CHENNAI: Of the 440 engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu, as many as 306 have managed to fill fewer than 10 per cent of their seats at the end of second round of Tamil Nadu Engineering Admission (TNEA) counselling concluded on Saturday. The trend has raised concerns among experts as at least six of the 306 institutes are constituent colleges of the premier Anna University (AU).
While only 36 seats of the total 386 were filled at the University VOC College, Thoothukudi, it was 33 out of 387 seats at the University College of Engineering, Pattukkottai. Similarly, University Colleges of Engineering in Panruti, Nagapattinam, and Ramanathapuram have managed to fill only 21, 17, and 13 seats, respectively out of 387 seats in each of the colleges.
Ariyalur campus managed to fill only 11 out of the 388 seats. However, at the end of two rounds, over 95 per cent seats have been filled at the four AU campuses in Chennai.
Once in demand for low fee structure and quality education, a few of the university’s constituent colleges have lost their popularity in the last few years due to a lack of adequate infrastructure, said experts. "Year after year, the admission figures at some of the constituent colleges have been decreasing. This year, it is abysmally low as these six colleges have hardly managed to fill 10 per cent seats even after two rounds," said career consultant Jayaprakash Gandhi.
'Craze for Computer Science stream reducing popularity of core engineering courses'
Lack of adequate members of faculty is one of the primary reasons for the steep fall in admission numbers, said E Balagurusamy, former Vice-Chancellor of Anna University. "These colleges are not managed properly. There is an acute shortage of faculty here. If there are no teachers and well-equipped laboratories, why will students take admission in these colleges?" he wondered.
Meanwhile, varsity officials are of the opinion that it is the craze for computer science stream that is fuelling the declining popularity of core engineering courses. A few others blamed the location of some of the colleges, too, for students not choosing them.
"Some of the constituent colleges are located in interior areas that students don't prefer to study there," said a faculty member of the university. R Velraj, Vice-Chancellor of the university said measures are being taken to remedy the problem of faculty shortage. "On a priority basis, faculty will be appointed soon in all university colleges," he said.