With counselling for engineering admissions scheduled to start on Monday, the number of seats available under the process remains unclear.

Apart from the existing 454 colleges in the State, twelve new engineering education institutions have been granted approval by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). But a number of existing colleges have appealed to the Madras High Court against the new norms of AICTE for renewal of approval.

On Friday, the State government, in its submission to the Madras High Court stated that counselling would begin on June 28 as proposed. But a Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions official said instructions on the number of seats and other details were still awaited.

P. Mannar Jawahar, Vice-Chancellor, Anna University, Chennai, held discussions with Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy, Principal Secretary for Higher Education K. Ganesan and Commissioner of Technical Education Kumar Jayant and other officials till late on Friday night to resolve the issue. He said the decision would be made after considering legal issues as well.

Counselling for sports quota is scheduled for June 28, for vocational candidates between June 29 and July 3, and for differently abled persons on July 4. General counselling for academic candidates would start on July 5.

Around 1.08 lakh seats had earlier been estimated by officials to be available under single window counselling this year, without including the new colleges and any reduction in seats due to the approval process or other reasons.

Dr. Mannar Jawahar, who is also the southern regional chairman, AICTE, said 94 new technical institutions had applied for approval this year, of which 63 had cleared the scrutiny. Among these, 13 institutions including 10 engineering colleges, two integrated campuses (offering engineering as well as MBA courses) and one management institution had been cleared by AICTE. The deficiencies in the 50 other institutions (including engineering, management and other institutions) had been noted. A three-member appellate authority had been appointed to scrutinise compliance reports. This process could take about a week.

Anna University had issued notices to 67 colleges affiliated to it citing deficiencies and asking them to remedy them to continue being affiliated to it. The colleges had submitted compliance reports. A report prepared by the university was ready and a decision on these institutions would also be taken at the earliest.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National