After observing that about 50% of the seats in engineering colleges across the country are vacant, the technical education department, that is AICTE, has come up with a plan to merge the institutes. The officials of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) who are aware of the developments said that the institutes that have more than 50% vacancy, and decent faculty and infrastructure facilities could be merged to avoid them being shut down. The applications that have been submitted for admissions in the engineering colleges are considerably lesser than the actual number of seats. Over the past few years, it has been observed that the numbers of vacant seats are increasing.
“Merging of institutes means institutes can put together their resources and also ensure that students get the best facilities and quality of education. This way, the AICTE won’t have to shut down institutes and leave students in a lurch,” said a senior AICTE official to Hindustan Times. Due to this increasing vacancy at different engineering colleges in India, many states have been requesting the AICTE to not approve new colleges. As per reports from Hindustan Times, in December 2017 alone, six states (Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana) had requested the AICTE to not approve new colleges as the demand for engineering seats in their respective states was consistently low.
This year, the Maharashtra government also wrote a letter to the AICTE, requesting no permission to be granted to new diploma or degree engineering colleges for 2018-19, which was accepted. Still, 42% of the seats in Maharashtra’s Technical Institutes went vacant in 2018-19. To this Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE stated, “Only a few engineering departments have stopped attracting students because they don’t promise jobs in the future. Initiating a blanket ban on new colleges also means scarcity of seats in courses that have a big following.”
“We cannot deprive even a single student eligible for a seat to go without one, just because of a lack of seats in a state,” he added. He stated that the requests of colleges to shut down have been accepted only after making sure that the students do not suffer. “We can’t choose to stop new colleges merely going by the figures in private engineering institutes because government institutes are doing very well,” claimed Sahasrabudhe.