Government Colleges of Engineering at Bargur and Salem, the Coimbatore Institute of Technology, Coimbatore, have also filled all seats.

Of the 237 unaided institutions, 12 colleges have done better as they had less than 10 vacancies when counselling ended on Monday.

The situation puzzles Prof.P.V. Navaneethakrishnan, a former Director of Admissions in Anna University.

He says chemistry-based courses such as chemical engineering; petroleum and refining, polymer and metallurgy engineering or rubber and plastics engineering all find favour in foreign universities, especially in postgraduate studies and Ph.D with assistance and scholarships.

The recent government policy favours steel industry, while in the leather industry, traditionally Indians have contributed greatly. The students should look at these options also.

Eligibility norms unpublicized

The receipt of a counselling letter by a student with less than the prescribed eligibility marks has given rise to interesting questions.

The student (BC category) with a total cut off of 142-plus marks and less than 55 per cent has been asked to come for counselling on August 19.

As per the Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions 2006 handbook, the eligibility norms are as follows: OC — 60 per cent aggregate marks in Plus Two in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics; BC — 55 per cent; MBC and Denotified Communities — 50 per cent and SC/ST — a pass in Plus Two.

However, enquiries show that as per an as yet unpublicized move by the TNEA coordination committee, OC students with 59.1 per cent aggregate or more in the three subjects have been declared eligible.

Similarly, the letter written by Anna University to colleges in August 2005 (last year) says BC students with 54.1 per cent or more and MBC students with 49.1 per cent or more are eligible for admissions.

If the move had been publicized in the handbook, it could benefit more students in similar situation, says Prof. Navaneethakrishnan.

22,000 engineering seats vacant

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