When thousands of seats in self-financing colleges remain vacant and the high court tells the government to close down poor performing engineering colleges, you can no longer avoid facing the truth: Information Technology, so closely associated with modern living, has few takers in the state as a branch of study.


It’s only students who have done badly in entrance tests and their Plus Two exams who seem to want to join the IT stream today.


Consider this: None of the 460 students who have so far gained admission to the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) this year, have preferred IT.


In the trial allotment declared on Saturday evening on the CEE’s website for Kerala engineering admission, 99 per cent of the students allotted to IT in private self-financing colleges have ranks below 20,000. Mostly the last rank in IT is in the range of 28,000-46,000.


The most demand nowadays is for mechanical, electronics and communication, electrical, civil and computer science branches.


Last year, the fourth and last allotment by the Commissioner of Entrance Examinations for private self-financing colleges saw students with ranks in the range of 38,409-56,263 opting for IT, while students ranked 2,962 and above opted for mechanical engineering in government engineering colleges.


At FISAT, Angamaly, a private self financing college, the last admitted student in mechanical engineering had a rank of 6,446, but in government self-financing engineering colleges, students who picked IT were ranked between 19,685 and 31,350. In government colleges only those ranked between 13,567 and 15,358 picked the stream.


T.A. Vijayan, secretary, Kerala Self-Financing En-gineering College Mana-gements’ Association, says nearly 3,000 of the 8,000 seats vacant at the end of admissions last year belonged to the IT branch.


“Twenty of the 24 colleges that started in 2001-2003 , when the self-financing sector was launched in the state, opted for IT as it was then much in demand. But only five or six colleges have opted for it since,” he notes.


Mr Vijayan confirms that only students with the lowest ranks today prefer IT. “There was a real boom in the IT sector immediately after 2000 and this prompted many students to opt for it. But after the recession set in, affecting the IT sector, the students began to prefer the core branches. When IT industries found that bright students were turning to core branches, they began to recruit from these branches, leaving the IT branch badly affected,” he explains.


Sadly, with the demand falling even more this year, several self-financing engineering colleges are reportedly dispensing with their IT branch altogether.


What they say


* Information Technology is a much misused word with regard to the IT branch! It mainly deals with corporates’ IT implementation whereas the Computer Science branch deals with fundamentals of computer and programming. This branch is in demand. Generally companies observe whether the candidate has logic in implementing a project and have good marks in any branch - Gigo Joseph,
CEO, Infopark-Kochi.


* The IT branch is an ill-conceived one. There was no confusion since Compu-ter Science and Engineering branch was int-roduced in 1985. But, riding on the IT hype in early 2000, IT branch was introduced. When the IT sector fell into a slump, it lost its charm. There is no need to have two bran-ches like IT and Computer Science. IT should be dropped forthwith - Achuthsankar S. Nair, member, engineering and medicine admission reforms committee, 2007-09.


* The Information Technology branch should not have been started at all. I had advised against starting the branch and also the Bio-Technology branch at the undergraduate level. Too much of specialisation at the under-graduate level is not required. The curriculum of the IT branch does not give a student what is required for an engineer - G. Vijayaraghavan, Technocrat.


Source: DC


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