Students of Gujarat seem to losing interest in professional courses. Be it engineering, Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Computer Application (MCA), the numbers of vacant seats in these courses are increasing with each passing year.
Of the one lakh odd seats in engineering, medical and paramedical, MBA, MCA and pharmacy, around 20% found no takers in 2012. The same figure for 2011 was 10-11%.
The state education department officials fear that higher number of students passing out, the number of vacant seats in professional courses could go up to 25 per cent. For instance, after the first round of admission for Bachelor of Engineering, about 15,000 students failed to confirm their admission even though they have filed the forms.
The craze for science subjects is increasing but if a student does not get his choice, he would not enroll, a department official said. The student would go for non-professional course rather than take admission in a less sought-after branch, he added.
Over 68,000 students cleared science examination in 2010. In three years this number has increased to 1.05 lakh students. However, this jump has seen the number of unclaimed seats also going up. "In addition, the state has registered an increase in about 10-15% in the intake capacity of engineering, MBA and MCA colleges," an education department official said.
In 2010, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had increased 11,000 professional courses seats in the state. Of these 6,399 seats are in engineering, 1,380 in pharmacy, 1,500 in MBA and MCA, and 684 for ME. All these seats were added in self-financed colleges.
"Even commerce pass outs were taking admission into MBA but now the trend is changing as the pay package, barring a few MBA colleges, had gone as low as Rs 1.20 lakh per annum for starter," said an official. Earlier, at least 15-20% fresh engineers were enrolling for MBA courses but this has also changed.
Last year, close to 8,000 seats went vacant in engineering, 3,500 seats in pharmacy, 6,000 seats in MBA and 2,200 seats in MCA colleges. What's more, even in courses like nursing and physiotherapy over 1,000 seats were vacant.
President of Self-Finance Management Association C L Patel said, "The government has its own set of rules and hence students and the management bear the brunt of the wrong policies. We have many colleges which have better infrastructure and faculties as compared to best colleges in the state."
Patel said the in engineering and pharmacy courses, the vacancies were limited to less-preferred branches. But in MBA courses, the downward trend was only because of the less job opportunities in the market, he added.