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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Engg admissions made easier

CHENNAI: The state government has reduced the minimum eligibility marks to be scored in plus two for admission to BE/B Tech courses. The move will help self-financing engineering colleges to fill more seats from the coming academic year.

In future, students belonging to the most backward community (MBC) with an aggregate score of 45% in higher secondary board examinations will be eligible to join engineering colleges as against the 50% marks required earlier. Likewise, BC students need an aggregate score of just 50%, instead of the prevailing 55%. Students competing in the open category have to score 55% instead of 60%. Students belonging to the SC/ST community can join BE/B Tech programmes with a mere pass in plus two, as is the existing norm, higher education minister K Ponmudy announced in the assembly on Tuesday.

The minister pointed out 14,721 seats had fallen vacant last year in self-financing engineering colleges in the state. “Reducing the eligibility marks will provide access to engineering education to more students and also help colleges fill up seats,” he said.

For a few years now, managements of unaided engineering colleges have been demanding that students who have passed plus two must be allowed to join engineering colleges.

In a related move, the government has decided to establish five government engineering colleges through the respective Anna Universities in Tindivanam, Villupuram, Panruti, Nagapattinam and Ramanathapuram creating 1200 BE/B Tech seats. Also, the Anna University (Chennai) will increase its students' intake by 360 from the coming academic year and the existing government engineering colleges will cumulatively add 600 seats, Ponmudy said.

The government has also enhanced the quota in engineering colleges for children of ex-servicemen from 81 to 150 seats and the sports quota has been increased to 100 seats from the existing 42 (See Box). The Tamil Nadu State Council for Technical Education would be established.

Finishing school

Meanwhile, the ministry has decided to launch a Finishing School for students of government engineering and polytechnic colleges. Engineering graduates, polytechnic diploma holders and final year students can enroll in the school to learn industry-specific job skills. The school would seek to bridge the gap between the academia and industry by equipping students with IT and software skills for a minimal fee.

Ponmudy said from 2008-09, the shift system of education, which has been successfully implemented in state-run arts and science colleges, would be extended to government polytechnic colleges. This would provide an opportunity for more rural and economically-weaker students.

Undergraduate students of arts and science colleges can now simultaneously enroll for a diploma course or ITI certification course from the coming academic year. This will enhance their employability, the minister said.

To enable 91% of the state's labour force which is unskilled, the government has decided to offer them certificate courses through the Tamil Nadu Open University. The courses will be imparted in polytechnic colleges in each district, which shall function on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays. Labourers who are literate can join the programme and appear for the examination at their workplace itself.

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