Only 94K applications for BE and BTech, lowest since 2008-09
Only 94,575 aspirants applied for undergraduate (UG) engineering courses – bachelor of engineering (BE) and bachelor of technology (BTech) – in the state this year. This is the first time since 2008-09 that the number has gone below 1.06 lakh. Prior to this, in 2007-08, the state saw around 76,000 applications.
While the demand has been dwindling over the past few years, the relatively poor performance of students in the state board’s Class 12 examination aggravated the slide.
The number of applications shot up from 75,764 in 2007-08 to 1.09 lakh in 2008-09, after which it stayed in the range of 1.06 lakh to 1.19 lakh, peaking in 2011-12 and 2017-18 and reaching its lowest in 2014-15 and 2018-19 . Last year, the number of students admitted to these courses had dropped to 73,950 – the lowest in a decade. The enrolment has been on a decline since it reached its highest in 2012-13, with 1.07 lakh admissions.
“The primary reason for low demand is that the job market for engineers has shrunk drastically. Besides, the quality of education has also taken a hit, with many colleges not meeting the required norms,” said Rahul Dahatonde, training and placement officer, Sardar Patel Engineering College, Andheri.
According to experts, the relatively lower scores of Science students in the higher secondary certificate (HSC) examination – science stream pass percentage dropped by 3% points compared to last year, while the number of students scoring distinction has halved – is also one of the factors responsible for fewer applications for BE and BTech. “This year, many students couldn’t even meet the qualifying criteria of scoring at least 50% marks in physics, chemistry and mathematics. The state changed the examination pattern without anticipating its impact,” said Subhash Joshi, trustee, Science Parivar.
“The current batch of Class 12 students are the products of the no-detention policy and are unable to cope up with the higher classes. Besides, fees of engineering colleges have shot up, preventing many from taking up the course,” said Satish Deshmukh, state chairman of Thane-based Coaching Classes Proprietors Association.