The state’s higher education department, in its policy note, proudly admits "the state has one of the largest intake capacities in the country for engineering colleges, at 69,475" as of 2005—a fourth of India’s engineering graduates. At 69 per cent, TN also has the highest "quota" in the entire country—30 per cent for backward classes, 20 per cent for the most backward, 18 per cent for the SCs and 1 per cent for the STs. Little wonder then that the entire political class here was speaking in one voice against the SC ruling last week which scrapped quotas in unaided private colleges. CM J. Jayalalitha has sought a constitutional amendment to ensure that education is restored to the state list. Else, she has warned that the state may be forced to "take over". With elections nine months away, the CM won’t brook any move that risks lost votes. Most of the engineering colleges and self-financing colleges are controlled by the liquor lobby and politicians.