Bangalore: Finally, the long wait ended on Thursday. Students started lapping up government quota engineering seats as the Common Entrance Test (CET) counselling had a nail-biting start at seven centres across the state.
Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), that conducts the test and seat selection sessions, has declared 73,168 students eligible for engineering seats this year. On Thursday — the first day of counselling — CET candidates who have secured ranks from 1 to 1,600 were called for seat selection under the general merit category.
Note that the total number of engineering seats available to CET candidates is 47,697 in 188 colleges. This year, 83,489 engineering seats are available in the state in total.
KEA said all engineering seats in the Electronics and Communications stream that were available for CET students under the general merit category were taken on Thursday.
Initially, the engineering counselling was scheduled to begin on June 27, but the state government was forced to postpone it by 10 days to Thursday, as the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) delayed sending approvals for engineering courses. State higher education minister VS Acharya visited the KEA cell in Malleswaram in the morning when the counselling kicked off and addressed the session.
"This year, all eligible and aspiring candidates will get engineering seats as the number of seats has gone up. Six new colleges have been approved," Acharya said.
Along with the seats, the number of students eligible for engineering seats has also been jacked up.
When the CET results were announced, the count of candidates eligible for engineering seats was 60,543. AICTE had altered the eligibility slab for aggregate marks in Science subjects from 45% to 50% (GM & OBC) and from 40% to 45% (SC, ST) for engineering seats. It then changed the eligibility criterion to include Computer Science and Electronics students, increasing the number.
But it later gave in to the pressure exerted from various states to drop the change in eligibility cap.
After these last-minute changes, KEA came out with a revised rank list with 73,168 students eligible. Due to the delay in the commencement of the engineering counselling, KEA is now racing against time.
It has planned to hold counselling sessions even on weekends without break as the deadline for the completion of the seat selection process is August 2. Of the total 44,305 seats that were available to CET candidates in the general merit category, 982 were filled on Thursday.
Those who have secured ranks from 1,601 to 3,200 are eligible to attend the second day of the counselling today (Friday). Photo:Sanjevani, Report: Daily Bhaskar