The first two Tamil medium B.E. seats in the academic counselling were allotted on Tuesday. Nine candidates in the sports and physically handicapped quotas had chosen Tamil medium courses earlier (four chose Civil Engineering and five Mechanical Engineering).

Mohan Raj from Namakkal and Arun Kumar from Pattukottai both chose Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering, Guindy campus.

Arun Kumar, who had a cut-off score of 198.50, said he had wanted to study at the College of Engineering. As the English medium seats were all filled, he had chosen Mechanical Engineering in the newly introduced Tamil medium stream.

V. Rhymend Uthariaraj, secretary, Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions 2010, said the percentage of absentees at the counselling process is lower this year compared to last year.

“On the first day, 29.59 per cent of the candidates were absent last year. But only 25.95 per cent were absent this year. On the second day, it was 21.41 per cent last year and only 16.12 per cent this year,” he said.

The number of students called for counselling last year was higher on both days at 713 and 2,462 for the first two days, while this year, only 570 and 2,202 candidates were called. Even in absolute figures there was a fall in the number of absentees in each of the two days indicating an increased preference for engineering this year, Dr. Uthariaraj said.

The number of first generation graduate candidates who are eligible for the tuition fee waiver announced by the State government stood at 635 out of a total of 2,270 who were issued allotment letters in the first two days, Dr. Uthariaraj added.

A total of 646 candidates chose Electronics and Communications Engineering, 418 chose Computer Science and Engineering, 361 chose Mechanical Engineering, 233 chose Information Technology, and 216 chose Electrical and Electronics Engineering.