In a recent development it has been observed in the current academic session that the private engineering colleges in Kerala are going all out to lure their students from moving out and shifting to other colleges. This must be the first time in the state’s academic history that such a reversion of events is taking place.
Many students are being offered scholarships and fee waivers for the first year while for many management quota student’s, fees have been reduced by almost half. It is evident from such actions that the colleges are intent on keeping the students by hook or by crook and prevent them from dropping out as they do not want any seat to go vacant whatsoever after the second round of admission.
On the other hand, a shocker has also surfaced which have raised many concerns about the moral and ethical intent of the college authorities. In cases where their freebies have failed to lure the students and prevent them from dropping out, they have resorted to holding back the students’ certificates as well as their paid admission fees. Notably, the students are asked to pay their fees and surrender their certificates immediately on being allotted seats upon joining an engineering college.
There are provisions for students to leave a college that they have already joined and drop out to join another institution if he feels so. It is during this interim that the engineering colleges are luring the students so that they change their minds of crossing over to other academic establishments.
Interestingly, to join another college the student will require the same certificates and fees that he had surrendered and paid respectively during the first allotment f seats in his name. The college where he had joined during the first allotment is de facto bound to refund the fees as well as return the certificates that were in their custody during the interim.
The tactics of retaining back the fees and certificates are nothing but measures for dissuading the students from joining other colleges. Either they want to pressurize the students through such actions or they simply want to harass the individual when they are otherwise unable to take any retaliatory actions.
Experts feel that such events are culminating from the disinclination of students to join engineering owing to tremendous scarcity in campus placements as well as the waning credibility of engineering as a premium career option owing to the overwhelming number of students joining the bandwagon.
“Hardly anyone would like to invest a few lakhs for education when the options for placement are so low,” retorted a 1st year fresher. The inclination is so low that last year as many as 18000 engineering seats went vacant while this year the number is expected to cross the 25000 mark. IT, electronics and computer science are facing the worst heat while civil and mechanical are still proving to be favourites.
“Almost 35 private colleges will not be even able to fill 10% seats in IT, electronics and computer science. In other streams maximum private colleges have not even filled up half of their seats,” said an A Raja, an education expert.