Nagpur: Engineering colleges in Maharashtra, which were finding it extremely difficult to get candidates for degree courses, have some reason to cheer now. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), an advisory body in all matters relating to technical education, has relaxed the basic eligibility criteria for admissions to the first year engineering course.
The criterion has been brought down to 45 per cent (40 per cent for reserved category) aggregate in physics, chemistry and mathematics (PCM) group in standard XII exam, from 50 per cent in force till last year.
This follows the apex engineering body’s decision to lower the bar for polytechnic admissions to 35 per cent from 50 per cent in standard X exam from any board.
"The AICTE had taken this decision a couple of days back. But it’s yet to reach us formally," sources close to the Director of Technical Education (Mumbai), Subhash Mahajan said.
The official added that DTE will make changes only after getting official communication in this regard. Highly placed sources said that the last date of submission of forms is also likely to be extended, if the new criterion is implemented.
They pointed out that AICTE was forced to lower the bar as demand for engineers was globally high, but the field evoked a poor response from candidates. Not only were high
fees a factor, but many students were also not able to fulfill even the basic criteria of getting 50 per cent in PCM group in class XII exams.
Over 1.14 lakh engineering seats are up for grabs in 309 colleges across Maharashtra currently. However, the number of applications was around 90,000 till last Wednesday, which raised fears of many seats remaining vacant across the state.
Last year, over 22,000 remained vacant and many new colleges were forced to close some branches, including that of Information Technology, which was once a popular choice of
students. Over 2.54 lakh applicants had appeared for the engineering entrance exam, for which, minimum eligibility is just one mark out of 200. However, many of them were not able to fulfil the basic criteria of scoring 150/300 marks in PCM group in HSC.
With AICTE lowering the bar, any candidate scoring 135/300 marks would become eligible for admissions to BE first year.