In Kerala, where admission to engineering and medical courses is an annual jamboree, courses in arts and science colleges often end up being ‘plan B’ for thousands of students.

The number of students who apply for BA, B.Sc, B.Com courses in affiliated colleges may not be a reliable indicator of the popularity of such courses.

Undaunted by this, two universities in Kerala now offer an online system of allotting courses and colleges to candidates who sign up for degree courses in arts and science colleges.

Last year the Mahatma Gandhi University was the first to introduce this system and this year, the University of Kerala followed suit. The total number of online applications received by MG university was 60,000.

Data sourced from the two universities reveal that the highest number of applications was for B.Com courses this year. At the University of Kerala there was a marked preference for science courses over courses in arts and humanities subjects.

The maximum number of course-college options for a single subject—71,137—was received for the B.Sc Chemistry programme. While more than 63,000 options were submitted for B.Sc Physics, the Mathematics programme received 33,601 options.

In stark contrast, less than 1,000 options were registered against subjects such as sociology and philosophyWhile the University of Kerala would carry out centralised allotments to about 15,000 seats for 41 courses across 71 colleges, the MG University would carry out its CAP for 20,000 seats across 130 affiliated colleges.