Ground Report | New Delhi: Engineering seats reduced; New data from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) shows that the number of engineering seats at undergraduate, postgraduate, and diploma levels has come down to 23 lakh 28 thousand, which is the lowest in 10 years.
However, this decline is being seen from the year 2015-16 only. According to the Indian Express, due to the closure of institutions and lack of admission capacity, 1.46 lakh seats in engineering have decreased this year.
Despite such a steep decline, engineering is still the most admitted course in technical education (architecture, management, hotel management, and pharmacy) in the country. At present, about 80 percent of the seats in engineering are retained in technical education.
Engineering seats reduced
In 2014-15, when engineering courses were at their peak, there were about 32 lakh seats in engineering education across all AICTE-approved institutions. But the reason for the decline is believed to be the integration that started seven years ago, after which around 400 engineering colleges were closed. At least 50 engineering institutes have been closed every year since 2015-16, except last year’s Covid period. And this year also, AICTE approval has been received to close 63 colleges.
The technical education regulator’s approval for setting up a new engineering institute is also at a five-year low. In 2019, AICTE had announced a moratorium of two years on new institutes starting from 2020-21. This was done on the recommendation of a government committee headed by IIT-Hyderabad chairman BVR Mohan Reddy.
AICTE has approved 54 new institutes for the academic year 2021-22. Chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe told The Indian Express that these approvals have been received for setting up engineering colleges in backward districts, which were already in the pipeline and state governments are also keen to start new institutions. In the year 2017-18, 143 colleges, 158 more in 2018-19 and 153 new institutions were approved in 2019-20.