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NEET effect 20% increase in seats in govt arts, science colleges

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RESPONDING to the increasing demand for arts and science courses this year, Tamil Nadu has increased the total number of seats in all government col-leges offering these courses by 20 per cent A government order was passed on Monday instructing all the said colleges to approach the universities, to which they are affiliated, to obtain permission be-fore commencing students' ad-missions into these additional seats.
In recent years, there has been a noticeable drop in campus placements which have contributed to a decreased patronage for engineering courses in the State. With controversy shrouding med-ical admissions as well, the focus shifted towards arts and science colleges this year as more than two latch have applied. At present, out of the 686 arts and science colleges in Tamil Nadu, only 80 are government colleges where only a nominal amount is collected as tuition fee. Even as the counselling dates
for engineering and medical ad-missions were under consideration, admissions were completed in all these 82 colleges within a week of Class 12 board exam results. The current situation is not very different compared to the last two years, when 320 additional seats were added to cater to the demand in government colleges. In this backdrop, the Director of collegiate education J Manju-la, in her letter on July 5, had mentioned that many rural students from economically and socially weaker sections, who couldn't afford to pay the fees demanded by self-financing colleges, were struggling to gain admissions in nearby government colleges. In order to accommodate these students, the higher education secretary Sunil Paliwal ordered the colleges to increase their intake by 20 per cent de pending on lab facilities available (for science courses). Though this a welcome move, professors and educationists opined that it has come too late. "Many students who missed ad-missions into government colleges by a whisker would have joined self-financing colleges now by paying a higher fees. It is un-likely that the private college management would refund this amount if they get an admission into the government college now," professor A R Nagarajan from Madurai Kamaraj Univer-sity He added that this announcement would have benefited rural students if it had not come in the eleventh hour. M Ravichandran, a former government college principal, said although late, the decision can't be underestimated since government colleges are the only source of hope for higher education for impoverished families. Another professor from University of Madras requesting anonymity said the government should improve the infrastruc-ture before increasing the intake capacity Admitting that inadequate infrastructure is an issue, Ravi-chandran added, "Infrastructure should be developed alongside in-creasing the access to higher edu-cation and one can't wait for all facilities to arrive and then in-crease seats."
source: epaper. . dinaman . com//c/20718295

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