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Even before counselling for admission to engineering colleges under single window system begins this year, over 24,000 seats are up for grabs.

While 1,78,917 seats are available under single window admission, Anna University has received only 1,54,238 applications as on Monday.

While this is the status of seats under government quota, self-financing colleges have so far surrendered 21,741 seats from the management quota. Anna University officials expect another 5,000 seats under the management quota to be surrendered before general counselling begins on July 1.

With the number of engineering colleges in the State climbing up steadily in the last decade, engineering admissions hit a plateau in the State in 2013-14 when the number of vacant seats crossed the one-lakh mark. Last year, there were 1.36 lakh vacancies. This year the number of first graduate applicants has also fallen. Only 80,446 first-generation learners have applied compared to last year when 92,000 candidates had sought admission. A total of 3,104 applicants will seek admission in the vocational category and 1,51,134 candidates will be admitted through academic counselling.

Random numbers

On Monday, the 10-digit random numbers were generated for the 19th counselling session in the presence of Higher Education secretary Apoorva, Vice Chancellor M. Rajaram, registrar S. Ganesan and the media, with each providing two numbers.

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Look beyond your low scores to explore a world of opportunities and develop your true potential.

It was a joyous day for Asha when she received a doctorate for her study on mythology and classical dance. At a celebration dinner held that night, all her close family, friends and her many disciples gathered to shower her with flowers, praise and gifts. It was a moment of triumph for her, but her thoughts flew back in time, briefly, to dwell on her school days, when she got her Class XII mark sheet. She had been devastated — her total marks were dipping a bit, just low enough to ensure that it would be very difficult to get the B.Com. seat in a popular college that she had set her heart upon. At that moment, it had seemed like the end of the road for Asha who could only imagine a career in commerce and business. It would have been a terrible time for her, if only her teacher Alison had not noticed her crying in a corner and started talking to her.

New horizons

As she talked to Alison, Asha’s fears subsided. From being convinced that she was good for nothing, she came to see that she had many talents and capabilities, and even if she did not get a B.Com. seat, there would be a million possibilities available to her, if only she would open her mind’s eye and see them. As she received yet another bouquet of flowers, Asha’s mind jerked back to the present, but not before dwelling on the numerous bharatanatyam shows she had done, her huge network of rasikas, her dance school which had about 150 students and her latest achievement, a doctorate. In every sense, she had found success all because of her teacher’s guidance to seek new horizons, and because she had seen beyond the boundaries imposed by scoring low marks in one subject.

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The disciplinary boundaries between the arts and sciences are set in stone in most Indian colleges, both literally and metaphorically. The pure sciences and related disciplines like microbiology, electronics and nanotechnology are typically housed in a separate building from departments like English, history and journalism. Once a student opts for a particular stream, he can bid farewell to studying subjects offered by the other. Very few colleges in India offer programmes that allow students to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries between the Arts and Sciences. And due to this narrow, streamlined mindset, many students hold misconceptions about a liberal arts education, even when they are applying to foreign universities.

Learning across disciplines can help you broaden your perspectives.

Broaden perspectives

Students who are inclined towards the sciences and related fields tend to eschew applying for programmes that offer a Liberal Arts education. However, the rationale for this decision is misplaced as one can avail of an excellent science education in a liberal arts college.What liberal arts entails is that a student takes courses across multiple disciplines while specialising or majoring in a subject of one’s choice. Thus, a student can major in chemistry but has to take a prerequisite number of courses across an array of disciplines ranging from anthropology to women’s studies, to philosophy.


“But what is the point of taking

“This is what we do every day,” says Kirkkojarvi Comprehensive School principal Kari Louhivuori, “prepare kids for life.” (Stuart Conway)


Finland has vastly improved in reading, math and science literacy over the past decade in large part because its teachers are trusted to do whatever it takes to turn young lives around. This 13-year-old, Besart Kabashi, received something akin to royal tutoring.

“I took Besart on that year as my private student,” Louhivuori told me in his office, which boasted a Beatles “Yellow Submarine” poster on the wall and an electric guitar in the closet. When Besart was not studying science, geography and math, he was parked next to Louhivuori’s desk at the front of his class of 9- and 10-year- olds, cracking open books from a tall stack, slowly reading one, then another, then devouring them by the dozens. By the end of the year, the son of Kosovo war refugees had conquered his adopted country’s vowel-rich language and arrived at the realization that he could, in fact, learn.


Years later, a 20-year-old Besart showed up at Kirkkojarvi’s Christmas party with a bottle of Cognac and a big grin. “You helped me,” he told his former teacher. Besart had opened his own car repair firm and a cleaning company. “No big fuss,” Louhivuori told me. “This is what we do every day, prepare kids for life.”

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How Technology Can Improve College Student Success Infographic


The success of college students is getting more attention these days with rising expectations, greater accountability (yet shrinking budgets), and dismal statistics.The reality we face in higher education today invites different approaches to promote student success.

The How Technology Can Improve College Student Success identifies several ways technology can aid student success. In particular, the infographic highlights seven practices that facilitated the successful implementation of the innovations funded by Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) . They are framed to offer you evidence-based advice on how to use a classroom innovation fueled by technology to get the outcomes for students we all want to see—and that students deserve.

The 7 Building Blocks for College Completion

  1. Achieve greater impact with “whole-course” models: It’s likely that projects funded by NGLC that used whole-course models—where instructors adopt an entire course design that involves a new instructional approach and curriculum using technology—had a greater effect on student outcomes because they represented more comprehensive, tightly specified instructional change.
  2. Design student success innovations with active, self-paced, data-driven learning: NGLC-funded projects that replaced lectures with active learning methods, incorporated mastery learning components, and provided instructors with information about student progress and risk status were associated with stronger student outcomes.

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Education system must maintain the quality of education: President


President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday stressed the establishments of norms and performance-based system for learning outcomes and emphasized on maintaining quality and standards for education in fast expanding education sector. With the growth in the education sector, we must not allow its quality to take a backseat, he said.

“We must establish norms and performance-based marks for learning process and outcome strictly and enforce them across the schools,” Mukherjee said while addressing a function on National Education Day, celebrated on the birth anniversary of India’s first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

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Flexible Credit System


The Fully Flexible Credit System at Vellore Institute of Technology allows students to choose the subjects they want to study and make their own timetable.

“I am now in a college that follows the FFCS,” said Archa Rajeev when I met her after a year. She proudly talked of the new system her college, VIT, follows to provide “quality higher education.” The Fully Flexible Credit System (FFCS) gives the students flexibility to make their own timetable, she said. You choose the subjects you want to study and you choose the teachers you want to study under.

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Keeping Students on Task With Blended Learning


What is a blended classroom? The blended classroom learning model combines face-to-face teaching with technology enhanced instruction. This includes having students use AppsQR codes, websites, surveys, and videos integrated into the lesson. Effectively and efficiently blending the classroom with these technologies can increase student engagement, motivation and build a sense of community as students collaborate more together.

The business world has also shifted into a digital community, and to help prepare students for their future careers, many schools are now a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) school. With the accessibility of smart devices (phones, kindles, iPads, etc.) and schools going wireless, it’s getting easier and easier for teachers to integrate this technology into their classrooms. Fortunately, if the students are using a school’s wireless network, many inappropriate sites are blocked; however, for students with 3G and 4G capabilities, unblocked content and social media access is still a concern. So, before you have your students take out their phones or devices, consider these suggestions to seamlessly turn your classroom into a blended classroom.

  • Limit The Number of Devices in Use
  • Give Directions
  • Require Evidence
  • Make Your Physical Presence Known
  • Have Policies for Use

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Games enables students to better solve problems in the real world as well as exams in school.


Critical thinking is an important skill that moves a student from concrete ideas to abstract and inferred concepts. Critical thinking allows us to analyze outcomes, compare ideas, identify parallels, sequence events, synthesize information and draw conclusions from a given body of knowledge.

Whether it is the proof behind a mathematics formula or an implied tone in an essay, critical thinking skills enable students to solve problems in the real world and on exams in school. Students can try the following five tools students to develop the critical thinking skills necessary for success on every high school or college ​test and assignment.

  • Brain Games
  • Logic puzzles

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S. Malarvizhi with students

Life has come a full circle for a renowned academician, a physics lecturer, an IT professional and a student of management. They are back in college, where their journeys began years ago. Sheela Ramachandran is Vice-Chancellor of Avinashilingam University, S. Malarvizhi is the chairperson and managing trustee of VLB and Sri Krishna Institutions, Anusha Ravi is CEO, Park Group of Institutions and Nithya Ramachandran is deputy joint secretary, Sankara College of Science and Commerce. Three of them never imagined they would have anything to do with managing education, but they have learnt on the job, allowed their hearts to guide them and brought about a holistic transformation in their campuses.

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