BE colleges lobby for lower cut-offs.

Overcapacity and poor teaching have led to a situation where a huge number of seats in engineering colleges are going begging because applicants have not been able to attain the cut-off marks of 45 per cent required for admission.

With nearly 80,000 seats going vacant after the recent first phase of Eamcet engineering counselling, the managements of engineering colleges are lobbying hard with the State government to reduce the cut-off marks in 10+2 (Intermediate) exams to 35 per cent from the present 45 per cent.

The managements have been trying to bring pressure on the government to write to the All India Council for Technical Education urging it to reduce the cut-off marks to save hundreds of colleges from closure. About 256 colleges across the State face the risk of closure as they recorded admissions of less than 100.

The managements are also planning to meet Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy in a couple of days and urge his intervention.

Some managements are already in touch with Deputy Chief Minister Damodara Rajanara-simha, who also holds the portfolio of higher education.

The managements ar-gue that several reserved quota students particularly from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes cannot pursue engineering courses because they have not got the required marks.

The AICTE had for the first time introduced minimum cut-off marks for engineering admissions from this year in January 2011. It fixed cut-off marks of 50 per cent for open category students and 45 per cent for reserved quota students.

However, bowing to pressure from several States, it later reduced the cut-off marks to 45 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.

But so poor is the standard of education that students have not been able to attain even these marks and hence the pressure to lower standards further.

About 50,000 students will be eligible for admission if the cut-off marks are reduced to 35 per cent for all students. Andhra Pradesh has the highest number of colleges in the country, with the number crossing 700 this year.

About 78,596 engineering seats are vacant after the first phase of seat allotment was announced on August 14. Of the total 2,12,896 seats available in the Eamcet convener’s quota (SW-I) in 681 colleges, only 1,34,300 seats were filled.

Source : DC

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