The longdrawn fee hike and fee reimbursement rigmarole seems to have taken its toll, with only 1,34,674 candidates exercising their online web options till Sunday, the last date of the first phase of web counselling for engineering and professional courses.
Though this is only marginally lower when compared to the 1.
37 lakh students who had reported for counselling last year, experts feel that the number of category A seats remaining vacant in engineering colleges could cross 80,000 this time.
Private engineering college managements now allege that the lackadaisical approach by regulatory bodies and the state government in resolving the fee-reimbursement issue is responsible for the huge gap.
“Due to the delay caused by inaction on part of the Admissions and Fee Regulatory Committee (AFRC), which has been sitting on the proposals submitted by the technical institutions since February, as well as the weak stand of the state government, private engineering colleges will have to bear the brunt of increase in the number of unfilled seats,” said Major G.
Lakshmana Rao, dean of ACE Engineering College.
Of the 3.
21 lakh seats in engineering and pharmacy colleges available under EAMCET, around 2.
12 fall under the category A or convenor quota.
Last year, close to 74,000 such seats remained vacant at the end of the second phase of counselling while a similar number was recorded under category B seats, leading to a total of 1.
60 lakh unfilled seats for the academic year 2011-12.
The numbers are likely to be higher this year due to the enhanced fee-structure of 85 engineer ing col leges Deemed colleges from neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have stepped in take advantage.
Many of these colleges have a better track record than private colleges in the state and many students have already migrated due to delay in counselling.
Except for few top colleges, even management quota seats are likely to remain vacant this year.
As there were few takers last year, some private colleges had agreed to admissions under management quota seats at an annual fee of even `10,000 - much lower than the prescribed fee structure for convenor quota seats.
The situation will only deteriorate this year,” observed a member of private college management on condition of anonymity.
With only 2.
07 lakh candidates qualifying the EAMCET- 2012, the number of candidates is lower than the total number of seats available under convenor quota.
Students are likely to opt for management quota seats in top colleges than go for convenor quota seats in tier-2 colleges.