For the last three days, the Anna University campus is buzzing with much excitement and activity as students keen on joining engineering courses gather to buy engineering applications. On the third day of the sale of forms, the university recorded the sale of 1. 6 lakh forms - nearly 20,000 more than last year.
The class XII state board results are scheduled to be announced on May 22 and students have about a week to fill up forms and submit them. But there is barely any time to rest as students also have to get many other certificates during this time. Rajesh Gopinath, a class XII student, who took a drop last year to get into the IITs, is not very confident of his JEE results though. “I went to Nellore for three years to pursue school education with IIT coaching. This year, I have to get into a good college, or the year would have proved a waste.”
He also needs to keep a nativity certificate ready as required of students, who live in the State but have spent one or two years between class VIII and class XII in some other State.
For most students, this is the time to sit and think what kind of engineering they need to pursue and if they really have other options. The challenge is in choosing the right stream and right college for themselves. A few students have also taken psychometric tests offered by consultants.
“The tests showed that I was more of design person and I should take up mechanical engineering and then, machine designing later,” said Ramya Moorthy, who collected her form too.
R.K. Balakrishnan, former professor, Anna University, has some advice. “I would suggest they go for a discipline they are interested in. Even if the college doesn't place you, you will find a way out if you interested in your subject.”
Senior professors opine that students need to think very carefully before they zero in on a course. “Engineering is no doubt a very good choice but you can't say you don't like machines or mathematics but want to be an engineer.Students need to know what are the subjects they are interested in, rather than pursue a course their friends or seniors chose to study,” said Prof. Balakrishnan. The information brochure that every student gets with his form has crucial details about the courses, seats and other details about every college.
“There are some colleges that are good for all courses while others might have a good brand name, but may not offer uniformly excellent courses. Students need to be ready to make these compromises so talking to seniors would really help,” said D. Purushottam, who works at Anna University administration office. He had accompanied two students to Anna University on Tuesday to help them with the application process.
The certificates necessary are the first graduation certificates and those necessary to certify that the candidate is applying for admissions under categories such as sports, ex-army men's wards or students with disability. The students also need to attach photocopies of caste certificates and first graduate in the family details wherever applicable.
“The photo copies of the mark sheets and documents have to be attached and sent to us. We urge students to keep these forms ready and the details filled, so that after results, they can come and submit the forms,” said V. Rhymend Uthariaraj, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions (TNEA).
“This year, those who have applied for the AICTE fee waiver scheme also need to give in the income certificate of parents,” he added.
A team of ten professional verification experts and faculty members will scrutinise the certificates and the forms after they are submitted. The second verification will be done during counselling by a set of superintendants.
“The student data now comes directly from the data centre so there an is automatic double check. If there is any discrepancy, we will check manually and ensure there is no chance of fake certificates getting through,” said P. Mannar Jawahar, Vice-Chancellor, Anna University. Dr. Jawahar said as many as 2 lakh applications had been printed by TNEA. Preparations are being made to print 20,000 more applications in the next few days as the demand is slated to go up by at least 20 per cent this year.