Technical education regulatory body – All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) may reduce engineering seats in India by 6 lakh over the next few years. As many as 556 engineering courses or departments have already witnessed a closure in 2015 only, as per AICTE data. Sharing his thoughts with a business daily, AICTE Chairman Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe, said, “We would like to bring it (number of seats) 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 employers.”
According to media reports, about 50% of the total engineering seats available in India remained vacant last year. Out of the total 16.99 lakh seats approved by AICTE, only about half of the total capacity could be filled. Many government and private colleges, especially from the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have shown their concern over the matter. According to AICTE sources, as many as 1,422 applications have been submitted to AICTE seeking closure of engineering departments or courses across the country in 2014-15.
Notably, while engineering seats have mushroomed rapidly from 659,717 in 2006 to 1.22 million in 2010, and 1.67 million in 2015, the quality of education has degraded. This increased number of engineering colleges and seats has also created a huge demand-supply imbalance, believes AICTE. The same has been also reflected in different industry surveys.
As per a survey conducted by NASSCOM in 2011, only 17.5% engineering graduates were considered as employable. A similar report from education assessment company Aspiring Minds suggests that the employability of engineering graduates lies between 12% to 42% for different states of India.
“The intake capacity right now seems to be much above the demand, adding that AICTE understands the need to balance the demand-supply situation,” Sahasrabudhe was quoted saying.