About one-fourth of the students attending the first four days of engineering counselling have chosen Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE).

Of the 8,294 students who have received admit cards, as many as 2,118 have opted for ECE. About 30,000 seats are available in the ECE stream. In mechanical engineering, 1,387 students have joined till now out of the 23,086 seats available.

Computer science engineering (CSE) continues to be the third favourite subject with 1,271 students opting for it. The preference for CSE has increased a bit this year compared to last year, say analysts.

Information Technology and Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) are yet to touch 1,000 in intake. Students with an interest to study aeronautical engineering and bio-technology have not looked beyond top institutes such as Anna University till now. Not even a hundred students have chosen these two futuristic technologies, which have about 3,500 seats.

As about 80 per cent of the engineering students depend on the software industry for employment, they prefer ECE than EEE or Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering, say academics at Anna University. As ECE has a computer science module in the syllabus, students may prefer it.

Besides, students know well that pursuing a career in core subjects would require them to study at the best institutions, failing which they would have to opt for ECE or CSE to be employable after graduating in engineering, academics say.

On the fourth day, three students chose to study engineering in Tamil medium, with two joining civil engineering and one in mechanical.

The average absent rate was 17.56 per cent which was similar to last year's trend, says Prof. Rhymend Uthariaraj, secretary, TNEA 2011.

The automated and sequential process has ensured seamless counselling of 3,000 students per day.

The display systems have been improved for better visibility.

After paying initial deposit, the students are briefed about the process. Then the documents are verified and updated, if necessary. At the counselling terminals, a new ‘look ahead' system has been introduced to speed up the process of allotment by reducing the waiting time, Mr. Uthariaraj said.