At the end of the first round, more than half of the candidates who participated in the Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions (TNEA) 2022 single-window counselling have chosen Computer Science Engineering (CSE) and allied courses.
This is true of all categories — vocational, academic and government school students — who contested for the preferential quota seats. The candidates have opted largely for core CSE instead of subjects such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
As has been in the past several years, civil engineering had taken a beating with just 2.1% of seats (226) being filled in contrast to 2,946 seats in CSE or 1,753 in Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE). As many as 1,387 candidates have chosen Information Technology (IT) while 736 have opted for Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE).
More candidates have chosen AI and Data Science over Mechanical Engineering, which was selected by only 528 candidates.
The skewed preference is not lost on engineering educators either. At a recent seminar for management students held by the Madras Management Association, computer science engineers reiterated the need to look beyond the course work.
The desire for dream packages for their children is the reason parents push them to opt for CSE, said Jayaprakash Gandhi, independent consultant. But the fact that university departments have lost out to self-financing colleges is a matter of concern, he added.
Anna University’s four departments in the city have been the most sought after but not its campuses in other districts. For instance, in its campus in Coimbatore, only 78 seats have been filled. In Madurai only eight seats have been filled and in Tirunelveli four. “Anna University must improve infrastructure in its regional campuses as well. All funds that come to the university must be distributed to improve other campuses too,” Mr. Gandhi said.
On Wednesday, TNEA released the tentative allotment for the second round of candidates. They are expected to confirm before 5 p.m. on Thursday to be eligible for provisional allotment of seats.