The Higher Education Department and the Directorate of Technical Education have said no to a request by the self-financing engineering college managements association to reduce the minimum marks in the qualifying examination for B.Tech. programmes from 50 to 45 per cent in the new academic year.

It was one of the major demands put forward by the managements in the seat-sharing and fee talks with the government for admission to B. Tech courses.

The managements pushed their demand hard and reasoned that thousands of students who fell short of the minimum requirement of 50 per cent migrated to neighbouring States such as Tamil Nadu, where engineering colleges admit students with an aggregate of 45 per cent marks in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.

‘Quality will be affected’

A senior official said reducing the minimum marks in the qualifying examination would further trample the quality of education in private engineering colleges.

The official blamed the managements for double standards. The managements will request for relaxation of marks in the qualifying examination before the beginning of admission process.

But when they are pulled up for declining academic standards, the managements will blame the authorities for allotting poor quality students from the State engineering rank list.

The Higher Education Department and the Directorate of Technical Education could not implement various measures to improve the standards of engineering education for want of support from the government.

Court directive

The authorities could not even implement the Kerala High Court directive that engineering colleges that failed to even secure 40 per cent pass in the final year examinations should be closed down.

The court had suggested that the All India Council for Technical Education could revoke the affiliation of such poor performing engineering colleges.

But the government is now going slow following pressure from the managements. A recent order issued by the Higher Education Department had said that all existing self-financing institutions would be granted approval for 2013-2014 and 2014-15.

Extension of approval

Extension of approval will be granted in 2015-16 only to those self-financing engineering colleges that had a minimum pass percentage of 25, 30 and 35 respectively, in the fourth, sixth and eighth semesters. The Higher Education department diluted its stance as the implementation of the High Court directive would have shut down at least seven private engineering colleges in the new academic year.

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