September 22nd, 2015
All India Council of Technical Education, India’s Technical Education Regulator seeks to reduce the total number of undergraduate engineering seats by over 600,000 within a few years span to address the continuing decline in quality of education in the field and to address the concern over vacancy of seats. Some schools may be shut as well, while the number of intake of students would be reduced in some.
“We would like to bring it down to between 10 lakh and 11 lakh (one million and 1.1 million) from a little over 16.7 lakh now. The capacity should come down for the betterment of all—students, education providers and employer,” said Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman of the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE).
For the first time in several years, the overall number of engineering seats has come down by about 30,000 seats in 2015, according to AICTE.
As per the 2011 survey by software industry Nasscom, only about 7 in every 40 engineering graduates were considered as employable. The report also mentions India’s IT Industry’s expenditure to make these graduates employable, which is estimated to be nearly $1billion per year.
Quite often, the companies who come for recruitment in engineering colleges in India criticized about the disparity in quality of graduates from top colleges such as Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT’s) versus others. The concerns include lack of proper infrastructure at college, inadequate training, and lack of employable skills gained by the end of four years the students get involved in to get their degree.
One major issue is regarding the highly poor quality of education in at least 70% of the engineering colleges across India. This has unfortunately led to reduced interest amongst pursuers as well. “Authorities, especially AICTE, need to be strict with such institutions so that only serious players stay in the space and quality does not get hampered,” says Raju Davis Parepadan, chairman of Holygrace Academy which runs engineering colleges. “So, closing down is one option, but the other option is due diligence so that serious players and serious students co-exist for mutual benefit. And employers get job-ready individuals.” He also spoke about the concern over vacancy of thousands of seats in engineering college across Kerala.
As per another report by Aspiring Minds, an education assessment company, only 18.43% of engineers are employable in software engineer-IT services domains. For getting placed in mechanical, electrical or civil engineering, barely 7.49% are seen as employable.
The large number of vacant seats already seems to be taking its toll over various engineering courses. This year itself, about 556 engineering courses or departments were shut down as per the data presented by AICTE. They claim only to “facilitate the closure of engineering schools” step by step to achieve target, said Sahasrabudhe. He, however, did convey that engineering colleges wouldn’t be forced to shut down.
The chairman of AICTE mentions that the issue would be looked into in his next executive council meeting after consultations with human resource development ministry. They do claim that they’d try to ensure students aren’t at the receiving end of this matter. “We shall also ensure that educational lands or properties are not converted into a real estate business by education players,” he added.