Hundreds of engineering aspirants applying for TNEA (Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions) 2013 counselling had to wait for several hours on Wednesday to secure the attestation of the Tiruchi Tahsildar in their nativity, residence, family income, and first generation graduate certificates.

Every day it is a scramble at the office since students were required to submit their application along with these certificates for counselling before May 20 to the Secretary, TNEA 2013, Anna University Chennai. According to Arun, a student waiting at the Tiruchi Taluk Office, having to wait for the signature of the tahsildar, after securing the attestation of the Village Administrative Officer and Revenue Inspector for their certificates was an ordeal.

According to the TNEA 2013 norms, Scheduled Tribe students must get their community certificate attested by the Revenue Divisional Officer, and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Castes (Arundathiyar) from the Tahsildar. For students in Most Backward Class, Denotified Community, Backward Class and Most Backward Class categories, either the Deputy Tahsildar – Headquarters or Deputy Tahsildar (Certificates) is the signing authority.

If students fail to furnish caste certificate along with the application, they would be listed in general category.

Tahsildar Baladandayutham said the staff had been instructed to accord priority to the students’ requirements. “I personally signed hundreds of certificates till 8 p.m.,” he said.

Anna University started issuing applications for TNEA 2013 on May 4. According to its schedule, random numbers would be assigned on June 5 and rank list published on June 12 for the counselling that would take place from June 21 to July 30.

The section of rural students who are children of illiterate or semi-literate parents consider certification of the first generation graduate certificate as vital since they would be exempted from payment of tuition fee in the event of securing admission under government quota through single-window counselling. Under the scheme, the applying student has to be the first person in the family to claim the tuition fee waiver for the duration of the course. Each eligible student is provided a benefit of Rs. 20,000. According to the policy note of the Higher Education Department, the intention of the scheme was to take technical education to the doorsteps of students from marginalised families.

In 2012-13, 2,48,064 students benefitted from the scheme to the extent of Rs. 478.7 crore, the policy states.