Updated: May 10, 2018 2:48:08 pm
At 14.9 lakh seats, the total engineering intake in the country has witnessed the sharpest fall in five years, according to data released by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) this week.
The total number of B.Tech and M.Tech seats this year, across all AICTE-approved institutes, has dropped by 1.67 lakh, which is almost double the dip witnessed in 2017-18. The undergraduate and postgraduate engineering intake was 16.62 lakh seats last year, and 17.5 lakh seats in 2016-17 (see box).
Out of the engineering seat cut, 92,553 seats are on account of 755 colleges approaching AICTE seeking a reduction in approved intake or complete closure of some engineering branches. Another 24,290 seats have been reduced as the Council has agreed to wind up 83 engineering colleges. That apart, the regulator has also imposed penalties on colleges, whether by forbidding fresh admissions this year or withdrawing their approval. About 53 institutes have been penalised and 17,907 seats have been cut as a result, said sources.
According to Council sources, the significant drop in engineering seats is a result of poor admissions in colleges for the last few years. Although the intake has been on a downward slide since 2014-15, it has witnessed its sharpest fall this year. “A consolidation of sorts is expected for this sector. The market forces have now come into play and the mediocre institutes are being forced out,” said an AICTE official, who did not want to be identified.
Last December, The Indian Express had published the findings of its three-month-long investigation, which found there were no takers for 51 per cent of 15.5 lakh BE/BTech seats in 3,291 engineering colleges in 2016-17.
The investigation found glaring gaps in regulation, including alleged corruption; a vicious circle of poor infrastructure, labs and faculty; non-existent linkages with industry; and the absence of a technical ecosystem to nurture the classroom. All this, it found, accounted for low employability of graduates.
A few weeks later, the AICTE announced its decision to reduce the intake in courses with poor admissions by half from the new academic year and the move was aimed at addressing the above mismatch.
For more stories from The Indian Express series, Devalued Degree, click here.
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