They pin hopes on new V-C of Anna University

June 10 was the last date for receipt of filled-in applications for admission to the M.Sc. five-year integrated programme conducted by the Departments of the Anna University. But this did not apply to the colleges affiliated to the university, as is usually the case.

With the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) barring engineering colleges from offering science courses, institutions did not issue forms for admission to B.Sc., M.Sc., and the five-year M.Sc. integrated courses. Though colleges were sounded on this since three months ago, the official announcement by the AICTE came at a meeting of principals in May.

Terming all non-engineering courses as “unapproved courses”, the AICTE had instructed the engineering colleges to only stick to the engineering courses as that is what they are meant for. But engineering colleges have a different take.

Contrary to what is perceived by the AICTE, the colleges say that faculty and resources are not shared by the engineering and science courses. Most of the colleges have set up separate classrooms and employed faculty to teach only science courses. Now, the fate of such faculty – who have been teaching for over 10 years – is not known.

Curriculum

Also, much work has gone into designing the curriculum and syllabi of the courses, to suit students who want to study specialised subjects without the engineering tag. All this will go a waste, a principal says.

Though there is not much difference in the course content being offered by Anna University vis-à-vis Bharathiar University, the college environment makes all the difference. Sharing space with engineers and visiting people from the industry, who are most often engineers, gives the science students a better perspective to the application of the subject, the principal adds.

A faculty member, who was handling a five-year integrated course in an engineering college, says that even now eager parents keep visiting to enquire whether the course will begin.

It is a loss for students who have heard about the popularity of the course in terms of content, application and placements, he adds.

Some academics say that there was already a concern about the decrease in number of students opting for science subjects. With this decision of the AICTE, they expect the situation to worsen. With only arts and science colleges offering science courses, many students will go without seat if they decide to take up such courses.

Intervention

Colleges are pinning hopes on the new Vice-Chancellor of Anna University M. Rajaram in this regard. They believe that his intervention will help AICTE reverse its decision so that many students will benefi