24,000 more seats up for grabs in govt arts colleges in Tamil Nadu: Dept of Higher Education

The 163 government colleges across Tamil Nadu currently have 1.20 lakh seats, sources said. The move will benefit students who have applied in large numbers but couldn’t get admission.
Image for representation
Image for representation

CHENNAI: Government arts and science colleges across Tamil Nadu will add nearly 24,000 seats this year as the Department of Higher Education has allowed them to increase their intake by 20 per cent this year due to an increase in demand for seats.

AGO issued on Friday, which also allowed government-aided colleges to increase their intake by 15 per cent and self-financing colleges by 10 per cent, will help add thousands of additional seats across various courses this year in the State.

The 163 government colleges across Tamil Nadu currently have 1.20 lakh seats, sources said. The move will benefit students from economically- weaker sections and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students who have applied in large numbers but couldn’t get admission.

Most of the students from backward communities choose government colleges as they cannot afford to pay fees in private colleges. This year, a record 4.07 lakh students have applied under Tamil Nadu Government Arts and Science College Admission (TNGASA) and 2.29 lakh students have paid the application fee so far. The G.O. states that colleges need to get the necessary permission from the universities they are affiliated with before enrolling students in these additional seats.

Notably, in the past academic year, government colleges were permitted to increase seats by 25 per cent in arts subjects and 25 per cent in science courses depending on the availability of laboratory facilities in colleges. Tamil Nadu higher education department officials said the decision has been taken after considering the availability of infrastructure facilities in government colleges and a spike in demand.

‘Move to help students from poor families’

Higheigheigheigher education department officials said the decision has been taken after considering the availability of infrastructure in government colleges. TN Government Collegiate Teachers’ Association president T Veeramani said the move would benefit students from economically weaker sections but a shortage of teachers is a concern.

“Currently, 7,000 teacher posts are lying vacant in government colleges. The government should also think about recruiting teachers to ensure quality education to students,” Veeramani said.

Many teachers said since 2015 there has been no recruitment for government colleges and the institutions are handling it by employing guest faculties. The higher education department has directed government-aided and self-financing colleges to submit details of students admitted to these additional seats to the Directorate of Collegiate Education.

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