The Economic Times | Bharath Joshi | ET Bureau | February 22, 2016 |
BENGALURU: Three years ago, Hanume Gowda (72), a seasoned academic, started an engineering college in Bengaluru, hoping to cash in on the increasing demand for technology courses in India’s Silicon Valley . Technology courses are very much in demand but not in Gowda’s college, Sri Vidya Vinayaka Institute of Technology in Vinayakanagar on the outskirts of Bengaluru. While his college has a sanctioned intake of 240 seats, only five students are studying here. There have been few takers for computer science and electrical-electronics streams in his college. “The year before, we got some 35 students.We never expected this when we started the college,” Gowda said. The sad part is the college has more teachers -16 in all -or about three teachers per student. Eleven colleges in and around Bengaluru have had either single-digit and two-digit admissions in the academic year 2015-16. Several others are battling hundreds of vacant seats and a yawning income-expenditure gap as a consequence. Two colleges had zero admissions due to disaffiliation on account of poor infrastructure. Experts ascribe the trend to the edupreneurs overestimating the demand, not focussing on building an enduring academic environment and ups and downs in IT hiring.
The 10-year-old PNS Institute of Technology in Arishinakunte managed to admit 18 students out of 420 seats. “We need Rs 12 lakh every month for salaries and other fixed costs. It is getting extremely difficult,” principal AS Ravindran said. Almost a third of engineering seats went vacant in Karnataka last year, according to government data. “The craze to go overseas and take up an IT job is ebbing now. The sector does not hold the same appeal as it did years ago,” said G Raj Narayan, MD at Radel Advanced Technology , a design and manufacturing firm in Electronics City . The old guards have their capacity near full: RVCE, BMSCE, MSRIT, PESIT and BIT filled up almost all their seats last year. Software expert and author Viral B Shah, who co-invented the Julia programming language, said many students from low-end colleges do not make the cut for entry-level jobs at a software firm. “It’s not a question of oversupply . The number of software engineers we need will explode with 20 billion devices expected to be on the internet. We need more quality engineers,” he said.- Courtesy