Engineering seats in India drop to lowest in a decade
Engineering seats in India have dropped to their lowest number in a decade, even though it still remains the most popular technical course across the country. The decline in seats has been due to low demand and subsequent closure of hundreds of engineering colleges over the past few years, reported The Indian Express. Here are more details on this.
In the 2014-15 academic year, engineering courses at various levels had nearly 32 lakh seats all across India. That number has now reduced to 23.28 lakh, according to the data from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) - the lowest in 10 years. The decline in engineering seats this year is pegged at 1.46 lakh, the report said.
The decline has been mainly attributed to reduced demand from students, forcing hundreds of institutes to shut down. Around 400 engineering colleges have wound up over the past seven years. In fact, at least 50 schools have been closed annually since the 2015-16 academic period. This year, 63 have been given permission by the technical education regulator for closure.
Further, the number of approvals from the AICTE for setting up new institutes is at a five-year low. There is already a two-year suspension on establishing new schools until 2021-22. For the ongoing academic year, the authority has approved 54 new institutes, though officials say these are primarily for colleges in the backward areas and were already in the pipeline.
There have been no takers for lakhs of engineering seats across India, due to poor placements. Experts say a ban on new institutes is not enough. They state the government needs to focus on improving the quality of education and ensuring employment. "The need of the hour is to ensure employment for engineering graduates, which is still not happening," an official had earlier said.
"Less than 50% engineering graduates are being placed every year and this definitely makes a big impact on the demand for engineering courses altogether (sic)," an official from the Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (CET) Cell had said earlier this year.