In a final bid to fill the 8,776 vacant engineering seats under the government and government-quota, the State Government has announced an extended second round of counselling (for engineering and architecture only) from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday.

Mobbed by hundreds of parents and professional seat aspirants, Higher Education Minister R.V. Deshpande, who visited the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) office here on Monday, said that those candidates who wished to participate in the extended second round could log on to the KEA website and enter their options in the 12-hour time frame. The results would be announced by 5 p.m. on July 31, he added.

“The Supreme Court has stated that we have to complete the admissions by July 31. At the same time, there are 8,776 vacant engineering seats in the State. So we have decided to extend the second round,” Mr. Desphande said, to applause from students and parents.

Explaining why students get only 12 hours to enter options, the Minister said the government was forced to take this decision as the servers would be busy till 8 a.m. on July 30 as the ongoing option entry for the lateral entry scheme would end only then.

He added that KEA officials would work until July 31 midnight. “A team of 10 from the Directorate of Technical Education will also help oversee the admission and refund process.”

Site of unrest, again

Earlier, parents and students thronged the KEA headquarters to seek clarifications. While some students were teary-eyed about the seat selection glitches, others were fuming, adding that the announcement of the extended second round came too late.

Manoj J.H., who obtained a supernumerary quota seat in Vivekananda Institute of Technology, showed how on the same date he was astonished to see that his seat had changed to a general merit seat. “The supernumerary quota costs around Rs. 3,000. But I was shocked to see that I had obtained a general merit seat which would cost me over Rs. 40,000. If the government was not prepared with the counselling process, why do they have to test it on anxious students? ”

Some parents were there to inform the authorities about the huge amounts they were being forced to pay at colleges. M. Venu (name changed), who was here from Uttar Pradesh for his daughter’s admission, claimed the Sri Rajiv Gandhi College of Dental Sciences was demanding more than Rs. 50,000, apart from what was paid to the KEA, which includes hostel and bus charges, and college prospectus.

He seemed to have no guidance after waiting hours at the KEA. “Finally, I had no choice but to pay Rs. 20,000 at the college and told them that I would pay the remaining money [soon] as I did not have enough money at the moment.”

Reporting on Aug. 5

Bowing to pressure from parents and students seeking an extension of the last date for reporting to colleges — it was July 29 — the Minister declared that this had been extended to August 5.

Architecture students too had something to cheer about as 40 seats each from the School of Architecture, Srinivas Institute of Technology, Mangalore, and Aakar Academy of Architecture, Bangalore, have been added to the seat matrix.

Fee refund

Candidates can apply for refund of fees till 6 p.m. on July 30. The amount will be returned to them after reconciliation within 15 days, a release from the KEA said.

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