Thiruvananthapuram: The state government has given nod to engineering college managements to transfer their to quota from 2018-19 academic year onwards.
As per a government order issued by state higher education department, seats that remain unfilled, even after the allotment process, can be reserved under NRI quota. The catch is that candidates seeking admission to NRI seats need not qualify the state entrance examination.

The government has quoted AICTE approval process handbook (2017-18) as the base for the relaxation. However, many in the education sector pointed out that it was not the AICTE, but the state government that had been denying the requests of college managements seeking permission to convert vacant seats into NRI quota seats. “The UDF government had given such a relaxation once. But the move attracted severe criticism from the Left parties, forcing the then education minister P K Abdu Rabb to restrict the relaxation to a single term. The government decision to allow managements to convert all vacant seats into NRI quota is a stark retreat from its earlier stand,” said a source in Kerala Technological University ().

However, the relaxation will not help the engineering college managements to improve its position, said Kerala self-financing engineering college managements’ association secretary K G Madhu.

“The admission figures this year is proving to be disastrous, not only for self-financing colleges, but also for quasi-government and even government colleges. In the first year of KTU, 40,000 seats got filled in in the state. It come down to 35,000 and 30,000 in the subsequent years. This year the dip will be more. The relaxation is a welcome move, but it wouldn’t be enough to mitigate the crisis that looms large over the entire engineering education sector,” he said.

Only those colleges that have already received the AICTE permission for admitting students under NRI quota would be eligible to convert their vacant seats into NRI seats. Also, the managements would not be able to levy higher fees from candidates being admitted to the newly created NRI quota seats. “For seats converted from merit quota into NRI quota, the colleges can levy only the merit quota, and likewise for management seats being converted into NRI quota,” said Madhu.

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