New Delhi, October 2
Close on the heels of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India revealing the crude state of vacancy in engineering courses even in the prestigious National Institutes of Technology, the Human Resource Development Ministry has set out to correct similar imbalances existing in engineering education elsewhere in the country.
In a bid to streamline the system and enforce better academic monitoring of engineering courses, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal has asked the technical education regulator - All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) - to write to states about the issue of vacancies in engineering colleges and consider possibilities of blocking recognition to any new colleges in these states.
“The Ministry has asked the AICTE to write to those State Governments where there is a surplus of vacant seats as to whether recognition should be given to more engineering colleges from these states,” Sibal told Members of Parliament during the Consultative Committee meeting on Human Resource Development held here on Wednesday.
Vacancies in engineering colleges are rising by the day, revealing poor academic standards in institutes apart from a visible glut.
In West Bengal alone, 6,000 engineering seats are estimated to be lying vacant; another 2,600 are vacant in private engineering colleges of Orissa.
Similar is the case with seats offered through counselling by the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (ComedK) where 9,442 seats were estimated to be filled in the recent counselling.
Electronics and communication engineering had the most number of unfilled seats (1,964), followed by computer science (1,793) and mechanical engineering (1,789). Other branches like civil engineering, information science and engineering had over 1,000 seats lying vacant. Even architecture had 114 vacant seats.
The problem of plenty persists even in colleges affiliated to the Punjab Technical University at Jalandhar. Up to July 15 last year, for instance, around 10,000 engineering seats remained to be filled. Only 20 top affiliates were said to have filled their seats and others were struggling to find students.
Much of this mess can be attributed to mushrooming of new colleges and poor AICTE monitoring.
Even in the NIT performance audit, CAG recently found that 1.38 to 42.31 per cent of UG seats in civil, electronics and communication, mechanical, chemical and IT engineering branches remained vacant during the period of study while 3.13 to 87 per cent of seats in PG courses in the said branches remained vacant.