Maharashtra can get new engineering colleges for 2019-20
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Maharashtra can get new engineering colleges for 2019-20

The Maharashtra government had written to AICTE to ban new colleges as 42% of its seats were vacant in 2018-19

mumbai Updated: Jan 01, 2019 15:32 IST
Shreya Bhandary
Shreya Bhandary
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra engineering,AICTE,Joint Entrance Examination

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has lifted the ban on opening of new engineering institutes in six states, including Maharashtra, for the coming academic year (2019-20). The ban was introduced in 2018-19 as a stop-gap solution to tackle vacant seats.

THE SOLUTION

The Maharashtra government had written to AICTE to ban new colleges as 42% of its seats were vacant in 2018-19. To avoid the vacancies, AICTE will now implement the new five-year perspective plan formed by a panel comprising experts from top engineering institutes and the industry. “The blanket ban on new engineering institutes in six states didn’t work out well, as most state governments ended up submitting shoddy reports. In turn, we had to face litigation. Seats are vacant only in some branches of engineering, but that doesn’t mean the rest are not in demand. For a concrete solution, the expert committee was formed to study the trends. We are awaiting their recommendations, which will not only be applicable to institutes, but also to the industry,” said Anil Sahastrabudhe, chairman, AICTE.

FEWER JEE APPLICATIONS

Making matters worse, registrations for the Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE)-Mains hit an all-time low this year, with only 9.41 lakh students registering for the exam to be held in 2019, compared to 11.86 lakh candidates in 2018. The registrations stood at 12.07 lakh in 2016, 13.04 in 2015, 13.56 lakh in 2014 and 12.82 lakh in 2013.

A candidate’s score in JEE (Mains) determines his eligibility for JEE-Advanced, which a single-window entrance exam for admissions to the premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE?

If experts are to be believed, vacant seats are a result of change in perspective. “The demand for engineering seats has been on the decline and over the past few years,” said professor Shalabh, from IIT-Kanpur and former organising chairperson of JEE-Advanced 2018, adding, “Fierce competition has forced more and more students to find other career options over traditional engineering and medicine.”

“An engineering degree doesn’t guarantee jobs. Many have figured that if an MBA is what most engineers resort to after graduation, then they might as well study management in undergraduate as well as post-graduate level,” said a senior professor from IIT-Bombay.

He said that even though placements across IITs have been great this year, on an average, every third student in the institute has been offered an annual salary package of less than ₹10 lakh. “A commerce graduate can make ₹10 lakh an annum,” he said.

First Published: Dec 30, 2018 23:28 IST