Chennai: This year’s Tamil Nadu Engineering Admission (TNEA) held a lot of surprises. About 60 per cent (53,863) of students who joined various engineering colleges in the state are first generation engineering aspirants. As much as 62.52 per cent of the seats in civil engineering (Tamil) and 70.33 per cent of the seats in mechanical engineering (Tamil) are lying vacant. And, of the 124 seats available in marine engineering, only two seats have gone vacant.
According to Prof V. Rhymend Uthariaraj, secretary, Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions (TNEA), of the 94,768 students who got enrolled in various private, government and government-aided engineering colleges 53,863 come under the first generation graduate category.
The fad for engineering courses still seems the favourite in families hoping to produce a first generation graduate. Almost 60 per cent of the admissions are of first generation engineering aspirants. The number of students joining engineering as first generation graduate has started to come down from 81,780 in 2012-13 to 53,863 in 2014-15, which shows that more families in the state have become educated and in the future it is expected that this number would drop further.
The state government provides `20,000 as tuition fee waiver to attract more first generation graduates. These students have urged the state government to increase the fee waiver as private engineering colleges had hiked their fees many times.
“The then state government fixed `20,000 as the tuition fee in 2012 was Rs 32,500 but last year the state fee fixation committee hiked it to `40,000 (non-NBA accredited colleges) and `45,000 (NBA accredited colleges), hence the government should also revise the fee waiver,” Sivakumar, a first generation engineering aspirant, pleaded.
Senthil Kumar, another first generation graduate aspirant, pointed out that private engineering colleges demand at least `80,000 as annual fees, so the `20,000 fee waiver provides no big relief to them as they had to borrow from their friends / relatives to pay the annual fees.
Commenting on the overwhelming response from students for marine engineering, Captain K. Vivekanand, president of association of maritime education training institutes’ said that this trend was witnessed in the recent past as more students have become aware about the job prospects available for marine engineering....