Mining course fails to prove its mettle

The just-concluded admission round for undergraduate engineering courses, conducted by the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), has sounded the warning bell for a few streams, including mining, as they have fallen out of favour with students.

Precision Manufacturing (PM) tops the list among the five least favoured streams, as not a single seat out of the 60 available was picked during the selection process. Tool engineering is a close second with only three of 60 seats being chosen. Silk Technology is the third least preferred branch with only eight students opting for it.

Mining, which is the buzz word across Karnataka, stands fourth with 11 seats being chosen, followed by textiles at five with 30 out of 74 seats remaining unfilled.

Most preferred

The choice of students is clear as Electronics And Communication (E&C), Computer Science (CS), Mechanical, Civil, Information Science (IS), Electrical and Electronics (E&E)
and Telecommunication are the most preferred, and in that order.

While most colleges offer the preferred branches, the least favoured streams are available only in a handful of institutes.

For instance, Precision Manufacturing is offered only by the Government Tool Room and Training Centre (GTRTC), Rajajinagar, Bangalore.

Ditto with Tool Engineering. And one of the important reasons for students opting out of the two streams is the college itself.

BTech programmes

The GTRTC, set up in 1972 by the State Department of Small Scale Industries, started offering BTech programmes in the two streams only in July 2010.

The future of 41 students who enrolled in the said courses last year was undermined when the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) refused to grant permission citing poor infrastructure and lack of qualified teachers.

The GTRTC wanted to transfer the students to another college but could not do so as no other college affiliated to the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) offers the said courses.

Further, it did not want to make fresh admissions for 2011-12. The issue, however, was resolved after the AICTE gave its approval. Still, students were not convinced and did not want to take a risk. Hence, the poor response to the two branches this year.

The matter was not helped by an indifferent GTRTC establishment either.

According to a senior official, the institute did nothing to attract students. “Neither was any advertisement placed, nor was any step taken to popularise the courses,” the official admitted.

Lack of interest

The story of Silk Technology, offered only by the Sri Krishna Rajendra Silver Jubilee Technological Institute, Bangalore, is not very different, as only eight out of 17 seats were filled.

The falling prices of silk and an impoverished industry contribute to the lack of interest among the students.

The course is available only at Dr T Thimmaiah Institute of Technology, KGF. As for Textile Technology, only 44 out of 74 seats were filled.

While things might improve during the casual vacancy round of counselling that begins on August 12, one thing is clear — the said courses have lost their popularity.

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