Following the State government’s decision to exempt tuition fees for first generation students, more than 78,000 such students have applied this year, Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy said on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters after the assignment of random numbers to applicants for engineering admissions, Mr. Ponmudy said this represented around 47 per cent of the total applications of 1,67,406 this year.
Higher education officials said the estimated number of first generation engineering applicants last year was around 50,000. K. Ganesan, Principal Secretary for Higher Education, said the government’s exemption of tuition fees had encouraged more applicants resulting in the increase of over 25,000 this year.
Mr. Ponmudy said that in view of the huge number of applicants this year (representing a doubling from the number of applicants three years ago), the counselling dates may be extended to August 5, and colleges would reopen before August 15 instead of on August 1 as announced earlier.
The rank list would be released on June 18, certificate verification for sports quota applicants would take place on June 21 and June 22 and sports quota counselling would be held on June 28. After vocational seats counselling between June 29 and July 3 and counselling for special category students on July 4, general counselling would start on July 5, the Minister said. Counselling for other States students would be held on July 17 and counselling for B.Arch. seats would be held on July 21.
Anna University, Chennai, vice-chancellor P. Mannar Jawahar, Mr. Ponmudy, Mr. Ganesan, Commissioner of Technical Education Kumar Jayant and a member from the media participated in the generation of the random number seed used to assign random numbers to all applicants.
In case of a tie in the cut-off marks between two students, their Mathematics score would be used to decide the higher rank. If those were equal, the Physics mark would be used, and if that was the same, the birth date would be used. Only when all these matched exactly for two students, the random number would be used to decide the higher rank. Last year, the ranking of only 12 students was decided by the random numbers, V. Rhymend Uthariaraj said.