This year as the current figure of vacancy conforms to the trend, going by the data of admission and vacancy since 2009, when a sub-quota of 3% for Arunthathiyars was created within the overall quota of 18% for SC.
In respect of SC- Arunthathiyars (SCA), nearly two third of their seats remain vacant and the situation is much worse in the case of Tribals - Vacancy rate of around 75%.
The Engineering courses admission in 2010 saw a steep decline in vacancies across the communities and this was attributed to several factors, including lowering of eligibility marks.
The Government absorbs the burden of compulsory refundable fees, as determined by the official committee on fee fixation, unlike the previous arrangement of covering only the amount charged by the Government of Government Aided institutions.
At present , on an average, an eligible undergraduate engineering SC/ST student gets Rs. 50,000/- to Rs. 60,000/- a year. It is not that SC/ST students have no choice to join engineering, but it is the absence of hassle free process, from the stage of securing forms, a major reason fro high vacancy rate, says former Chief Secretary A. Padmanabhan.
A majority of these students are poor and hail from rural areas. They feel that the system is bot sensitive enough to their hardships and concerns.
A senior government official belonging to the SC suggests that SC/ST students, even at the level of Class 10 and Class 11, bo motivated to take to engineering.
Dr. Anandakrishnan says private colleges willl not become poor by not collecting the fees at one go from the poor students on admission.