52,000 qualify for engineering seats under new norms

The AICTE has recently hiked the eligibility criteria from 45 pc to 50 pc. As per the information available from the PU Education department, this year, 52,294 candidates have secured 50 pc or more in the II PU examination.

This year, 1.56 lakh candidates have appeared for the II PU examination who have opted for the Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics combination. Of this, 83,648 candidates have passed the examination. However, only 52,294 candidates have met the new AICTE criteria of 50 pc or more. The candidates who miss out this year owing to the new AICTE norms -- those who have secured between 45 pc and 50 pc -- numbers to 8,070.

With the number of engineering seats expected to increase from 71,000 last year to 80,000 this year, a large number of engineering seats are expected to remain vacant due to lack of eligible candidates. Moreover, the explosion of engineering seats in both Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu -- with both having nearly 1.5 lakh seats each -- is expected to make it more difficult for colleges to fill up these seats. For instance, thousands of seats available under COMED-K have been lying vacant over the past few years.

The raising of the eligibility criteria has been criticised by the state government, and Higher Education Minister V S Acharya has shot off a letter to AICTE to reconsider its decision. AICTE is yet to respond to the state government on the issue.

Meanwhile the state government is yet to come to an agreement with private engineering colleges on fee for courses. The state government will be expected to use the decrease in the number of eligible candidates as a leverage in negotiations.
Currently, the state government has offered fee of Rs 32,500 for engineering courses, while private engineering colleges have demanded Rs 50,000 owing to implementation of the sixth pay commission.

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