800 Engineering Colleges Face Closure As Admissions Plunge

| September 3 , 2017 , 15:34 IST

Engineering which was once the most popular choice for students is slowly losing its popularity as students opt for other, more novel fields, leaving large numbers of seats in private engineering colleges empty.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is planning to close down nearly 800 engineering colleges across India that have no takers for their seats and have witnessed plunging admissions year after year, AICTE chairman Anil Dattatraya Sahasrabudhe said.

According to AICTE rules, colleges that do not have proper infrastructure and report less than 30 percent admissions for 5 consecutive years have to be shut down. Due to the rules, around 150 colleges close down voluntarily every year.

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In the period between 2014-15 to 2017-18, AICTE has approved the progressive closure of more than 410 colleges across India, out of which 20 institutions were in Karnataka. The maximum number of Institute closures took place in 2016-17. For private engineering colleges, as they struggle to survive, many go through with progressive closure and ultimately shut down, or they turn into polytechnics or science and arts colleges.

Progressive closure takes place when an institute does not admit any new students to the first year of the academic period, although existing students continue their course and eventually pass out so the institute can close down completely.

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The drop in the number of job opportunities for engineering graduates is also connected to the corresponding drop in the number of students seeking admission. To improve students' chances for admission, AICTE has introduced plans to improve the quality of teaching and has also put in place mandatory internship programmes so that students are industry-ready by the time they pass out.

"Internship is the time when most students are observed by companies and have a fair chance of being absorbed. So it's better to be hired that way instead of depending on just five minutes of interview at campus placements. My advice to budding engineers is that they should be attentive and hardworking during internship," the chairman said.