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Seat reduction alters choices

VANI DORAISAMY

Post-CET abolition, AICTE’s decision to do away with nearly 3,000 engineering seats is likely to result in more crowding at the cut-off mark stage in select courses.

Photo: K. V. Srinivasan

Future shock? The pruning of capacity in some branches is expected to have an impact on the chances of applicants. Photo: K. V. Srinivasan

For a student community still grappling with the reality of a post-CET engineering admissions scenario, the AICTE’s move to take nearly 3,000 seats off the scoreboard due to various reasons has come as a further cause of apprehension. What this means is that while the decision to admit students based on Plus-Two marks would lead to crowding at cut-off mark stage, lesser seats would also mean fewer choices. In addition, the AICTE has also put on hold approval for a fu rther 4,560 seats, citing reasons such as non-receipt of compliance letters from institutions and, in many cases, information in the submitted letters.

Intake is down in nearly 56 colleges, out of a total of 247 engineering colleges in the State.

A branch-wise analysis of reduced intake of seats, done by Salem-based educational consultant Jayaprakash Gandhi for Education Plus, shows that a total of 285 biotechnology seats have been done away with in nine colleges. Similarly, 305 computer science seats in 18 colleges, 360 Electronics and Communication Engineering seats in 16 colleges, 225 EEE seats in 14 colleges, 330 Information Technology seats in 15 colleges, 225 mechanical engineering seats in 13 colleges, 150 civil engineering seats in eight colleges and 245 biomedical engineering seats in eight colleges are also out of the reckoning.

So are 90 marine engineering seats in two colleges and 60 aeronautical engineering seats in three colleges. While the Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering stream will have 15 seats less, there will also be a reduction of 10 seats in chemical engineering, 15 seats in textile and fashion technology, 60 seats in polymer technology and 60 seats in rubber technology.

Similarly, 108 M.E, M. Tech seats in six colleges have also been slashed.

“As biotechnology and biomedical engineering have had few takers, the colleges themselves were not too keen on having them and in some cases, the institutions themselves may have asked for a reduced intake,” says Mr. Gandhi. He also points out that in last year’s counselling, out of 1,267 seats available in biotechnology, only 770 were filled up, that is, only 61 per cent of seats. In contrast, in the 2005 counselling, nearly 90 per cent seats were filled up. Similarly, in biomedical engineering, only 250 out of 668 seats were filled up in last year’s counselling, a mere 37.5 per cent. As such, reduced intake in these two streams may not make of a difference in this year’s counselling as it is likely that a higher percentage of seats may be filled up. Also, the reduction of nearly 1220 seats in major branches such as ECE, computer science, Information Technology and EEE is also not expected to have much impact on the seat matrix as they are not from top self-financing engineering colleges.

Crowding at cut-off marks

The analysis also predicts that due to absence of CET, there would be inordinately high ‘crowding’ of students at each cut-off mark. A perusal of the single window counselling process of the last few years showed that at no point were there more than four persons with the same cut-off mark.

This year anywhere between 100 - 400 students were expected to get the same cut-off.

In the last few years, all top 1000 engineering ranks were decided on the basis of date of birth. As there are few seats available in popular courses, this is expected to have a huge impact on the choice of courses and colleges.

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