Putting an end to the long wait by B.Sc. graduates to gain lateral entry into engineering courses, the State government has decided to finally implement the provision made by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) from the academic year 2013-14.
This was announced by Higher Education Minister C.T. Ravi at a press conference here on Tuesday. Earlier this month, The Hindu had reported about the non-implementation of the scheme in the State, which was announced by the AICTE in 2011.
As per the AICTE guidelines, students who have obtained a B.Sc. degree with at least 45 per cent marks and who have passed class 12 with mathematics as a subject are eligible. However, they are expected to clear engineering graphics or engineering drawing and engineering mechanics of the first year engineering syllabus along with the second-year subjects.
The B.Sc. graduates have to appear for Common Entrance Test (CET) conducted exclusively for lateral entry students, who also include diploma students. The CET for lateral entry students is likely to be held in June. However, the government is yet to arrive at the percentage of seats that will be allotted to the scheme.
Thousands of engineering seats go abegging every year; last year nearly 25,000 were vacant, which include private and government seats.
Faced with a delay in procedures related to the CET, Mr. Ravi said that all the details will be finalised by April 10, including the seat-sharing agreement between the State government and private colleges, as well as fixing the fees for professional courses.
About a possible hike in fees for engineering courses as private college managements have demanded the same, Mr. Ravi said a report had been sought on its necessity. Based on it, a decision would be taken. “But we will have to consider that some 5,000 CET engineering seats were not filled last year. If we further increase the fees, will it affect the demand? All these factors will be considered and a student-friendly decision will be taken,” he said.
Asked what steps would be taken to curb the practice of colleges collecting money above the prescribed fee under various heads (the government sent notices to colleges last year), he said it would be mandatory for colleges to publish an “all-inclusive” fee amount.