To chase the technology rainbow

Last Updated 17 January 2018, 20:19 IST

Engineering has been one of the most sought-after professions for more than half a century in our country. Not only those wishing to make a career in technology, but also those aspiring for professions like management, civil services, entrepreneurship, banking, Human Resources, international trade, have all considered a good engineering degree as the best foundation to move towards their goals. Earlier, streams such as mechanical, chemical, civil and electrical were most in demand, but for the past two decades they have been overtaken by Electronics and Computer science.

JEE Mains & Advanced

More than 50 years ago, the government had the foresight to develop national-level engineering colleges called Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Now, there are 19 IITs all over the country. Similarly, we now have 40 National Institutes of Technology (NITs). We also have many Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) which offer exclusive education in the IT field.

Entrance exams for these institutes are held in two stages via Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Mains and JEE Advanced. All candidates have to appear for the JEE Mains, and 2,20,000 toppers from this exam will be allowed to appear for JEE Advanced, which is primarily for entrance to IITs and a few other selected institutions. Admission to NITs, IIITs and many other institutions is based on the JEE Mains rank.

The dates for these exams have already been announced. While the pen-and-paper-based JEE Mains will take place on April 8, the computer-based test of the same will take place on April 15 and 16. Applications are accepted only online. There is also a Paper 2 exclusively for those wanting admission in BArch or BPlanning programmes.

Those who have completed Class 12 with Maths, Physics, Chemistry, English and one more subject in the years 2016, 2017 or 2018 are eligible, if their age (for open category) is less than 24 years. The result of the JEE Mains is expected to be released by April 30. Right now, it is important to focus only on clearing the JEE Mains with a good rank, as you will have sufficient time to prepare for the Advanced exam if you become eligible.

There is no weightage for the Class 12 exam marks. However, you will be eligible for IITs, NITs and IIITs only if you have scored at least 75% in the Board exam. Hence, those who go all out to prepare for the JEE exams and do not pay attention to their regular academics may lose out if their final percentage is low.


There are over 200 engineering colleges in Karnataka and admission is not as difficult as it used to be a few years ago. Those who wish to study in the State have to appear for exams known as K-CET and COMED-K. Both are exams for admission to Engineering and other professional courses including agriculture, veterinary, pharmacy and Indian systems of medicine.

CET, conducted by the Government of Karnataka, covers all the seats in government colleges and certain percentage of seats in private colleges. On the other hand, COMED-K, which is
conducted by the association of private colleges, covers the seats that can be filled up by those colleges directly.

CET exam is scheduled for April 18 and 19 and COMED-K on May 13. Since PUC exams will end on March 17, it gives enough time to prepare for both the entrance exams. CBSE students will get lesser time to prepare after their Board exams, and they should ensure that they browse through the PUC textbooks, since both these tests are based on the State syllabus.

As with NEET, preparing and planning out your study plan for JEE and other competitive exams for engineering are crucial. It also helps if you can start exploring and identifying which branches of engineering you would opt for in order of preference, so that you are not stumped at the last moment when you have to make a choice based on your ranking. It is always better to give more importance to the institution than to the branch of engineering, as many engineering graduates eventually branch off into diverse careers as mentioned above. Focused studies spread over all subjects, constant revision, stress relief, and a positive mental attitude go a long way towards ensuring success.

(The author is founder, Banjara
Academy, Bengaluru)

(Published 17 January 2018, 12:12 IST)

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