"The additional intake for these core branches is in ‘good’ colleges and reflects the changing preferences of the students," said officials.

Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) followed by Computer Science Engineering (CSE) are emerging as hot favourites going by the preferences given by the engineering aspirants this year.

They are not going to be disappointed as there is a substantial increase of seats in these two streams - 10,710 additional seats in ECE and 8,730 in CSE. More seats are also available in mechanical engineering with an additional intake of 9,260, civil engineering (5,760) and electronics and electrical engineering (3,650).

“The additional intake for these core branches is in ‘good’ colleges and reflects the changing preferences of the students,” said officials.

The highest number of seats is also available in the streams of ECE (92,000) and CSE (77,890). Other branches’ seats availability is: Mechanical (57,000), EEE (56,000), Civil (39,000) and IT (27,500).

In fact, engineering aspirants have plenty to choose from within the 3.64 lakh seats on the offer as only 2.07 lakh students got qualified in EAMCET.

At least, 1.5 lakh seats are likely to remain vacant going by the difference between the number of aspirants and availability of seats.

The vacant seats could also be more as a few thousand students have already moved out of the State to take admissions in the neighbouring States because of the delay in admissions or in search of better colleges.

Interestingly, despite being aware that 1.2 lakh seats were vacant last year, it has neither stopped several new colleges from starting operations nor stopped existing ones from increasing their capacities in quite a few popular courses. It was 85,548 vacant seats in 2010-11 and 49,670 in 2009-10.

717 colleges

There are 717 engineering colleges but so far 671 colleges have been included for counselling.

The rest have either preferred the minority windows or did not get their renewal from the university.

Officials say the State accounts for 20.6 per cent of engineering seats of the country.