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Correction in technical (engineering) education

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The Times of India |

After a steady proliferation of engineering institutions over the last three years, the number has dipped marginally in the cur rent academic year.  As per figures provided by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the number of undergraduate colleges offering engineering courses rose from 3,370 in 2012 to 3,391 in 2015. However, for the academic year 2015-16, the number dipped marginally to 3,388 colleges.  The same pattern holds true for even postgraduate engineering colleges which saw a consistent increase in numbers over the last three years until the current academic year. The number of colleges rose from 1,920 in 2012 to 2,333 until last year. In 2015-16, the number has dipped slightly to 2323 colleges.AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe said one of the reasons for the dip was the closure of colleges.While some closures may be due to quality issues, many colleges were shutting down on their own due to the imbalance in the demand-supply ratio between engineering seats and students.  “The number of colleges in the country has increased much beyond requirement. The demand is not proportionate to the number of c o l l e g e s t h a t h ave opened up. When the colleges are not able to fill even half the seats, what is the point of wasting the infrastructure? It is unviable for many colle g es who therefore are choosing to close down on their own,” he said, adding that the total number of engineering seats across UG colleges reduced by nearly 35,000 from last year.  The mushrooming of engineering colleges in the past three years has also led to an increased intake capacity which again overshoots the demand for engineering seats. Consequently , vacant seat positions in engineering colleges have consistently increased -from 6 lakh vacancies in 2012-13 to 8.45 lakh vacancies in 2014-15. The states that account for the bulk of these technical institutions are Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. In the previous year, half the engineering seats across the country went vacant with only 8.54 lakh students enrolling against the 16.99 lakh seats that were totally available. Experts also pointed out that there may be many engineering colleges, but the quality of graduates they produce are not up to the mark. The AICTE chief himself said that only about 30% of engineering graduates were deemed employable by recruiters. Apart from the quality of students entering the colleges, a major reason for the poor quality of graduates was attributed to lack of PhD faculty members with adequate exposure to industry. – Courtesy


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