Engineering colleges in Maharashtra are once again looking at the prospect of half-empty classrooms.
Of the total 1.3 lakh seats, more than 60,000 seats are still vacant after all rounds of the Common Admission Process (CAP) and counselling ended on July 26. This means that nearly 40% seats would not be filled this year.
Last year, more than 62,000 out of the 1.37 lakh seats under CAP remained vacant. In 2013, out of 1.2 lakh seats, around 52,000 seats had no takers.
Close to 1.3 lakh seats were available under CAP for around 370 colleges, with the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) confident of reducing vacancies this year. A total of 30,000 seats are filled by colleges on their own – under the management and other quotas.
DTE director Subhash Mahajan said that there might be a marginal rise in number of admissions as the last day of students reporting to institutes is July 29.
Over the past four years, the number of vacant seats has been increasing in state engineering colleges forcing 24 colleges to shut last year.
This year, the number of students applying for a seat itself was low. Only 1,07,147 students applied for CAP this year, making sure at least 22,800 seats would remain vacant after all rounds of admission.
However, DTE officials said CAP rounds have always been a poor show and more students come for admissions at the end of counselling round, where students are admitted without any merit list. “Most seats are filled towards the last three days of counselling as one gets the preferred seats in popular colleges after many students, who had blocked seats, took admission in IITs and NITs,” said the official.
GT Thampi, principal of Thadomal Shahani Engineering College, said the figures are worrisome since the dip in admission has been evident since 2009. “The expansion of engineering colleges began in 2001 and continued till 2009, but students’ interests slumped because of poor placements and salaries. The placement scenario has become better but the high fee is keeping away many students,” he said.
* Total number of engineering seats: 1.6 lakh
* Seats under the Common Admission Process (CAP) - 1.3 lakh (approx.)
* Number of applicants for CAP - 1,07,147
* Seats vacant after all rounds: 60,000 (approx.)
* Even popular engineering colleges such as Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute and Thadomal Shahani Engineering College have reported vacancies for courses in bio-science engineering and textile technology among others.