Counselling for engineering admissions started on Monday on schedule as announced by the State government, but confusion over the number of seats available persisted as the Madras High Court reserved orders on petitions filed by many colleges against new norms for renewal of approval.
Justice V.Dhanapalan of the Madras High Court heard a batch of petitions challenging the new norms of the All India Council for Technical Education for engineering colleges seeking renewal of approval. When the matter came up for further hearing, counsel for a college said institutions were willing to comply with the new norms, but they should not be compelled to implement them this year itself. “We will not be able to do this this year. Give us a reasonable amount of time,” counsel said. He explained that the AICTE Act did not contemplate the issue of a handbook at all. The handbook should be part and parcel of the new regulations, which should be gazetted. Another counsel said the requirement of an approval of the colleges each year was itself against the law. It was also argued that if the regulations were new, they ought to have been published in the gazette. But the AICTE counsel said the handbook contained only the procedure and it need not be published in the gazette. The regulations had already been notified.
Meanwhile, officials at Anna University, Chennai, proceeded with counselling under sports quota admissions to engineering colleges using the seat matrix based on the previous year's data.
Due to the confusion in engineering admissions, candidates allotted seats were given allotment letters in the evening. An official said that though AICTE regulations stated it was illegal to admit students to a college that was awaiting approval, the final admission would take place only later and the current letter was only allotment of courses the candidates had chosen. The letters of those who chose colleges that are awaiting approval due to the litigation pending in court indicated that the colleges were awaiting AICTE approval.