Pune: Around 80,000 engineering seats are likely to be removed from the academic year 2018-19 as All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has frozen admissions to 241 engineering colleges across the country. The move gains importance as career in engineering is losing its lustre.
AICTE has received an application for closing down from 241 engineering colleges mostly Tier III and some of Tier I and II, said Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman of AICTE. “We have not approved the request of any college which has applied for closure. Unless the State government and universities issue a no-objection certificate (NOC) against the applied colleges, AICTE cannot close it down. However, we have frozen admissions in these colleges. Until we get a formal directive from the State or universities we cannot close them,” said Sahasrabudhe.
Last year i.e 2017-18, around 66 colleges were closed down, 149 in 2016-17 and 125 in 2015-16. According to experts, AICTE took this decision as there are abundant number of engineering colleges in several regions. Moreover, they failed to impart quality education. Another reason could be many seats in these colleges remain vacant as students migrate to bigger cities for admissions, as they offer promised placements.
Advice to AICTE
However, All India Private Colleges Employees Union (AIPCEU) has planned to submit a suggestion/proposal to AICTE on deploying a cooperative society technique for better administration of engineering colleges in town, district and talukas to avoid the closure. “AICTE allows many organisations and private entities to run colleges. It can give an opportunity to staff members of engineering institutes to run the administration smoothly. As per Cooperative Societies Act, 1912, 70 per cent of teaching staff inclusive of technical and other staff members along with 20 per cent of parents of students and 10 per cent share of public can run the management of a college,” said KM Karthik, President of AIPCEU. Every year, 15 lakh students enter engineering stream, while 30 lakh engineering seats are available out of which 80,000 are being canceled now. “The colleges which have applied for closure are Tier III colleges, which means now students of these colleges will have to look for admissions in Tier I and Tier II colleges. This will not only increase the competition but also hike the fees,” said Karthik.
Appreciating the idea of a cooperative trust running the institution, Sharad Raut, a professor and programmer of a computer centre at an engineering college at Yavatmal said, “One of the reason in drop of students intake in district or taluka colleges is lack of proper management. There are many engineering colleges with good quality infrastructure in Vidarbha region but due to improper management, these colleges are unable to attract students and fail to support their faculty. Therefore, the suggested alternative will enable self-funding which will prove to be boon in these areas.” Professor Narayan Marathe from said, “Good colleges among these 200 can be segregated and this system can be run as a pilot project in those top colleges to see the results. Although according to present situation there is a larger vacancy but down the line in few years takers will increase. As the gross enrollment ratio of secondary education has increased eventually impacting on higher demand of seats in future. Therefore, for sustainability it will be beneficial.” Sahasrabudhe said that the decision to upgrade institutes does not rest upon AICTE but the State government and universities. “We won’t be able to act on their suggestions. The State government and university can look into it,” he said.