Single-window counselling for admission of SSLC and VIII-passed candidates in government and private Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) in Tiruchi district commenced at the Government ITI, Tiruverumbur, on Monday.

Through the process until July 27, a total number of 733 seats in Government ITI, Tiruverumbur; 199 in Government ITI for Women in Pullambadi; and 316 seats in 12 private ITIs would be filled. Of the 20 private ITIs in the Tiruchi region, eight had preferred to opt out.

Even the 12 participating institutions are permitted to surrender 50 per cent seats in trades of their choice. Next year onwards, private ITIs intending to be a part of the counselling process will have to surrender 50 per cent seats in all the trades they offer, official sources said.

On the first day of counselling, the preferences of most of the 325 students with cut-off marks of 96.5 to 76.5 per cent aggregate in Mathematics and Science appeared to be for fitter and machinist trades, according to the principal and Deputy Director of Government ITI, Tiruverumbur, John Bosco. The institution admits candidates in 15 trades for candidates with SSLC qualification, and in four trades for those with a pass in VIII, he said. Out of 3,456 applications received from SSLC passed students, 1,625 candidates were shortlisted and have been invited to take part in the counselling process, Mr. Bosco said.

Economically backward students with high scores readily seek admissions in ITIs not only because of the concessions introduced newly by the Government, but also because the would be able to exercise the scope for vertical mobility. After completing the ITI programme of two-year duration, they would be eligible for lateral entry into the second year in polytechnic institutes. Candidates with a pass in VIII standard who join the one-year programme would receive NCVT (National Council for Vocational Training) recognition on completion of their course. A total of 650 seats are to be filled under this category.

During February this year, Minister for Labour Welfare and Employment S.T. Chellapandian announced two sets of uniforms and footwear, and assured laptops for the ITI students enrolled in Computer Science programme, after distributing free bicycles for the first time and enhanced monthly incentives to Government ITI students of Tiruverumbur and Pullambadi.