Pune: Over the years, takers for Bachelors of Engineering (BE) and Bachelors of Technology (B Tech) have dropped as students don’t want to pursue engineering due to lack of employment opportunities. On the contrary, the number of engineering colleges is growing each year.
An engineering professor at AISSMS College of Engineering said the cost of this course is quite high while employment opportunities are low. “This has reduced students’ interest in the course. Students and parents are now thinking about feasible investments in education where employment scope is better as well as fees is less,” he said.Joint Director of Directorate Technical Education (Pune Region), DR Nandanwar, feels the recent sacking of employees of IT giants - a majority of whom are engineers - has also acted as a deterrent for students wanting to pursue this course.
“With the recent controversies on laying off jobs by big IT companies students may take a step back from enrolling into the engineering group,” Nandanwar said.
“There are many colleges that start engineering courses just for the sake of starting an institution. They also demand an increase in number of seats without checking if those can be filled. Students usually don’t pick new colleges. When there is less demand of seats, they go vacant,” the AISSMS professor said, on condition of anonymity. On 50 per cent engineering seats going vacant last year, Nandanwar said, “Even though over 2 lakh students appear for common entrance test (CET) for engineering, not many take up the course further. This is also another reason for seats remaining vacant.”
Engineering colleges in rural areas have been the worst hit, according to experts. “Seats in renowned city colleges never go vacant as there are thousands of aspiring students from the country to get admission there. This is because it gives students an assurance of better placements. This is not the case of colleges in suburbs or outskirts of Pune,” said Associate Professor and corporate relation officer of COEP, Sandeep Mesharam “Therefore, this trend can be observed more in colleges which are located in the rural areas or outskirts of the city. Reasons could be no proper infrastructure, facilities and proximity to the college,” Mesharam added.
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had issued a notification to engineering colleges instructing them to shut shop if there is less than 30 per cent intake in the first year in any branch at a college for past five years. Last year, around 17,000 seats were cancelled, while this year, more seats are likely to be cancelled looking at the dipping demand of engineering, said sources.