The state may not get any new engineering college this year as the Maharashtra government has proposed to the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) to not approve such proposals this year. “In view of vacancies in existing engineering colleges and polytechnic institutes, we have written to the AICTE to put a hold on new college approvals this year,” said an official from the higher and technical education department.
Amit Dutta, the director, western region, AICTE, said: “Yes, we have received such a communication from the DTE (Directorate of Technical Education). A decision, however, has not been taken on whether new colleges would be approved this year.”
The demand for technical courses that include engineering, diploma, pharmacy and architecture among others, has remained poor across the state. The state recorded a vacancy of 44.83 per cent in technical courses in 2017.
Of this, diploma remained the least opted course – less than half of the 1.42 lakh seats were occupied.
Over the past few years, around 40 per cent seats in engineering colleges have remained vacant. Last year, of the 1.38 lakh seats in engineering colleges, over 56,000 or 41 per cent were unoccupied. This, despite heavy cuts in the number of seats.
Vacancies were more in private and unaided engineering colleges across the state. In 2017, over 75,000 seats remained unclaimed in private and unaided colleges. In eight government colleges of the state, which are the most sought after, 122 seats, or four per cent of the total seats, remained vacant.
The number of students seeking admission to engineering courses also remained low. In 2017, over 81,700 candidates confirmed admissions compared to 79,435 the year before. However, the improvement was marginal compared to enrolment figures of 2016 when over 89,000 students were admitted to various engineering courses in the state.