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Saturday, Nov 16, 2019

After dropping for years, demand for diploma engineering rebounds

The state directorate of technical education (DTE) has received 66,586 applications for diploma programmes offered at polytechnics across the state – 15% more than the 57,748 students who registered the last year – reversing the trend of the past four years.

education Updated: Jul 12, 2019 10:59 IST
Musab Qazi
Musab Qazi
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
(HT File)
         

After a steady decline in recent years, the number of aspirants for diploma programmes in engineering has bounced back in 2019-20. However, the number of applicants for engineering degree courses in Maharashtra this year hit its lowest number in over a decade.

The state directorate of technical education (DTE) has received 66,586 applications for diploma programmes offered at polytechnics across the state – 15% more than the 57,748 students who registered the last year – reversing the trend of the past four years. In 2015-16, the state had received around 1 lakh applications, which dropped to around 80,000 in 2016-17; 65,406 in 2017-18; and 57,748 in 2018-19.

The rising demand for diploma programmes is also at odds with the waning popularity of degree courses in engineering. The number of applicants for Bachelor of engineering (BE) and Bachelor of technology (BTech) in the state had shot up from 75,764 in 2007-08 to 1.09 lakh in 2008-09. Since then, the figure has been between 1.06 lakh to 1.19 lakh. This year, it plunged to 94,575, which is the lowest in over a decade.

According to Vinod Mohitakar, director of Maharashtra State Board of Technical Education (MSBTE), the state’s efforts to increase awareness about diploma engineering and providing better employment opportunities for students resulted in more applications this year. “We focussed on branding and advertising these programmes. Career festivals were held across the state at government-run polytechnics,” he said.

Mohitkar said that while the industries need diploma engineers, the students often choose to pursue degree courses after their diplomas. Changes in the diploma curriculum have contributed to its growing popularity, said experts. “The new I-scheme curriculum introduced by the MSBTE has a mandatory six-week internship. The board has also brought in new subjects. Even the first year students are now learning technical subjects,” said Shankarraya Ganechari, principal, Thakur Polytechnic.

Ganechari said he hopes to fill more seats at his institute. Last year, as many as 71,900 out of 1.23 lakh seats in polytechnics across the state were left vacant due to low demand.