Thanks! - for listening

Sometime back I had written about the 'state-quota in NITs'. Thanks to the media, for when it was published in JAM, it did get some notice and brought me some appraisal :). But it feels great when something that you bring into the light, gets noticed and some step is taken towards it by the government. Well, I agree it won't have been just my article in JAM bringing this revolution, but I guess there's nothing wrong in claiming for your piece of cake, if you deserve some. :D

According to the corrigendum issued by the
Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India, for filling up seats in NITs
amongst the candidates declared eligible for counseling, on the basis of results of
AIEEE conducted by CBSE, the seats in the NITs shall be filled up with following
(i) 50% of the seats in an NIT shall be filled by the eligible candidates who
have passed +2 examination from the State in which the NIT is situated. For
example, in NIT Agartala 50% seats shall be filled by the eligible
candidates who have passed their +2 examination from Tripura.
(ii) Admission in NITs for rest 50% seats would be on All India Merit basis.
For these seats candidates would be admitted from amongst All India rank
holders in AIEEE.

Although this may be a little disheartening for those guys, who still don't have NIT in their state.
But its a good news for all those crying over not getting the dream college even after excelling in AIEEE. Still 50% is to be filled by the home-state candidates, but atleast the rest 50% will be filled on purely impartial way.
Although I was shocked to hear about this news considering the fact that our HRD minister is still the one who has the credit of bringing some 'historical' changes in the admission process in India, bringing in 'quotas' and arousing people to destroy railway lines in rajasthan to get the officially coveted status of 'backward class'.
But, after this rule coming into action from this year onwards (those taking admission in july'08) ,I think the better crowd these NITs get, better is going to be their reputation. And I guess the 50% home-state quota too is on its way to make way for 100% admission on All India Merit basis. Just keep your fingers crossed, because the HRD minister is still the same!

JAM's Engineering admissions - book review

One of the most confusing times of my life was while taking admission to engineering college, whether to take computer science in NIT calicut or Ceramic Engg. dual in IT BHU or mechanical engineering in NIT trichy was the question that haunted me the most and I think it did almost everyone appearing for AIEEE councelling, and thanks to India Today and other magazines for publishing those annual rankings which are almost always disagreed with, expect ofcourse by the colleges getting better rank than what they deserve like VIT (vellore institute of Technology) getting a rank above the so called much better institutes of our country this year, which always adds up to the dilemma for the students. But finally, something is there to bring relief to all the engineering aspirants and the problems they face while taking admissions.
My first, cynical as usual, expression on hearing about this book was, 'what? another rank list?' and that too by taking feedback from the students themselves. Well, tell me, who will speak bad about his college? (atleast after he knows that his college's reputation is associated with his). But being proved wrong is what happens for good sometimes.
The better part of 'Engineering admissions' is the insight that you get about engineering and life at various colleges rather than just giving a rank list. Many of those already engineers still don't know the difference in Computer science and IT.
Anyways, there are still certain glitches in the book, like

1. The book doesn't cover architecture. Well, considering the fact that most of those who take admission to architecture(B.Arch.) are the ones who prepared for engg. entrance exams, if not much then this is true atleast for those doing architecture at IITs or NITs. So, excluding it is a bad idea.

2. Although most of the rankings are what is generally accepted, but there are some loopholes. As in I was shocked to see PEC, thapar and SGSITS(indore) being given A+(euivalent to IIT roorkee!). I agree they are good colleges but disagree with them being given status better than NIT calicut or equivalent to IIIT hyderabad and BITS pilani. Talking about SGSITS in particular, most of students are placed in bulks like TCS, infy and wipro. The number of companies visiting the campus being around 30 -40. If you talk about NIT calicut(which is given 'A') itself the companies visiting the campus is much more than that. And the no. of companies visiting NIT trichy, IIIT Hyd ('A+') is a lot more than that.

3. And yea, sorry to sound cynical but there are more than a few spelling mistakes in the book.

4. Lastly, the biggest setback for the book is its price, I mean if I were the engineering aspirant looking out for some guidance on selecting the right college, I would have preferred taking advice from my coaching teacher available free of cost (which I actually did thanx to the lack any other resources at that time) rather than buy a book worth Rs. 400! Well, its a little too much for a student in 12th standard. It could have got more buyers, had it been priced at around Rs. 200.

Compiling all those articles published in JAM over the years, like 'unofficial prospectus' of various colleges, is a good business idea by JAM's editor. But still the book is as important for an IIT aspirant as it is for the one taking admission to a local engg. college. Dedicating a whole section to IITs is impressive. Moreover considering the fact that the editor doesn't have an engineering background the work is quite good. Articles giving description of various branches are enlightening. A must guide for all the engineering aspirants, I would say.