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Fewer jobs, high fees turn students away from engineering in Maharashtra

73,950 admitted to BE, BTech in the state this year, lowest in 10 years

mumbai Updated: Sep 03, 2018 10:40 IST
Musab Qazi
Musab Qazi
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,engineering,college
Enrolment in undergraduate (UG) engineering courses in Maharashtra has been on a decline since it reached a peak in the academic year 2012-13, with 1,06,691 admissions.(FOR REPRESENTATION ONLY/HT FILE)

The number of students admitted to the first year of bachelor of engineering (BE) and bachelor of technology (BTech) programmes in colleges across Maharashtra has dropped to 73,950 - the lowest in a decade.

Enrolment in undergraduate (UG) engineering courses in the state has been on a decline since it reached a peak in the academic year 2012-13, with 1,06,691 admissions.

The last time the state recorded lower enrolment than the current level was in 2008-09, when 70,028 students were admitted in the first year of the courses.

According to experts, shrinking job opportunities for engineering graduates in core technology and information technology (IT) sectors, coupled with the high cost of education, is responsible for this trend.

“The recruitment in both core and IT sectors is low. The recruiters have become very particular about their requirements. And if after spending lakhs in fees, if you are not being compensated sufficiently, it’s not worth it,” said Shubha Pandit, principal, KJ Somaiya College of Engineering, Vidyavihar.

Compared to last year, when 81,736 students secured admission in engineering colleges, the enrolment has dropped by 9.53% this year.

However, the number of seats available for UG engineering programmes has also reduced from 1,38,226 last year to 1,30,356 this year, as many colleges and courses closed down due to low demand.

As many as 56,406 of these seats, or 43.27% of the total intake, will remain vacant.

On the other hand, the number of students admitted to MBA also dipped slightly - from 30,021 last year to 29,404 this year. Meanwhile, enrolment to bachelor of pharmacy (BPharm) increased from 13,054 to 16,873 during this period.

According to Pandit, many students who lacked the aptitude for engineering but still joined it after being prompted by family members and friends are no longer enrolling in these courses.

“It’s good for the profession,” she said.

Gopakumaran Thampi, principal, Thadomal Shahani College of Engineering (TSEC), said several students are joining courses less expensive than engineering.

“Many students belonging to low-income and lower middle-class families would enrol in engineering, even though they were not able to afford it. They are now doing traditional science courses instead,” he said.

Thampi, however, added that the enrolment will likely increase in the years to come with the demand for engineers expected to rise.

“I expect massive investment by foreign investors in engineering companies in India”.

First Published: Sep 03, 2018 01:06 IST