Anxious parents and students hoping to get an engineering seat in the college of their choice have much more to do at the counselling venue than just wait for their turn.

Final-year students of Anna University have set up an interactive facility at the counselling venue to answer their doubts that range from the scope a particular branch has to the extent to which Tamil medium students cope with the syllabus.

“When we came here for admission, we had several doubts but there was nobody to answer them,” says Vignesh K., a final year Computer Science student. Nearly 55 students from different branches of engineering – belonging to the CEG Tech Forum, which organises the annual tech fest Kurukshetra – came together to get the initiative moving.

“Parents and students have all sorts of anxieties. They want to know about the semester system, the assessment methods, dress code and everything about college life,” says Adarsh Reddy, another student.

Sometimes, it goes beyond that too. For instance V. Monica, a final year Computer Science student, has been helping aspiring engineers to set up their e-mail accounts.

“The only concern is that many of them are more worried about placements, rather than the course they are going to pursue. We are advising them to explore their subjects of interest first, and build their skill sets,” says Monica.

The interaction is not restricted to the campus. The online forum ‘Student Konnect’ of the CEG Tech Forum has students voicing their apprehensions and having them solved by alumni.

“Yesterday, a student got confused and picked a college with a name similar to a reputed one. Since the formalities of admissions are also not easy, parents are happy with a little guidance,” says Vivek Bharathi, another volunteering student.

While the Facebook page started by these students has already elicited many responses from aspiring engineers, the stall at Anna University seems to be constantly attracting parents.

“Initially they came and asked us if we were selling laptops. Some came and asked if we are giving jobs to students and if we were recognised by the Central government,” laughs Monica.

However, once they understood what was being done, they were full of doubts about bank loans, courses, the better colleges, and whether ragging was prevalent.

“The sad thing is we may not be able to continue with this stall for long, as we are missing our classes,” says Adarsh Murthy, a student.


Just breaking the ice?October 15, 2012