Candidates of NRI origin waiting to attend the single window counseling for engineering courses conducted by the Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions (TNEA)-2013 were in for a rude shock at the Anna University on Saturday. They were unaware of the reduction in seats for the NRI quota, and hence a section of them had to return empty handed.
The allocation for the NRI quota - in three colleges under Anna University -- which was in excess of 300 last year, was cut to 146 this year following a court order.
Upset, they raised a din over the issue at the counseling centre, stating that they had spent large sums of money and time to make it to the venue, and that their efforts were all in vain.
One such parent criticised the officials stating that not informing them about the seat reduction reflected poorly on the university.
Soon, officials led by university Vice-Chancellor M Rajaram rushed to the spot to soothe the frayed tempers, and at the same time expressing their helplessness. “We explained our position to the parents who soon dispersed,” the V-C told Express.
On why prior intimation was not provided to them, he claimed that since the issue involved a court order, it could not be discussed in the open.
“We were in receipt of the order in January itself. Due transparency has, however, been accorded to every aspect of the admission process.”
The skewed preference for engineering courses too could have played a role in the commotion, according to a senior university official.
“Most of the aspirants present wanted to opt for either electronics and communication or mechanical engineering.
Also, those who were unable to participate in the counselling were miffed that they had obtained higher ranks,” he said.
The official explained that the order pertained to an SLP (special leave petition) on quotas for engineering seat allocation filed in 2007, on which the apex court had ruled in January this year that the quota cannot exceed 10 per cent.
Last year, the allocation under the quota included 10 per cent each for NRIs and foreign nationals, 5 pc for children of Gulf workers, and a 5 pc industrial quota.
Following the court order, the allocation has now shrunk to 10 per cent for the first three categories together and 5 per cent industrial quota.
Meanwhile, a total of 116 of the 146 engineering seats for the NRI quota were filled on Saturday.