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12,000 more may get engineering seats

Deepa Kurup

AICTE has said the eligibility cut-off will be reduced from 50 to 45 per cent

— file Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

Cet session:According to sources in the Higher Education Department, the AICTE has assured the Government that a notification in this regard will be issued in a few days.

BANGALORE: Over 12,000 more students are likely to qualify for engineering admissions this year if the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) makes good on its promise to the State Government. The AICTE has agreed to reverse its decision and slash the eligibility cut-off for engineering courses from 50 to 45 per cent.

Highly placed sources in the Higher Education Department told The Hindu that following its appeal to the apex body, the AICTE has assured the Government that this will be notified in a few days.

Earlier this year, the AICTE stepped up the eligibility requirement from 45 per cent (40 per cent for SC/ST category students) to 50 per cent (45 for SC/ST). This notification, part of the AICTE's key reforms aimed at increasing the quality of engineering graduates, is likely to be rescinded.

Appeal

The number of engineering ranks allotted in the State, through the Common Entrance Test, dipped from 73,600 in 2010 to 64,962 this year.

Following this, the State Government appealed to the AICTE to bring down the eligibility criterion. Since around 15,000 seats were unfilled last year, a trend that has manifested itself in recent years, the State Government was eager to bring down the eligibility criterion.

Many other States have reportedly made similar appeals to the apex body, and some private institutions have even taken the matter to court.

When contacted, top AICTE officials in the Karnataka regional office declined to comment. However, unofficial sources said that a decision to this effect was likely to be taken at the AICTE executive council meeting on Thursday. A final decision on the seat matrix, including increase in intake and new approvals, will be taken at this meeting.

Earlier, the State Government had to postpone its counselling because the AICTE refused to notify the approved seat matrix in June.

Karnataka Examinations Authority officials told The Hindu that according to its database, if the eligibility criterion is revised, over 12,000 more students would become eligible for CET ranks. Of this, an estimated 8,000 are students from the SC/ST category.

“We are ready with the additional rank list and are awaiting final notification from the AICTE to go ahead with this,” the official said.

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