Today's Paper

AICTE restores engineering seats in 22 State colleges

K. Ramachandran

CHENNAI: The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has restored some of the seats it had cut in engineering colleges across the country — especially in programmes that are run without adequate faculty.

The council announced last month its decision to cut 3,887 seats in 57 colleges in Tamil Nadu. The Information Technology branch was the worst hit. However, colleges were given time till July 7 to appeal to the council and show that they had filled upfaculty positions and addressed other inadequacies the AICTE pointed out during inspections in March and April.

Now that the deadline has passed and the colleges have explained the steps taken to address the issues raised by the inspection teams, the body has "restored some of the seats in the colleges."

As per the updated figures available with the AICTE, 1,672 seats in 22 colleges in the State have been restored. This means that of 226 colleges, 35 still have less seats than the approved strength in 2004-05. Six colleges have lost over 100 seats in different branches.

Tamil Nadu had about 70,000 seats and now with the reduction, the number of seats would come down to about 68,000. The single window admissions matrix is expected to comprise just over 33,000 seats.

A comprehensive inspection of the colleges (while deciding on extension of approval) last month brought to light a serious shortage of faculty members. The council focussed on this most critical deficiency while deciding on the extension of approval for 2005-06.

Senior academics such as former Director of Technical Education, T.R. Natesan, said that in popular branches such as electronics, information technology and computer sciences, the top rankers go into industry. Only average students opt for teaching. Teachers in several institutions are not treated well or paid poorly. Hence they move from one college to another for a hike of a few hundred rupees.

An Anna University teacher says that even among the average lot, those with a flair seek chances abroad or turn entrepreneurs.

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