With scores of engineering colleges failing to fill their vacant seat, the great Indian engineering dream seems to be fading. In light of the prevailing situation, engineering colleges have approached the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to reduce intake by almost 1.3 lakh B.Tech and M.Tech seats from the new academic year, starting July.
As per the latest provisional data available with AICTE, 83 engineering institutes that collectively offer 24,000 seats have applied for closure. Additionally, 494 colleges have sought permission to discontinue some undergraduate and postgraduate engineering programmes.
This would further reduce the national intake by 42,000 seats. This is not all; another 639 institutes have requested the regulator to reduce their intake by 62,000 seats collectively. The applications sums up to almost 1.3 lakh B.E/B.Tech and M.E/M.Tech seats.
AICTE is yet to take a final call on the issue, but it is very likely that the regulator would accept all requests regarding winding up of the colleges, according to a report in The Indian Express. The regulator is also expected to give its nod on about 80 per cent of requests for partial or complete closure of selected engineering programmes and may impose penalty on colleges with poor admissions over the last five years.
In 2016-17, 51% of the over 15 lakh seats in over 3,900 engineering colleges in India remained vacant.
An investigation by The Indian Express last year found glaring gaps in regulation, including alleged corruption; a vicious circle of poor infrastructure, labs and faculty; non-existent linkages with industry; and the absence of a technical ecosystem to nurture the classroom. All this, it found, accounted for low employability of graduates.
The grim situation of engineering colleges could also be attributed to a slew of factors including the growing range of career choices, professional courses and relevant employment opportunities to the general decline in demand for engineers, mainly in the IT sector.