Vacant Seats: Engineering Education in Catastrophe!

Sangeetha P, Online Content Writer, siliconindiaFew years back, Engineering has been the most fascinating career option among many young minds. This was caused by the virtue of fancy job opportunities, technology exposure, flashy lifestyles and last but not the least, hefty packages. This mirage has attracted many young boys and girls towards the engineering stream. But with time, the scenario has taken a complete new route. Today there are approximately 50 percent vacant engineering seats in India.

What led the glooming stream to such distress are poor educational quality, growing recession & unemployment, and high fee structure. The syllabus is common among almost all the colleges but the teaching staffs and the administration brings in the difference; this adds to the placements problem as well. Nearly eight lakh engineering students graduate every year but less than half of them get placed through campus selection. Thus, this gap between
demand and supply has led to the shutdown of many engineering colleges across the country.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) officials have recommended the colleges, who have more than 50 percent vacancies, but possess good infrastructure facilities and efficient teaching staffs to collaborate to avoid the shutdown. Nearly, 150 colleges voluntarily shutdown every years due to the stern AICTE rules. In the past few years, AICTE approved engineering colleges all over India have seen about 47 percent of vacant seats, while in 2016-17, it witnessed almost 54 percent vacancies. For the first time in history, Gujarat has registered 54 percent of vacant seats in 2018. Maharashtra has announced 50 percent of vacant seats, which is 60,000 engineering seats; while Tamil Nadu reported 48 percent, which is 89,000 vacant seats and 60 percent of engineering seats are vacant in West Bengal.

According to sources, four engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu have opted for progressive closure, where colleges opting for progressive closure will not accept any new admission but will operate until the existing batches complete their courses. The AICTE has already decided not to approve any new engineering college from 2020 as it does not provide job guarantee in the near future.

However, the enrollment condition continue to decline, thus the centre has called upon the IIT- Delhi to come up with a comprehensive plan in the following decade to find some solutions to fix the requirements of the technical education. Though it is saddening to see the aggravating situation of the engineering courses, the measures opted by the centre would bring in a positive change from the present situation. Colleges need to provide more industry-focused and aligned courses to bridge the gap between theory and market-ready skills. Futuristic education is the need of the hour and India needs to take many steps at a time.