Tiruchirapalli, Sep 19: Higher Education Minister K Ponmudi said after inplementing 3.5 per cent reservation for minority communities in the backward class quota of 30 per cent, the number of Muslim students admitted to engineering colleges had increased from 610 to 2,565, this year, and that of Christian students from 861 to 2,757.
Inaugurating the Dr Kalaignar Arts and Science College, a constituent college of Bharathidasan University at Lalgudi near here on Thursday, Sep 18, he said in arts and science colleges, introduction of shift system had facilitated admission of 6,74,486 students during 2007-08, compared with 5,68,226 during 2005-06.
Mr Ponmudi said the abolition of the entrance examination, coupled with lowering of qualifying marks by five per cent for the backward sections, has resulted in a phenomenal increase in the number of rural students entering engineering colleges in the state.
He said the number of rural students joining engineering colleges had increased from 18,000 during 2005-06 to 50,500 this year. The number of engineering colleges had also gone up correspondingly, from 235 to 353, he added.
The Minister said the number of seats was poised to exceed the one-lakh mark from the current 95,808. Barring a handful of colleges that were under watch to prevent commercialisation, most engineering institutions were eager to admit students for amounts even lesser than the government-specified fee of Rs 32,500, since there were 7,000 vacancies even after the counselling ended, he added.
Fifty out of 67 government arts and science colleges were started when Chief Minister M Karunanidhi was at the helm, he said.
Since he assumed office two-and-a-half years ago, the number of arts and science colleges had gone up from 670 in 2005 to 860 and that of polytechnics from 212 to 264, and sanction had been obtained from the Centre for setting up the Central University at Tiruvarur, the Indian Institute of Management(IIM) in Tiruchirapalli and a world-class university in Coimbatore.
Presiding over the function, state Transport Minister K N Nehru said the new college would be a boon to the people of Lalgudi which already had an agricultural engineering college, a cooperative polytechnic and a women's ITI.
Forest Minister N Selvaraj said the industrialisation of Tamil Nadu was a corollary to the increase in higher educational opportunities.
M Ponnavaikko, Vice-Chancellor, Bharathidasan University said B A Tamil, B Com, B B A, B.Sc. Computer Science and B C A will be offered in the new college, and the Classes will begin on October 10.