IITs are a passion for Andhra Pradesh students.

HYDERABAD: Coaches for IIT entrance tests estimate that Andhra Pradesh accounts for 12.5% of the total students studying at IITs across the country. Last year, 56,000 students appeared for IIT entrance, a number which shot to 60,000 this year. The state’s engineering entrance, Eamcet, too has seen a rise in the number of students appearing for it, from a few thousands a couple of decades ago to a few lakhs now. This year, nearly 2.7 lakh students appeared for Eamcet.

So, are students of Andhra Pradesh technology-driven and hence, wish to become engineers or is engineering a fad that refuses to die? Observers state the obvious be it an engineering degree from an IIT or a state engineering college, the students only see it as a stepping stone to realise their big dream, either to migrate to the US or make it to the civil services, their next most crucial ambition.

The 2011 all-India topper in the IIT entrance, I Prudhvi Tej on Wednesday said he aspired to become an IAS officer. The exodus of engineering grads from AP to the US has led to the almost familiar statements about how of every four households in AP, one would have a son or a daughter in the US. K V Raghunath, vice-chairman of Narayana Group of Institutions, says than an engineering degree makes it easy for students to go abroad.

D N Reddy, vice-chancellor of JNTU, says that engineering is just a craze among the students. “Students in AP have increasingly taken to engineering because of the job opportunities or because of peer/parental pressure,” he says.

Reddy’s analysis is bang on. The passion for IITs, which is almost three decades old, is largely rooted in the coastal belt of the state when land-rich parents started planning non-agricultural careers for their children, getting them coaching to make it to the prestigious institutions of the country. What started in the early 80s in one pocket of the state as a craze for a new career, spread across AP over the years. In the last one decade, Hyderabad has become a coaching hub with students pouring in from across the state for “branded” education to crack the coveted IIT entrance.

Realising the IIT passion, the state government even tweaked the school syllabus, making it IIT-friendly. The craze for Eamcet is only second to that of IIT. There are so many engineering seats in the state, of the 2.7 lakh students who appeared for Eamcet this year, each is assured to get a seat.

What has changed over the years is not the fascination for engineering but the choice of institutions. With eyes firmly set on IITs, many students now skip appearing for the state entrance test. For instance, this year, none of the five top rank-holders from the state had appeared for Eamcet.

Source : TOI

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