Around 50,000 seats in Maharashtra engineering colleges are likely to go vacant this year. A total of 85,501 candidates had sought admissions to 1.30 lakh seats this year. Of these, 79,599 were allotted seats till the last round of admissions on Tuesday.
Sources in the state Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) said while 79,599 candidates were allotted seats, not all will confirm their admissions.
This implies that fewer candidates are joining engineering courses this year, as last year at least 81,700 candidates confirmed their admissions.
This is only marginally lower than last year’s figures, when 41 per cent or 56,000 of the total seats were left vacant at the end of the admission process. A senior DTE official said that since the intake capacity had reduced, the number of vacant seats would correspondingly go down.
Vacancies in engineering colleges continued to remain high for the fifth consecutive year even as DTE introduced a flurry of measures to reduce vacancies.
For the first time in five years, no new seats were added to engineering colleges in the state. Colleges were allowed to shut down or reduce their intakes, bringing down the total seat count by around 8,000.
As directed by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), similar branches of engineering were also merged at some colleges. And yet, almost 39 per cent of the available seats will go vacant.
“The percentage of vacancies has reduced only marginally. However, when you put it in context of the fact that almost 8,000 seats were reduced, the vacancy is strikingly high,” said G D Yadav, Vice Chancellor of Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, who had presented a report to the state government on vacancies in engineering colleges in 2014. In his report, Yadav had suggested that intake be reduced and similar branches be merged into mainstream courses.
Reduction in intake did not have a great impact on vacancies. “This is because there aren’t enough jobs in our industry. If there aren’t corresponding jobs in market, why will students join engineering courses?,” said Yadav, adding that seats in Indian Institutes of Technology, too, are going vacant now.