The vacancy position for engineering seats, released at the end of the counselling by the Centralised Admissions Committee (CENTAC) on Thursday, has revealed some interesting trends as far as choice of streams is concerned.

Among the seats allocated by all engineering colleges towards the government quota, 515 (20.5 per cent) have been left vacant in nine engineering colleges in the Union Territory. This is apart from the Pondicherry Engineering College (PEC), which remains the only institution to have filled all available seats this year.

According to a senior official at CENTAC, information technology streams have been seeing a dip in popularity over the past few years and the trend has continued this year, with the bulk of vacancies being in B.Tech (IT) and B.Tech (Computer Science).

This phenomenon holds true for management quota seats as well. Heads of several private institutions told The Hindu that IT courses have seen very few takers this year, and in a few colleges the percentage of vacancy in this stream was as high as 40 per cent.

On the other hand, core engineering courses such as Mechanical, Electricals and Electronics Engineering (EEE) and Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) have been the most attractive for the students, with more than 90 per cent of the available government quota seats under these streams being filled up.

“It is also clear that the brightest students seem to prefer core engineering these days. From the information we have, vacancies to such courses got filled very early during the counselling,” said another official.

Surprisingly, the official said that civil engineering, a neglected stream during the height of the IT boom, is slowly making a comeback, with more students coming forward to opt for the course.

Too many colleges

Another reason given by the officials for the high percentage of vacancy is the existence of too many colleges. The official said that for a small Union Territory like Puducherry, number of engineering seats available (2,523) is far higher than the demand.

Also, the quality of most of the private colleges is suspect and students, over the last three years, are giving up engineering altogether rather than opting for sub-standard college.

With two more colleges expected to be added to the CENTAC list next year, the vacancy situation will only worsen, the official said.

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