THE NUMBER of candidates applying for engineering courses have shot up by almost 11 per cent this time compared to last year, the directorate of technical education (DTE) has said. The DTE has received a total of 3.85 lakh applications for pharmacy and engineering courses of which, 2.9 lakh candidates are eligible for admissions to engineering colleges. This year 30,000 more aspirants are eligible for admissions to engineering courses compared to last year when 2.6 lakh applicants had been considered.
Around 2.41 lakh applicants are eligible for pharmacy courses this year. The candidates will now have to appear for the state-held Common Entrance Test (CET) to secure a seat in a college of their choice. DTE Director Dayanand Meshram attributed the rise in numbers to a smooth application process and better publicity. “This time we made sure that the application process was smooth and online. For the first time, we have conducted district-wise orientation programmes in junior colleges and schools and it has paid off,” he said.
He added that the rise in the number of applications was a positive sign for engineering colleges in the state that have been recording vacancies for the past two years. Last year, around 44 per cent seats engineering were unoccupied despite the number of applications being almost double that figure. Sources said confusion over the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical courses had encouraged more students to shift their focus to engineering. “The trend shows that there is more attraction for engineering colleges this year,” said Meshram.
College principals, however, are divided over whether the increased number of applications was indicative of a trend. Gopakumaran Thampi, the principal of Thadomal Shahani Engineering College, said there was indeed a reversal in trend. “The economy is better and more people can afford technical courses now. It is easier to get education loans now,” he said adding that the scholarship proposed for economically backward classes will further boost the trend next year. G D Yadav, principal of Institute of Chemical Technology, said the numbers were deceptive . “A trend will be clear when we find out how many applicants actually take CET,” he said.