A diploma course in engineering involves classes on fundamental engineering concepts. It is a professional course, planned in such a way that students may still take up jobs in the field of engineering once they earn their diplomas. Some students are not able to get admission for Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) or Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) programmes, which is why they enroll themselves in a Diploma of Engineering course, because it can allow them to transfer into the second year of the B.Tech. or B.E. course. This approach is also referred to as the ‘backdoor to engineering degree’ approach. This, in effect, means the student may not have to take the eleventh and twelfth class exams. So, instead of the last two years of school and four years of the degree engineering course (a total of six years), the same qualification is achieved in the same amount of time with three years of a diploma course and three years of the degree course after the direct transfer. Engineering entrance exams like JEE Main (previously AIEEE), JEE Advanced (previously IIT-JEE), and individual state and college Common Entrance Tests can be bypassed and avoided.

The minimum qualification required for admission into a diploma course is passing of the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC)/tenth standard/equivalent examination, with at least 35 percent in science and maths subjects.The state boards of technical education of most of the states in India conduct entrance tests for admission to the diploma programmes offered by various polytechnics in the state.

A student who has attained the diploma is usually eligible to enter B.Tech./B.E. programmes in the second year under a lateral entry scheme. This fast-track admission is possible only after writing the LET, the Lateral Entry Test. If you do well on this test, you can apply to B.Tech./B.E. programmes.