In its order, the court said details pertaining to pass percentage, department-wise academic performance and similar-sounding college names along with their code numbers should be uploaded on the Anna University's official website within two weeks, "on or before the start of counselling process", whichever is earlier.
The First Bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, also gave liberty to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and an association of unaided engineering colleges to initiate civil and criminal action against institutions which use similar/identical names and mislead students and parents.
The bench issued the direction on a batch of PILs, which highlighted the need for an authentic information from Anna University on the pass percentage of all engineering colleges under its control.
Another PIL highlighted the menace of namesake institutions which intended to fill their seats by confusing or misleading parents and their wards.
"It is essential that all relevant particulars relating to each and every college have to be furnished to students, especially to those hailing from rural and semi-urban areas," the PIL said, adding that as of 2012, the state had more than 520 engineering colleges.
It also furnished a list of 151 engineering colleges which had similar names, adding to confusion of students seeking admission in engineering courses.
The bench also said the AICTE and the university should conduct periodical inspection of all colleges to ensure that they complied with infrastructural requirements.
Earlier, Advocate-General of Tamil Nadu A L Somayaji submitted that the university had been publishing the pass percentage statistics of affiliated engineering colleges from 2002 to 2005, and then from 2008 to 2010.
The practice was stopped in 2011 as some associations of engineering colleges opposed the publication saying it adversely affected their college admissions.
As for similar names of several colleges, it was submitted that since each college is given code number the names might not lead to any confusion while opting for colleges or courses for admission.