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Rank holders' list could guide parents, students

B. Aravind Kumar
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It will help them to zero in on best engineering college next year

With the ranking of engineering colleges stayed by the Madras High Court, Anna University's list of rank holders in various streams of engineering and technology in its affiliated colleges could come in handy for parents and students in selecting the best college the next academic year.

According to the rank list April / May 2011 published by the Office of the Controller of Examinations, Anna University-Chennai, Meenakshi Sundararajan Engineering College has most rank holders out of the top 50 in B.E. Civil Engineering in which 1058 students passed the exams. It is followed by R.M.K. Engineering College with seven rankers.

In 2010 April / May exams too, Meenakshi Sundararajan Engineering College produced the maximum rankers in civil engineering. This year, the rank holders' list is confined to 150-odd colleges affiliated to Anna Univeristy-Chennai, university authorities say.

The Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar College of Engineering and Velammal Engineering College have more rank holders than others in Electronics and Communication Engineering cleared by 8,626 students. Students of the St. Joseph's College of Engineering and the Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering have been equally good at scoring high ranks in Mechanical Engineering.

Velammal tops in B.E. Electronics and Instrumentation with 16 ranks out of the first 50 followed by Panimalar Engineering College. In B.E. Computer Science and B.Tech Information Technology too, Velammal students stand out. In Aeronautical Engineering, Hindustan Engineering College has most rankers. In B.Tech Biotechnology, the St. Joseph's College of Engineering has 12 rankers out of the top 33. In M.B.A, Panimalar and Sri Sairam Engineering Colleges have fared better than most others in terms of top ranks. The data reveals that students of R.M.K, R.M.D. Engineering colleges and the Jeppiar group of institutions have also performed reasonably across streams.

Anna University authorities reiterate that the university has only released the list of rank holders. It had released the rank list of colleges early this year (for the benefit of students to select the best ones) based on a single judge's order of the Madras High Court. That ranking was based on student strength, faculty, infrastructure, research and alumni strength. The SSN College of Engineering topped the list. However, a Division Bench of the High Court stayed publication of the rank list of colleges.

In the absence of an official rank list of colleges, the list of rank holders and placement record could be two criteria in selecting the best colleges, academics say. Many factors could be attributed to the success of colleges in specific subjects, a senior professor in the Anna University said. Some of the top colleges could have three batches in subjects such as Civil, Mechanical, EEE, ECE, CSE and IT and, therefore, more number of students writing the exams.

Another reason ascribed to the success of these institutions is the quality of students. Even in management quota, some of the top colleges fix a minimum of 75 per cent in school finals for entry. The top colleges also provide the best infrastructure possible and retain faculty members with proper salary and training. There are new engineering colleges with student strength in single digits even for popular courses. Unless students join these colleges, the managements would not be able to build infrastructure or pay for quality faculty. It would take time for new colleges to develop as over 70,000 engineering seats remained vacant in government and management quota this year, authorities point out.

Apart from the rank holders, students could look online for disclosures made by the colleges on faculty qualification and infrastructural facilities as mandated by the AICTE and get in touch with alumni of colleges for better guidance, university officials said.

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