Over 69% engineering seats in Punjab remained vacant after first round of the joint online counselling conducted by the Punjab Technical University (PTU).
As many as 10146 out of 32789 seats were allotted to the applicants on the basis of their performance in All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE). Interestingly, only 11676 students filled the choices for allotment of seats, thus, indicating a downward trend amongst the students on pursue engineering as a career in the state at least.
7907 out of a total of 30306 engineering seats in PTU affiliated Colleges (26%) were allotted in the first round of joint counselling while 1145 students were admitted to Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar followed by Punjabi University, Patiala (1050 seats) and Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Ludhiana (44 seats).
The final round of the counselling would start on July 13 while the results would be made public on July 20, dean (academics) Buta Singh said. After second round, the vacant seats of all categories would be converted into management quota seats for allotment by the colleges concerned as per prescribed norms.
Singh said that the decline in admissions in various disciplines of engineering was also witnessed last year. "Besides, the exact number of vacant engineering seats will be available after filling management quota seats," he said, adding that the university has also envisaged a plan to attract students from other states.
He said that 1047 students were admitted under tuition fee waiver scheme in 106 PTU affiliated Colleges.
Sources maintained that mushrooming of large number of engineering colleges in Punjab during the past one decade was responsible for such a high percentage of vacant B. Tech programme seats. The approach of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and state government in "liberally" granting permission to open engineering colleges without assessing their need at grass root level has also come under scanner.
"The delivery of quality education and placement records of the colleges concerned are the main parameters for a student to apply for a particular college during counselling. The Colleges too need to strengthen themselves on these parameters in this competitive education market," a senior PTU functionary said, seeking anonymity.
Meanwhile, the computer science and engineering (CSE) stream has emerged as top favourite discipline amongst the students, as 2656 seats were allotted in comparison to the second most sought after steam- electronics and communication engineering (2088 seats).
The girls, however, dominated the proceedings by bagging top position in seat allocation in three out of four universities. While Simran Kaur (8473 ranked in AIEEE) bagged the first seat in CSE discipline at GNDU's main campus, it was 13389th ranked Deepika Singh, who was first amongst the PTU affiliated colleges to get a call in CSE stream of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana. Similarly, Ankita (15459 ranked) was first to get a computer engineering seat allotted in Punjabi University, Patiala. In Agriculture engineering stream at PAU, Ludhiana, Pulkit Bhutani (27387 rank) managed to secure pride of the boys.