Tamil Nadu

Engineering admission: More aspirants keen on taking up new branches

A view of Anna University in Chennai  

With the admission process for BE/B.Tech courses set to begin, this year too parents and aspirants are chasing a handful of preferred courses.

Most colleges affiliated with Anna University have been receiving enquiries about seats in Computer Science and Engineering, Information Technology, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, say faculty.


The preference comes as no surprise but they call for ways to bring students back to core engineering subjects.

Most colleges offering programmes in AI, DS and ML claim they have already filled the management quota seats.

Mr. A. Ramesh, principal of Chennai Institute of Technology, said students’ first choice is CSE followed by AI and DS. “We are offering, CSE, IT, Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, Computer Science and Business Systems,” he said. At Saveetha Engineering College, an autonomous institution, the enquiries have been for CS, IT, AI/DS, AI/ML “in that order, followed by biomedical and ECE. Medical electronics, Agri engineering and Chemical engineering are getting fewer enquiries. Traditional branches like Mechanical, Civil, EEE, E&I have the least inquiries,” said director Mr. S. Rajesh.

Mr. V. Balusamy, executive director of Vivekanandha Educational Institutions for Women, Tiruchengode, also said CS followed by IT are in demand. “Data Science, Machine learning and AI come next. There is a demand for biotechnology, biomedical and food technology,” he said.

The RMK group of institutions near Chennai, which offers AI, ML, and DS programmes, has noticed that students chose CSE only if there were no seats in the new programmes, said Mr. R.M. Kishore, its key management representative.

Colleges believe the same pattern would be noticed when the Directorate of Technical Education begins its single-window counselling for government quota seats.

Head of biomedical engineering at Rajalakshmi Engineering College Mr. S. Rajkumar said biomedical imaging had also attracted the attention of students. “Biomedical engineering and biotechnology are attracting attention, so also food technology, chemical engineering and special processes. Last year as much as 25% of our biomedical students were placed in software [roles]. We are training them anticipating placement in software-oriented jobs,” he said.

With some large software giants that recruit students in bulk such as Capgemini diversifying into medical technology aspirants are keen to take up those programmes.

“Placement opportunities decide the demand for a programme. Some students equip themselves with software courses. We also train students from the first year in CS domains for placement,” Mr. Rajkumar added.

The drop in demand for core engineering programmes has pushed the college managements, even in some of the top run colleges in and around Chennai, to incentivise faculty to enthuse students to join the core branches, a college faculty said.

Last year, even Anna University departments struggled to fill seats in core engineering programmes such as mechanical and civil engineering.

While private college managements say software-oriented programmes are here to stay senior faculties such as Mr. Balusamy are confident that core branches “will pick up in a couple of years.”

“Colleges must adopt innovative curriculum to make traditional and new branches relevant”, according to Mr. Rajesh. “If all stakeholders facilitate, support and, provide autonomy with enough checks and balances for colleges and creating awareness about traditional branches, it would ensure a balance”, he said.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 5:47:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/engineering-admission-more-aspirants-keen-on-taking-up-new-branches-reorienting-core-branches-will-improve-admissions-say-college-managements/article35533737.ece

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