New facility on Anna Univ website to help students avoid agents

In about a week, students, who have applied for engineering courses in Anna University, will get an approximate idea of the colleges and courses they can opt for, based on their marks.

The information that will be available on the university website will prevent students from getting misled by predictions by agents or commercial websites, said officials. The details will be available at www.annauniv.edu/tnea2013/. Admissions to nearly 2.5 lakh seats in 535 engineering colleges across the State will begin next month.

“Until last year, we put up only the cut-offs on the website. Now, students will just need to key in their range of marks and will get a list of courses and colleges that they are likely to get admission to, based on their marks and last year’s cut-off,” said Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions(TNEA) secretary Rhymend Uthariaraj.

However, Prof. Uthariaraj also said the information would only provide only a general idea of the options. “The trends are likely to change because many top-rung colleges have increased their intake in many branches. Other branches have been shut down too,” he said. Anna University officials added that a more specific system had not been put in place to prevent agents from capitalising on it. “Otherwise they would merely link to the site and extract more money from students,” said an official.

The system is likely to bring some relief to students who hitherto had to depend on private agents, some of whom charged a fee, for such information. Surya Kumar, an applicant from Kancheepuram, said he had already spent Rs. 1,800 on a psychometric test and counselling from an agency. “They suggested I pursue mechanical engineering and gave me a list of seven colleges I could opt for. But, most of these colleges are in Chennai and I do not know much about them. So, I have scheduled another session with them for Rs. 1,200 to find out more,” said the student, who submitted his form on Monday.

Prof. Uthariaraj said students should utilise the information on the website to make a shortlist of colleges. “Students should, if possible, visit some of the campuses. They need to ask those studying in these colleges about teaching facilities, whether teachers keep changing often, if laboratory facilities are adequate, fees and hidden costs, about placements and the rules of the college,” he said.

The facility in the website will also enable applicants to find out if their form has been accepted and track its progress. “We will call them if they have not submitted important documents. They will also be given a registration number using which they can track their admission online,” said Prof. Uthariaraj.

Once counselling begins on June 21, students can log in every day and track vacancies. “The website will be updated eight times a day. The students can make their decision before coming here for their admissions,” he added. This year, nearly 2.35 lakh engineering applications were sold, 7,000 more than last year. The sale and submission of forms ended on Monday.