Coimbatore: At 39, some people may contemplate a mid-career change. But S Nambirajan, a disabled man on the wrong side of thirties, is on a ‘course’ correction. Nearly 22 years after he completed schooling, the June 1973-born orthopaedically challenged man has decided to try his luck in entering an engineering college to pursue a BE degree programme. Nambirajan is the oldest applicant in the race for this year’s Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions (TNEA 2012) single window counselling conducted by the Anna University.
Hailing from a remote hamlet in Nanguneri village of Tirunelveli district, he had passed Plus Two in 1990 after clearing an arrears paper in English. Subsequently, he had obtained a diploma in mechanical engineering from a government polytechnic college in 1993.
Nambirajan will compete with young applicants for a seat under the Physically Handicapped Quota. His cut-off, based on his score in the Plus Two exam, is only 88. “There is no age limit for enrolling in an engineering college in Tamil Nadu. Only for the Marine Engineering branch, the upper age limit has been fixed at 25 years,” said a TNEA official.
S Nambirajan is the oldest applicant in the race for this year's Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions test.
Incidentally, two years ago, Nambirajan had applied for the counselling and was allotted a Mechanical Engineering seat in the A C College of Engineering and Technology (ACCET) at Karaikudi. Authorities are baffled as to why he has applied again. “We presume that he would not have joined the college due to some personal constraints. We will check with him when he attends the counselling,” the official added.
“He belongs to the Scheduled Caste community. But with his cut-off, his overall rank this year is 1,65,550 in the merit list. In his community, he stands 19,453rd in the list. But under the quota for the physically disabled, Nambirajan figures 114th,” the official explained. Nambirajan has been called for the counselling on July 12.
On the other hand, R Arul, son of a farmer from Vaniyambadi in Vellore, is the youngest candidate in the race. He was born on December 7, 1996. With a cut off of 189.75, he has been ranked 2,705th among MBC candidates. “I am planning to study mechanical engineering in Anna University, Chennai,” Arul said.