Counselling for the government quota in engineering colleges may be over, but there are supposed to be over 50,000 B.E. seats available at private colleges through their management quota. The final date to apply for admission for these seats is on Monday.

However, many of these seats have already been filled ahead of counselling. “About a week before government counselling, we got scared as to whether our son would make it into a good institution. So we approached one of the reputed colleges for a management seat,” says a parent, who did not want to be named. Having paid the fees, for which no receipt was given, her son was promised admission through the 35 per cent management quota at a well-known institution on the Rajiv Gandhi Salai.

He is not alone. At several engineering colleges on the outskirts of the city, admission to management quotas in the popular streams were closed even before government counselling started, according to both students and faculty. “It has been a tough year for admissions, but we have less than 15 per cent of our [management] seats still vacant,” said a senior faculty member at a college in Poonamallee. In private, the boast of chairmen and principals is their achievement in filling management quota seats; in public, they toe the official line of waiting till the end of this month.

“We cannot give any [management quota] admissions yet. We have to wait for the consortium [of self-financing colleges] to put out its merit list,” says the chairman of a private college in Gummidipoondi.

This consortium has 348 engineering colleges as its members, and has been authorised by the government to coordinate management quota admissions. Accordingly, it has placed advertisements in major newspapers, and has been selling applications since last month. After the deadline for submission of application on August 17, it will prepare a merit-based rank list and submit it to the Justice M. Thanikachalam Committee for Admissions on August 31. Admissions will then be done on the basis of that rank list over the next week, and classes are due to start on September 7.

“We had originally announced that classes would start this month, since everyone knows that most colleges have already filled their management quota seats. But then the consortium reminded us of the merit list date, so we have postponed the date of opening for affiliated colleges,” said Anna University vice chancellor P. Mannar Jawahar.

Even Minister for Higher Education K. Ponmudy acknowledged the early admissions to management quota seats several times during the admission season, when he pleaded with parents to wait for government counselling rather than panicking and paying for management seats.

“Unless they form a single-window counselling system for management quota also, such situations may not be avoidable,” said a senior official of the Higher Education department, pointing out that even if students waited until the publication of the merit list, there was no transparency in the allotment of seats as it was done arbitrarily by the consortium committee.