|With the publication of the much awaited Kerala Engineering Rank list and the signing of the seat sharing agreement between the Government and the Management Association, the option registration to the engineering courses in the state is finally round the corner. One data that the young aspirants and their parents would keenly follow at this stage is the last rank details of the previous years’ allotments. We shall delve into some of the nuances of this data so that you do not misinterpret this data and are conscious of the possibility of deviations from the previous years.|
Two common uses of the last rank data are
1) To predict one’s probability of getting allotted into a particular branch in a particular college.
2) Use collective wisdom of predecessors to compare colleges within a group.
Firstly let us understand the concept of last rank in this context with an example.
The last rank in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EE), Government Engineering College, Barton Hill, Trivandrum (TRV) under State Merit category after the 1st phase allotment during 2010 admissions was 2363. This means that the rank of the last student who was allotted a seat in the state merit category in EE in TRV after the first phase allotment was 2363. Anyone who had a better rank than 2363 could have got allotment for EE in TRV if he/she had opted for that. If the student’s rank was lower than 2363 he/she would not have got allotment in EE in TRV under state merit category. A student would still have got an allotment to EE in TRV under reservation category if that was applicable to the candidate. The last rank pertaining to the same under Ezhava, Muslim, Latin Catholic and Scheduled Caste were 3530, 2817, 3623 and 21963 respectively
In 2010, we had four phases of allocation to private self financing colleges and six phases to government and government controlled self financing colleges. The different phases happen because of vacancies arising due to students opting out of the process for various reasons. The last rank for a particular option can be seen to vary across the different phases. The last ranks in the case of Electrical and Electronics (EE) in Government Engineering College Barton Hill (TRV) under State Merit category were 2363 (1st Phase of allotment), 2786 (Second phase), 3171 (Third phase), 3389 (Fourth phase), 4658 (Fifth phase) and 4671 (Sixth phase).
The past data should only be used as indication and should never be blindly extrapolated for future projections without understanding the dependencies and the prevalent scenario.
The demand for computer science related courses were down during recessionary years and were buoyant during years where IT sector recruited hundreds from campuses. Civil Engineering saw large number of takers during the construction boom. For the last couple of years we are seeing a rise in demand for mechanical engineering for no apparent reason. There could be wide variations between last ranks across various phases of allotments when admissions to other colleges like IITs, NITs, and colleges in other states happen during the same time. Since they are already over this year, the variations in last ranks between phases of allotment are likely to be small.
Earlier an option used to be just the combination of a college and a course. However now we have a third parameter – the course fee also coming into the choice. Thus for each college course combination other than the ones in the nine government and three aided colleges we would have two options – one with a lower fee and one with a higher fee. All these will affect the students’ choice and hence the possibility of allotment.
Many a time, the last rank is used as a surrogate for comparing colleges. The last rank comparison cannot be applied across categories because of major differences in many crucial decision parameters. For example we can see that choices involving the government colleges almost always have a low last rank (meaning higher preference) due to their lower fee structure. While comparing colleges within a category, categorise the colleges which have comparable last ranks within a stream into one group. For example we cannot say that a particular college X is better than Y just because the last rank of a particular stream in X was 25248 and that in Y was 26420. They are more or less in the same league. We should not stretch the use of last rank beyond a point in such cases.