At the end of this year’s engineering counselling, the 239 engineering colleges in the state put together have admitted 30% of their sanctioned strength. A situation has arisen warranting the closure of more than 150 engineering colleges, in which student admission has remained less in the past few years.
There are 22 engineering colleges where not even 1 student has joined in counselling this year; only 1 student has joined in 9 colleges; and the numbers of colleges in which 2 students have joined is a mere 6! Also, 267 colleges have recorded less than 100 admissions. In some 136 colleges, more than 50% of the seats have been filled.
In all, 97,860 engineering seats are vacant when counselling was completed this year, and the number of students who have joined in engineering courses this year is less by as many as 11,754 as compared to the last year. In self-financing colleges, 95,700 seats are vacant.
In the present scenario when even the seats under the government quota have not been filled, there is no possibility at all for management quota seats getting filled fully. It is only in colleges directly under the control of Anna University, government or government-aided colleges and well-known self-financing colleges that most of the engineering seats have got filled.
The All India Council of Technological Education (AICTE) has already announced that in the colleges in which less than 30 percent admission has happened in the last five years, seats will be halved. With fewer students studying, it is doubtful if those college managements will be appointing sufficient number of capable teachers and will also be able to improve the infrastructural facilities.
When news came at the beginning of the current year that in the first semester examination conducted for the colleges affiliated to Anna University, none of the students who took the examination from 43 colleges has passed, it sent shock waves across. One can also very well understand about the standard of the 141 colleges, from where the number of students passed stood in single digit percentage. Some educationists are cautioning that such a state of affairs may continue in colleges with less student admissions.
“If the colleges, where even the required minimum number of students have not joined, are forced to shut down, what will happen to the students who have already joined there? Even if these colleges are not closed, will the students be getting education at reasonable standards there? Only Anna University should initiate steps to ensure that even the colleges with less student admissions maintain standards. This is the time for conducting a thorough review of the pathetic state of affairs of engineering education in Tamil Nadu and take remedial action”, says education-consultant Nedunchezhian.