The All Indian Council of Technical Education (AICTE) had recently released the proposed academic calendar for the 2021-22 session. As per the calendar, classes for first-year engineering students of technical courses will begin by September 15, 2021. However, given the current situation where board exams and entrance tests have been postponed, engineering colleges are not very hopeful of keeping up with the proposed calendar.
“We admit students based on JKCET 2021 but the whole schedule has been postponed. The last date to fill up online application forms has been extended till May 20 and there is no clarity on the exam date. Until the Jammu and Kashmir Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (JKBOPEE) finishes up the admission formalities, we cannot begin the classes. We are ready to conduct online classes as soon as students will be admitted,” said Sameru Sharma, principal, Government College of Engineering and Technology, Jammu.
Vijaysekhar Chellaboina, Professor & Dean, GITAM Institute of Engineering and Technology, said, “We will be adhering to the AICTE proposed calendar. However, we are a three-campus institute running in three states and hence the starting of the classes are subjected to the local state regulations as well.” GITAM has campuses in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
In 2020, the conditions were similar. The entrance exams were conducted in September and the classes began in December after all admission processes were completed. However, there is no clarity on the entrance exams this year due to the worsening COVID situation. Consequently, if the admissions will not be done then, it is impossible to begin classes for first-semester students by September 15.
Most engineering college across the country also accept JEE Main scores to admit students. However, the JEE Main April and May sessions have been postponed. The situation is not much different for centrally-funded technical institutes such as the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs).
“All the IITs, NITs and IIITs had submitted guidelines to the Education Ministry around 3-4 months ago when the situation was improving. However, the situation does not appear to be very conducive to begin classes. JEE Main has been postponed and then it will take another few weeks to release the result. Last year, the academic session had begun in December, it is likely that it will be postponed till the end of this year too,” Arvind Choubey, IIIT Bhagalpur.
Several state-level entrance exams have also been deferred, which will impact the admission process in universities and institutes. Consequently, the commencement of the classes will also have to be delayed.
The Telangana State Engineering, Agriculture, and Medical Common Entrance Test (TS EAMCET) 2021 is scheduled to be conducted from July 7-9 for engineering courses.
“Once the TS EAMCET 2021 gets conducted, it will take another few weeks for the counselling rounds to complete. Usually, we have to finish all admission formalities by September. But, it is very difficult to complete the process amid coronavirus outbreak and begin the classes by September 15. However, the institute is affiliated with the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Hyderabad, and we will have to abide by the university guidelines if and when the classes will begin,” said VS Hariharan, principal, Balaji Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Telangana.
Similarly, the Board of Secondary Education, Assam has postponed the class 12 exams and there is no clarity on the Assam Common Entrance Exam (CEE) 2021 dates, which is used for engineering admissions in the state.
“The state will first conduct the board exams and then the entrance test. If boards are conducted in June, then it will take 15-20 days to release the result. The same process will be followed for the CEE 2021. It is practically not possible to conclude the admission process by September, hence no classes can begin by then. Though the COVID situation is much better in the northeastern states, nothing can be predicted. We all are hopeful of the second wave to be flattened by June and then it will pave the path for future decision,” Satyajit Paul, principal of Golaghat Engineering College (GEC), Assam, told indianexpress.com.