Chennai: The problem of vacant seats is not only haunting the private engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu. Even the premier Anna University has a reason to worry as only six of its constituent colleges, out of 16, have managed to fill 90 percent or above of their seats in the recently concluded counseling for admission to engineering colleges.
The data provided by the university reveals that the University College of Engineering at Coimbatore is the only constituent college of Anna University to have registered a 100 percent enrolment of students this year. The college has a sanctioned strength of 240 and all the seats have been filled up during counseling this year. The Tiruchirappalli campus has recorded an enrolment of 98.85 percent this year while Madurai campus has filled up 97.91 percent of its seats followed by Tirunelveli which stands at 97.08 percent. The Kancheepuram and Villupuram campuses have reported 96.66 percent and 95.83 percent of enrolment respectively.
Apart from these six constituent colleges, the remaining 10 have failed to attract students. The enrolment figures in Ariyalur, Thirukkuvalai and Ramanathapuram is really a cause of concern for the varsity authorities. The three colleges have a sanctioned strength of 300 each but this year only 85 seats have been filled in Ariyalur while in Thirukkuvalai and Ramanathapuram the number is 73 and 76 respectively.
Thoothukudi, Panruti, Pattukkotai and Dindigul colleges have reportedly managed to fill only 56 percent, 52 percent, 54.33 percent and 48.66 percent of its seats respectively. However, things are somewhat better at Tindivanam, Arani and Nagercoil as over 70 percent of seats in these colleges are filled.
The varsity officials have different views about the scenario. Some have attributed the vacancies to the declining popularity of engineering courses while some others have blamed the location and infrastructure lacunae at the colleges for students not choosing it. “Some of the constituent colleges lack basic infrastructure like well-equipped laboratories, experienced faculty, and even their location is so interior that students don’t prefer to study in such colleges,” said a faculty of Anna University.
However, the vice-chancellor of the university M K Surappa has claimed that measures are being taken to tackle the problem. “We have sought funds from the state government to upgrade laboratories and hostels and other required infrastructure in the constituent colleges. Besides, we will send faculty from the main campus to the constituent colleges to boost the morale of students and faculty there,” said Surappa.