Poor response to SPPU’s aviation course

Pranita Roy
Friday, 26 October 2018

SPPU is now planning to start BTech course in aviation soon, the Management Council has given a nod to it and board of studies is underway to formulate the syllabus for it.

PUNE: It seems that aviation course offered by Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) couldn’t fly, as Masters of Technology (MTech) in Aviation has hardly received any response from students in five years.

Ahead of Senate meeting on October 27, after a question was raised by senate member, Santosh Dhore on how much is the enrollment capacity for this course, it was revealed that it has a capacity of only six students. The university had started MTech aviation course in the academic year 2013-14, ever since only eight students have taken-up this course in university. In the first year of commencement of the course, there were only six students. Last academic year, 2017-18 shows an enrollment of only nine students, similar to the academic year 2015-16. While, in the academic year 2014-15 and 2016-17, had zero admission, revealed the data.

Dhore stated, “I have learned that university’s expenditure (Rs 21,57,548) for this course is more than the enrollment ratio (fee collected – Rs 26 lakh). They were recently supposed to install an equipment of Rs one crore. In consideration of this, it means that the university is spending a crore against one student. Also, fees for the first year taken from the students is Rs four lakh. In the backdrop of this, I raised the question on the course and its capacity.”

In clarification, Aditya Abhyankar, Head of Technology Department which runs the aviation course said, “It is one of the unprecedented courses offered in India, for the fact that aviation course is the first to be offered by any university in India. So as to create a niche ecosystem, we restricted the intake number to six.”

Talking about the less number of intake in so many years, Abhyankar said, “In the first year, we had six students. In order to stabilise the course, we had not conducted any entrance exam in the second year which was 2014-15, hence no enrollment happened, which we repeated in the fourth year as well. However, in the third year, only three students had taken admission out of which two left due to other opportunities, yet we continued the course with one student. Even this year for 2018-19, we have received two admissions so far.”

Citing the reason for less response, he said, “First of all the intake capacity is only six. Secondly, it is an expensive course, therefore not many come forward for this course. Moreover, as our country hasn’t had an aviation course of its own, the awareness about flying is also less.”

The fee for aviation course at the department is Rs 2 lakh each for the first and fourth semester, while students are sent to Florida or Germany for the second and third semester. 

“We have an MoU with flying institutes in Florida and Germany, where students learn flying. Interestingly, there are around 2,000 airstrips in Florida, whereas India has less than 200 airstrips,” added Abhyankar.

University is now planning to start BTech course in aviation soon, the Management Council has given a nod to it and board of studies is underway to formulate the syllabus for it.

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