CHENNAI: Almost three-fourths of the seats remain vacant even after three rounds of online counselling for the Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions (TNEA) 2020. While there are 1,61,877 seats in 458 colleges this year, only 42,421 seats were filled at the end of the third round.
Further, across the three rounds, about 40 per cent of those who registered for the engineering counselling did not ultimately participate in it. These students may get a chance to contest again in the supplementary couselling that will be held after the fourth round.
While a little more than half the seats remained vacant at the end of the engineering counselling in 2019, the vacancy in the government quota seats alone is estimated to be as high as 60 per cent this year.
Projecting the same participation rate for the fourth round, in which 40,572 candidates have been slotted, roughly 24,500 more applicants will be provisionally admitted. This means around 67,000 seats will be filled by the end of the final round -- which comes to only 41.4 per cent of all seats.
Totally, about 2.64 lakh BE and BTech seats, under the government and management quota, are up for grabs in Tamil Nadu this academic year.
There is a drop in participation in the counselling even as the number of applications jumped up by 20 per cent from last year, from 1.33 lakh to 1.6 lakh. Engineering faculty suggest that this trend is correlated with decreasing job security.
A Mechanical Engineering faculty member from an engineering college in Chennai told The New Indian Express that many of his students were placed with very poor salaries in the last few years. "Some students joined call centres and low end software jobs that paid them only Rs 10-15,000 a month. The highest package any student from the department got was Rs 3.2 lakh per annum," he said.
Despite this, the interest in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related fields has remained steady since 2018. A quarter of all applicants who have been allotted a seat so far have opted for Computer Science. More than half of them have picked either Computer Science, Electronics and Communication Engineering or Information Technology.