If Maharashtra fails to get affiliation, over 40,000 seats in ITIs may be scrapped next year

Around 12,000 seats remained vacant in skill development courses deemed ‘unpopular’, while more than 2 lakh students who applied for admissions in industrial training institutes could not score a seat

Written by Priyanka Sahoo | Mumbai | Published:November 6, 2016 1:52 am

THIS YEAR, around 12,000 seats remained vacant in skill development courses deemed ‘unpopular’, such as carpentry and plumbing, whereas more than 2 lakh students who applied for admissions in industrial training institutes (ITIs) could not score a seat. It now appears that more than 40,000 seats in existing ITIs may be scrapped in the next academic year if the state fails to get affiliation for some of its divisions. These seats belonging to unaffiliated divisions in various skill development courses will be scrapped from the next year if the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training (DVET) fails to apply for affiliation to the Directorate General of Training (DGET) by the end of March 2017.

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A total of 1,729 divisions in several courses remain unaffiliated from the DGET, according to the Mahajan Committee that was formed to look into the irregularities in vocational training institutes across the state.

The problem, however, is that the DGET, the apex body responsible for implementation of programmes relating to vocational training, grants affiliations to institutes on the basis of various criteria including the availability of infrastructure and teachers.

“Not many of these institutes have the required machinery for teaching the courses they offer,” said Dayanand Meshram, in-charge Director of DVET. “We plan to move the machinery from institutes where they are not needed to the ones where there is requirement,” he said.

The move was one of the recommendations of the Mahajan Committee after it found that 54,053 expensive machines were lying unused in ITIs across the state following the closure of around 5,500 ITIs. The machinery, worth crores, were bought but have not been put to use in the past six to eight years even as several institutes face an acute shortage of other equipment. A source in the DVET attributed this to two reasons – more than 5,612 divisions were closed down and divisions were added to courses without any foresight owing to the wastage of resources.

The committee’s suggestion to form an inventory of the machinery available in all ITIs and mapping it to the requirement has been vetted by the government in the last week of October. However, there is no mention of a budgetary provision for the movement of equipment from one region to another.

Meshram said the DVET will prepare a budget for the movement and present it to the Ministry. “A meeting regarding the same is scheduled next week.” he said. However, how many more equipment need to bought will only be clear after the surplus ones are reallocated.

Another hitch for the DVET is the teaching posts in these unaffiliated divisions. The Mahajan Committee report states that around 44,954 seats will be scrapped unless the contractual teaching posts in these unaffiliated divisions are regularised by the state government. However, the state government has now proposed that 390 posts be filled and utilised properly and the 334 posts sanctioned for regularisation be continued on a contractual basis.

Even as the demand and supply in the vocational education institutes remained skewed, the state government last month encouraged students unable to clear the Class X examination to enroll into special vocational training courses through the Kaushalya Setu programme.

The gap in demand and supply has cost the DVET dearly with only 60 per cent of its facilities being fully utilised. The state has now recommended the DVET to study the demand for courses in government institutes in the past three years and the courses offered by private institutes before proposing for new divisions. Although it has underlined the need for more seats in courses with higher demand, no courses have been specified.