Decision on NIT admission will hit State students

The sudden decision of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to fill 50 per cent of the seats, hitherto reserved for students of other States in the National Institutes of Technology, on an all-India merit basis, will eliminate the chances of Tamil Nadu students getting admission to the NITs elsewhere in the country, say school principals.

The Ministry informed the Central Counselling Board (AIEEE-2008) about the change only on June 13. The principals fear the new system raises the possibility of the 50 per cent seats in 20 NITs being filled with students of some States that have been dominating the national ranking in the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) over the years.

Furthermore, they reckon, the awareness of the examination is inadequate in Tamil Nadu.

The States that lag in the AIEEE will have to content themselves with the 50 per cent of seats earmarked in the NITs for their own students. The decision has come as a shock at a time when all NITs are increasing the number of seats to implement 27 per cent reservation for the OBC students.

What rankles them is that the Central Government has not honoured its promise to safeguard the interests of States when it converted the Regional Engineering Colleges into the National Institutes of Technology.

In fact, the Centre was allowed to take over the Regional Engineering College here a few years ago only after it promised that the pattern of admission would be retained.

The decision must be based on the fact that the Centre meet the entire funding for the NITs as it does for the Indian Institutes of Technology, sources in the Central Counselling Board (AIEEE-2008) told The Hindu.

“There is no justification for the timing of the decision. Tamil Nadu students who have devoted their time and energy to securing seats in the NITs have been caught unawares. Had they known the decision earlier, they would have intensified their preparations since securing all-India ranks is quite a tough task,” says A. Rajagopal, a full-time trainer of IIT-JEE and AIEEE.

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