The governments of many states recently sent letters to All India Council of Technical education (AICTE) requesting them not to pass fresh proposals of setting up more engineering colleges. The main reason behind this move is that this year around 2 lakh seats remained vacant in engineering colleges this year which shows that supply of engineering colleges has exceeded the demand.
According to S S Mantha, Chairman, AICTE, “We have received letters from the Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Chhattisgarh governments telling us not to clear proposals for engineering institutes." Also, according to the sources, Maharashtra is also firming up its pitch to AICTE after realizing that the number of vacant seats in engineering colleges has risen dramatically over the last three years.
According to the records available with the AICTE, India produced 4.01 lakh engineers in 2003-04, of which 35% were computer engineers. In 2004-05, 1,355 engineering colleges admitted 4.6 lakh students, of which 31% were computer engineers. The number of graduates rose to 5.2 lakh in 2005-06. In the last five years, the capacity in technology colleges has increased more than three times.
India has a total number of 3, 393 engineering colleges which have a total number of 14.85 lakh seats available. Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh have about 70% tech institutes. This year, when all the admissions were closed about 2 lakh seats remained unoccupied which have left the experts worried. The reason for this worry is that this year AICTE relaxed the entry norms for admission into various tech institutes this year with a hope that this will increase the number of students. But inspite of this, not many students came to fill all the seats in engineering colleges.
According to Mantha, “Seats are going vacant in rural parts of various states. There are no takers for specific engineering programmes, but the core engineering courses of civil, mechanical and electrical still have takers."
AICTE has told state governments to pass on copies of perspective plans of all universities, so that the growth of colleges can be mapped and controlled.