During admission season every year, engineering colleges in Anand, Gandhinagar, Aravalli, Navsari and Junagadh see an influx of students. This year, it is different. Colleges are struggling to fill the seats even after two rounds of admissions conducted by the Admission Committee of Professional Courses (ACPC).
“After Covid, students are preferring institutes closer home. Districts of Aravalli, Gandhinagar, Navsari and Junagadh have been affected. Usually a lot of students from Saurashtra region would move to Vallabh Vidyanagar in Anand for their engineering course. But this year, most of the seats in engineering institutes there are vacant,” said Prof Navin Sheth, Vice-Chancellor of Gujarat Technological University (GTU), the largest technical university, which has over 480 affiliated institutes. Vidyanagar is an education hub in Anand.
Students and their parents are also looking at the viability of offline classes in the near future. “Amid the uncertainty over offline classes, it is always advisable to be closer home. Why to take risk and move to cities such as Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar where the number of Covid cases is so high,” said Parthiv Patel, one of the aspirants from Bhavnagar.
Principal of Government Engineering College Bhavnagar, GP Vadodariya, pointed out that this was a trend across the state. “Earlier, students would seek admissions in colleges in cities such as Ahmedabad hoping for better exposure. This is certainly not the case after Covid.”
Adding that within the district, too, students were preferring college closer to city, he said, “For instance, in Bhavnagar, students have opted for Government Engineering College, which is in the heart of the city, compared to the one which is nearly 15-20 kilometres away from the city.”
As per the latest ACPC data, barring Electronics and Communication stream, where 37 out of 75 seats in the government engineering college are filled, not a single seat is vacant in other branches, including civil and mechanical engineering, that have high number of vacant seats in institutes across the state.
Other branches are staring at a high vacancy rate at the Gyanmanjhari Institute of Technology in Bhavnagar, where even the most sought after branch of Computer and Information Technology has nearly 50 per cent vacant seats.
With the second round extended and a large number of seats still vacant, the process of third round of admissions in engineering colleges that was supposed to be completed by November 3, is still on.
“Out of 10,700 seats in government colleges, nearly 7,000 have been filled while in self-financed institutes, around 18,250 seats are filled after the end of second round of admissions,” ACPC member secretary Prof Rajul Gajjar said.x
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