One lakh and counting….

September 24, 2015, Chennai

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A record has been set for number of seats/admissions to B.E./BTech courses under the Government quota, this year. 94,000 students have been allotted seats so far and by the time counseling gets over, in a few days, 100,000 seats would have been allotted.

Together with seats offered under the management quota, by 400+ self-financing Engineering colleges, the enrolment in engineering courses in TN, for this academic year will be more than 150,000! Wow! That is humungous.
This year we have seen a change in trend, an increased demand for seats over last year, while in 2009, more than 50k seats were vacant, with only 1.20 lakhs enrolments, against 1.23 lakhs in 2008.


The primary reason, according to an official connected with admissions is the tuition fee waiver granted by the State Government to first generation professional degree learners.
Indeed a laudable move and power be to the Government for announcing such schemes.
Numbers, doubtless impressive they are, but they also raise concerns like whether all these students will successfully complete the course/program and more important, complete and come out as employable engineers.

On the one hand, as pointed out earlier it is a matter of pride to us all that so many aspiring students have an opportunity to pursue professional courses, across the State, but on the other hand, we cannot but worry if all the colleges are equipped to impart quality education.
The government and other accrediting bodies should not lose sight of quality in the pursuit of quantity.
The next question that arises is if there are enough jobs for all these Engineers, when they pass out?
Manufacturing industry and other sectors are expanding in the country; more foreign investment and more manufacturing plants, more back offices, more IT services of MNCs plus many more jobs are moving from overseas, too.
Also we have to remember that it is a flat world, today and geographies/physical boundaries have no meaning and opportunities are available across the globe.

It is all the more important and necessary that the institutions provide quality education and prepare the graduates to face the world; ensure they are employable.
Is this wishful thinking?  You tell us what requires to be done.

Let me close by quoting Scott Adams, "Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems." Let’s hope our Engineers turn out to be problem solvers whether of their own making or not!

What do you think? Do write in your views.

L  Ravichandran
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