Unlike previous years, many coaching centres in Ernakulam are reporting an increase of nearly 50% in the enrolment to classes to prepare for engineering entrance exams, especially Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE), to get admission to various engineering courses. Some of the centres even had to start additional batches in engineering entrance stream.
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Coaching professionals and teachers said that the reason is mainly due to the increased job opportunities and boom in the engineering industry, especially IT, during the pandemic. The increased rate in campus placements and higher salary packages in the engineering industry is an attraction for not only students, but also parents who guide their children to opt for engineering courses.
Moreover, the preparation for JEE, one of the toughest exams, would help students easily qualify other engineering entrance tests conducted by reputed institutions like Cusat, Vellore Institute of Technology, Birla Institute of Science and Technology. Also, JEE preparation is useful for all other exams in which high performance in mathematics, physics and chemistry are mandatory. Teachers also said there is also an increase in number of students who want to pursue research-related course in institutions like Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru; Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram; Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs), where ranking in JEE is a criterion for admission.
Arun Viswanath, area business head (central and north Kerala), Aakash Institute, said that all their branches in Kerala saw at least 50% rise in engineering entrance coaching business over the past one year.
“JEE is needed for those who aspire to join Indian Statistical Institute, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology, Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy. Also, for those who prepare for National Defence Academy exam, Common Admission Test, etc., JEE preparations are useful. Also, the number of limited seats for MBBS in Kerala is another reason for the increased affinity towards engineering,” Viswanath said.
Jacob Elias, placement officer at Cusat, said IT firms offered up to Rs 40 lakh per annum salary package for campus placement and all engineering courses saw higher rate of campus recruitment. “IT boom was high during the pandemic, and now other industries like construction, semi-conductor manufacture, etc., too are reviving and this leads to increased affinity for civil and electronics engineering courses. Manufacturing and automobile industry too is showing signs of revival,” Elias said.