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Students reject engineering diplomas in Maharashtra, prefer ITIs instead of polytechnics

At least 53% of 1,38,347 polytechnic seats will go vacant this year. The situation was slightly better in 2015-16, when 89,525 students were admitted to 1,73,310 seats, leaving 48% seats vacant.

education Updated: Jul 22, 2017 07:50 IST
Students from the lower strata of society prefer ITIs over polytechnics because the courses there are much cheaper, the principal of a polytechnic in Mumbai has said.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Demand for diploma engineering courses in Maharashtra continues to fall, with 18% fewer students applying for centralised admission process (CAP) this year.

The state’s directorate of technical education (DTE) has received 65,406 applications, down from 80,000 applications in the academic year 2016-17. A similar rate of drop - 20% - was witnessed between 2016-17 and 2015-16, when close to a lakh students had applied for the diploma courses.

As demand slides, polytechnics in the state are once again looking at large scale vacancies. Among applicants, 55,787 have been allotted seats in various institutes and courses. This means that at least 53% of 1,38,347 polytechnic seats will go vacant this year. The situation was slightly better in 2015-16, when 89,525 students were admitted to 1,73,310 seats, leaving 48% seats vacant.

According to experts, students, after stepping out of school, are increasingly opting for vocational courses at Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) instead of going to polytechnics. “Students from the lower strata of society prefer ITIs over polytechnics because the courses there are much cheaper,” the principal of a polytechnic in Mumbai said.

Many engineering aspirants are opting for higher studies are also taking the junior college route over the polytechnic route and are applying for degree courses after class 12. “Some coaching classes have been misguiding the students into believing that it’s easier to get into a degree college after class 12 than through a diploma course,” he added.

Shrinking job opportunities for diploma holders were also seen as a reason for the decline of these courses. “At a time, when the companies are able to hire degree holders at low salaries, why will they go for diploma holders?” he asked.

Students seeking engineering degrees can join colleges after Class 12 by appearing for the state’s Common Entrance Test (MH-CET) or the national-level Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). However, those who complete the three-year diploma course instead are directly admitted to the second year of four-year degree engineering course.

B Padmaja, principal, Somaiya Polytechnic revealed that while seats in mechanical, civil and computer branches had takers, the demand for electronics and electronics-and-telecommunication has dropped drastically. “The students are more vigilant. They are aware that many polytechnics don’t have adequate facilities as required by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) norms,” she added.

First Published: Jul 21, 2017 12:26 IST