Continuing with trend of students’ poor response to engineering courses, about 9,800 students have deposited counselling fee with Punjab Technical University (PTU) as against over 42,000 seats in the state, that too despite PTU making last ditch effort to garner students by extending last date of paying fee from June 25 to July 9.
PTU affiliated colleges have over 40,000 seats while nearly 1300 seats were available in Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjabi University, Patiala and Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. The online counselling’s first round would be held on July 11, as 9,800 students are all set to get assured seats.
The dismal scenario in engineering streams started since the past three years. 29,225 students appeared for combined entrance test (CET) in 2010 while 19,000 of them registered for counselling. Nearly 8,400 were allotted seats as against 30,000 available in first round. Even after filling 33% management quota seats, nearly 10,000 seats remained vacant.
In 2011, nearly 9,000 seats were vacant even after filling management quota seats. The scene was similar last year, as 27,000 students were admitted against 36,000 seats in over 105 PTU colleges. Sources said decision to scrap the CET also affected PTU admissions. “Students now prefer to apply for engineering colleges across the country for being eligible to do so after clearing all India based engineering tests. Besides, aggressive telemarketing by South Indian colleges to lure Punjabi students was also playing spoilsport for us,” a College principal said on condition of anonymity.
“The availability of seats is much higher than demand. The placement of Punjab students is poor, as state’s industrial sector doesn’t offer much jobs. A section of passouts don’t prefer to migrate to other states for employment. Over Rs 100 crores as post matric scholarship for scheduled caste students was still to be disbursed among the colleges, which are facing acute funds shortage. The trend among youngsters to settle in foreign countries using education as a route has also hampered our admissions,” JS Dhaliwal, president, Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association (PUTIA) said.
“The state government and PTU had spent crores of rupees on raising the Punjab Institutes of Technology (PITs). The admission in PITs is very poor. There is need to offer 20% fully scholarship sponsored seats in PTU colleges so as to encourage good admissions. Otherwise, it’s difficult to sustain in current scenario,” Dhaliwal, who runs Shaheed Udham Singh Engineering College, Mohali, added.
Manmohan Garg, chairman, Gurukul Vidyapeeth Institute of Engineering and Technology, Banur attributed decline in admissions to opening of several colleges without undertaking ground assessment. “Traditional engineering course are not in demand, hence poor admissions.
Visualising this trend, we preferred to timely diversify and get approval to run aeronautical engineering course four years ago. That was a hit among students. We are only institute in Punjab to offer 60 seats each in petrochem and petroleum refinery engineering, marine engineering, 3D animation engineering and aerospace engineering discpilines. There is a waiting list for seeking admissions in these courses,” Garg, a chartered accountant, said.
Sources said arrival of private universities in the state may further hamper admissions in PTU colleges.
The PTU vice chancellor Rajneesh Arora admitted decline in admissions during past three years. “Opening of scores of engineering colleges in a haphazard manner has virtually led to this chaos. Nearly 10000 seats remained vacant every year. The combined counselling should be scrapped. The universities should be allowed to admit students through their separate counsellings.
The Colleges may also be allowed to admit students as per merit instead of PTU conducting counselling for them. The combined counselling also delays start of academic session. Instead, the PTU need to concentrate on students grievances about admissions, fee, books or any malpractices by the colleges to act as a supervisor of technical education,” Arora suggested.