Thiruvananthapuram: As the last date for engineering admissions nears, almost 3.5 lakh engineering seats, including 30,000 in Kerala, remain vacant in various engineering colleges in the southern states, preliminary estimates say.
However, this surprising phenomenon is not restricted to the southern states and Maharashtra alone which account for a majority of engineering colleges in the country.
"It is an all-India trend", says Mr G.P.C. Nayar, president, Federation of Associations of Unaided Professional Colleges of India. The exact figures would be known only after August 15, the last date for engineering admissions fixed by the Supreme Court.
In over 40 per cent of the 130 engineering colleges in Kerala, the number of students was less than one-fourth of their total strength, Mr Nayar told Deccan Chronicle.
In all, 62,000 candidates had qualified for over 56,000 seats filled through the allotment process of Commissioner for Entrance Examinations. However, 6,000 of them did not get the minimum mark required for the Plus-Two examinations. A large number of students have opted for colleges in other states, Mr Nayar said.
In Tamil Nadu, almost half the number of engineering seats under the single window counselling found no takers when the 28-day process came to an end.
This meant that almost one lakh seats were vacant, up from last year's 80,000.
When Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) had concluded the second round, around 6,175 seats remained vacant. In Seemandra and Telangana put together, there are 760 engineering colleges.
With All-India Council for Technical Education adding another 18 colleges, the total number of seats touched nearly 3.5 lakh. Last year, around 1.5 lakh seats were left vacant. The number may go up to two lakh, sources said.