According to the RTI survey, more than one lakh (40%) engineering seats were left vacant in Tamil Nadu in the academic year 2013-14.
A total of 2.79 lakh engineering seats are available for admission in Tamil Nadu. Around 1.03 lakh seats were left vacant after the admission process ended.
Most of the engineering seats were left vacant in self-financing colleges. Two self-financing engineering colleges were unable to fill even one seat, and eight were unable to fill 10% of the seats.
Former vice-chancellor of Anna University of Technology-Chennai, C Thangaraj, said, "Early on, we did not take steps to ensure that regulations were followed and colleges did what they wanted. We are reaping the results now." He said basic issues like infrastructure and teacher quality were neglected. This has affected people in rural areas the most.
"Ten years ago we were able to attract students from Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Because of the drop in quality, we are unable to draw students now," he said.
Indian Society for Technical Education president R Murugesan said "This is because of the country's policy of increasing the gross enrolment ratio in higher educational institutions."
"The government has been concentrating more on increasing the number of institutions. Now there is focus on quality. In four or five years institutions in the country will be competing with others across the world," Murugesan said.