Starting next year, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will close down technical colleges which haven’t filled more than 30 per cent of the total seats over the last five years, Chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe said on Friday.
There were 37 lakh seats available last year across all 10,063 AICTE-approved institutions offering technical courses in management, architecture, engineering, hotel management and pharmacy, among others. Of these only 19 lakh seats found takers, which roughly translates to 48 per cent vacancy.
The problem is most acute in engineering colleges. Last year, only 15 lakh of the total 29 lakh seats were taken.
“In the past few years, the AICTE has been actively working on reducing the quantity of engineering institutions across the country due to increased institutes, poor demand and falling quality of education.
The regulatory body has also reduced the penalty for closing down an engineering institution that was a deterrent for many colleges which were willing to shut in the midst of poor demand,” Sahasrabuddhe said at a two-day world education summit.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the AICTE chairman said that the Council has already started identifying colleges with a high rate of vacancy. “Students currently studying in the institutes identified for closure could be moved to better institutes nearby,” he added.