The State government on Wednesday announced the lowering of eligibility marks for admission of students to engineering courses.
In respect of Open Category, the new cut-off mark would be 50 per cent against the previous 55 per cent; for Backward Classes, 45 per cent (50 per cent); Most BC – 40 per cent (45 per cent) and Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes – 35 per cent.
Several management representatives of engineering colleges and members of the Assembly had demanded that mere pass marks in higher secondary examination should be the eligibility norm for admission to engineering courses, K. Ponmudy, Higher Education Minister, told reporters.
Pointing out that about 30,000 seats in engineering colleges remained vacant last year, Dr. Ponmudy expressed the hope that the reduction in eligibility marks coupled with the government move to pay tuition fee for those first-generation undergraduate candidates who sought admission through counselling would result in higher number of students joining the courses this year than the previous year.
Of 2.2 lakh application forms printed by the government, 1,84,209 forms were sold as on Tuesday. The government was taking steps for printing more forms. The last date for submission of filled forms would be May 31.
On the legislation for making Anna University – Chennai a unitary university again, the Minister said that the Bill, approved by the Assembly, had been sent to Governor for assent. On getting the assent, further action would be taken. An expert committee, comprising V.C. Kulandaiswamy, M. Anandakrishnan, Naganathan, Baskaran and Jagadeesan had been formed to advise the government on follow-up action.
Asked about complaints of some colleges selling application forms at an exorbitant rate, Dr. Ponmudy replied that government colleges had been directed to sell the forms at Rs. 27.
A similar advice was given to government-aided colleges. The government would not be able to take action with regard to unaided private colleges.