Mumbai: The Maharashtra government mollifies the eligibility for aspirants wanting to join an engineering college by lowering class XII scores from 50% to 45%. The decision comes after institutes whined about the seats that were going vacant and the pool of eligible candidates needed to be expanded.
The reduction in scores will benefit institutes as well as thousands more high school graduates qualify for engineering admissions. The state announced modifications in eligibility conditions and requirements for admissions in the notification released late on Friday.
The candidates must get at least 45% in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics in Class XII exams and a “non-zero” score in state Common Entrance Test (CET) for acquiring admissions to engineering courses. For students from backward classes and economically weaker sections the eligibility is 40%. Till last year, the cut-off was 50% in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics in Class XII exams for general category students and 45% for backward category students.
According to higher and technical education minister Uday Samant, “the decision was in line with All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) eligibility norms and will benefit thousands of students who leave their homes and travel to neighbouring states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, where the requirement of class XII scores is 45%”.
A Senior Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) official exclaimed, “Earlier, eligibility criterion was 50% for class XII, we observed students pay hefty fees and join private universities.”
Maharashtra is one of six states that requested AICTE not to approve new engineering colleges. While not a single new professional college is starting this year, 22 professional colleges from the state have applied for closure. Over the past few years, there have been substantial vacancies in Maharashtra’s engineering colleges. Almost 50% of seats in the state were vacant in 2019-2020 and in 2018-19; it went up to 56%. Vacancies were more pronounced in traditional engineering courses.