Around 24,000 seats in engineering colleges across the state are expected to remain vacant this year, despite the replacement of the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) with Gujarat Common Entrance Test (GUJCET) after a gap of four years. The number is not much less than last year when around 29,000 seats remained vacant. Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) reintroduced GUJCET, replacing JEE that was introduced in 2013 after several protests.
As per the results and analysis, conducted by the education department, nearly 48,000 students have cleared GUJCET this year. “This implies that out of a total of 72,000 seats in 132 engineering colleges, around 24,000 will remain vacant,” revealed a senior education official.
This is around 35 per cent of the total engineering seats across the state. Last year, it was 42 per cent, highest since 2012-13.
Among those who haven’t qualified this time, 2,254 scored zero and 2,144 in negative. The negative marking for incorrect answers has been introduced this year by the state government on the lines of national entrance examinations.
The education department, however, claims the vacant seats would give an opportunity to those who did not take the GUJCET. As per the rule this year, if seats in engineering colleges remain vacant after final admissions are over, those who haven’t taken the GUJCET can apply. So, the number of vacant seats is expected to decline further,” said GSHSEB chairman A J Shah.
Even this seems unlikely as 64,347 students have taken Class XII non-medical examination this year and of them 54,575 have qualified. Besides, only 66,473 students of a total of 1.32 lakh appeared for the non-medical stream in GUJCET on May 10.
Students will be admitted in engineering and pharmacy courses on merit list with 60 per cent weightage to Class XII marks and 40 per cent to GUJCET percentile.
This is contrary to what was being followed in JEE that is 40:60. This implies 40 per cent weightage to Class XII board results and 60 per cent to the entrance examination.
JEE was introduced in the state in 2013-14 amidst opposition from parents who claimed that the curriculum of CBSE board was different from GSHSEB. That year, however, only 17 per cent seats remained vacant. But it kept on increasing year by year and peaked to 42 per cent in 2016-17, forcing the education department and engineering institutes to look into the reasons and options to put a check on the trend. But the trend has hardly .
When asked, Admission Committee for Professional Courses (ACPC) member secretary Dr G P Vadodaria said, “It is due to an imbalance in the number of seats available and the takers. The seats are more than the number of students who clear the entrance examination. However, this also gives the students options to choose from a wide range of engineering colleges and branches.”
The online registration for engineering colleges will commence on June 1 and continue till June 12.