Pune: The Maharashtra Government, in consensus with All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), has reduced diploma intake by 5,092 seats for the academic year 2018-19. This has affected around 85 polytechnic colleges across the State. Among these colleges, 12 colleges are in Pune district.
According to experts, there are many factors that need to be analysed while considering this decision from the government and AICTE.
“First of all, the main reason behind this decision coming into existence seems to be an increase in vacant seats every year. One of the factors for lesser number of students enrolling for these courses is poor syllabus set by the Maharashtra State Board of Technical Education (MSBTE) for diploma courses,” said Nihal Kirnalli, an education activist.
According to many reports, MSBTE authorities said that, on an average, 50 per cent seats have remained vacant in the academic year 2017-18.
Kirnally, who has completed diploma in Electronics and Telecommunication in 2014, stated that the syllabus, which was taught to their batch, was based on technology from the year 1990.
“After so many years, the content of the syllabus seems to be the same. MSBTE simply changes the syllabus name and not the content. For example, a new G-Scheme syllabus was introduced in the academic year 2014-15 but the content was same as that of at least 10 years before that which in turn is based on 1990 technology. Secondly, the practical experiments in colleges are hardly conducted. Most of the colleges don’t even have the appropriate apparatus to conduct practicals. Hence, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the practical knowledge of a diploma holder form Maharashtra is equal to ‘Zero’,” said Kirnalli.
However, according to higher officials of Maharashtra State Board of Technical Education (MSBTE), every five years, the curriculum has been changed. The latest change in curriculum was brought in 2017, according to which practicals are given more weightage.
“It is not appropriate to say that academics set by the MSBTE is old, as in every five years we revise the syllabus as per the industrial needs,” said Mahendra Chitlange, Deputy Secretary of MSBTE (Pune region).
Speaking about non-conduct of practicals in colleges, he said, “A selected committee of MSBTE at regular intervals of six months makes a visit to each college to monitor whether the academia is being conducted smoothly and properly, how many practicals are conducted and if there are appropriate equipment in the colleges. We judge them on the scale from excellent to poor. In case any college gets poor evaluation, then it is asked to rectify and after a month, the team visits again for verification. If it is found that the colleges have not done anything to improve their quality, their affiliation to the course is removed.”
This year, as many as 8-10 diploma courses in computer engineering, electronics and telecommunications and mechanical engineering have been de-affiliated in and around Pune division, informed Chitlange.