Monday, Jul 28, 2003
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By K. Ramachandran
A total of 21,505 seats remained vacant at the end of session. This in addition to over 5,000 vacant seats under the `management quota' in 225 unaided colleges. The colleges are free to fill the vacancies on their own, treating them as `lapsed seats.'
The counselling under SWS admissions for the vocational group began on June 30. The main counselling to fill 47,417 seats in the Anna University, government and aided colleges, besides unaided institutions, were conducted from July 3 in Chennai, Tiruchi, Madurai and Coimbatore. At the end of counselling, 25,912 students were allotted seats, including over 12,000 from Chennai alone, the TNEA Secretary, P. Narayanasamy, said. The last student to be counselled, Jagan (cut off marks 102.55) chose information technology in a Tiruvallur college.
A look at the final position showed that in about 55 colleges, only 15 per cent of the seats (which they surrendered to the SWS pool) were filled, leaving 85 per cent seats vacant. A college at Tuticorin, which was added to the SWS pool only three days back (as its affiliation was delayed), could not find a single taker.
Another 31 colleges could fill only 10 seats or less in all branches. Some institutions in Chennai's suburbs filled only one or two seats. In southern and western districts, most colleges were able to fill 40 per cent of their seats.
In keeping with this year's trend, the Information Technology branch had the largest number of vacancies: only 2,080 seats of the total of 8,337 were filled. Computer Science and Engineering fared marginally better: 3,786 were allotted and 6730 remained vacant.
Although, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering were the "best performers", the final tally showed 2,632 vacancies in the ECE branch, 2,723 vacancies in the EEE, and 1,190 vacancies in the Mechanical branch.
Last year more than 12,000 seats were vacant and in 2001, the vacancy position was about 9,000.
Colleges placed a large number of advertisements in the media, offering `lapsed seats' for a much lower fee than that fixed by the Government, which, after conferring with the colleges, fixed Rs.30,000 as fee for B.E/B.Tech courses this year.
But the colleges are now promising to admit students for even half this sum. An officer-bearer of the association of self-financing engineering colleges admitted that such promises indeed showed the desperation of colleges.
A chairman of a college group noted that it would be virtually impossible for the colleges to remain economically viable if 75 per cent of the seats remained vacant.
Meanwhile, the Anna University announced that admissions to B.Arch courses would begin on July 31, with issue of hall tickets for an aptitude test.
The admissions were delayed due to a court litigation, as practising architects opposed the government decision to do away with the test this year.
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