Maharashtra: 10% fewer engineering seats this year as courses discontinued | Mumbai News

MUMBAI: As total seats exceed engineering aspirants year after year, managements of private institutions have been shutting colleges and discontinuing unpopular courses. With the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) allowing colleges to start courses in emerging areas such as artificial intelligence, data sciences and blockchain technology, though, the scenario may change in the coming years.
This year, the total number of seats available in the state’s engineering colleges has reduced by almost 10%-from 1.4 lakh in 2019 to 1.3 lakh now. The intake capacity across technical courses, except pharmacy, has dropped in comparison. Seats in colleges offering BPharm, on the other hand, have seen a 10% rise from the previous year.
For the 1.3 lakh seats in engineering colleges, close to 1.2 lakh candidates had registered with the state’s CET cell till December 22. The registration dates were extended following the government resolution allowing eligible Maratha candidates to apply under the EWS (economically weaker section) category. Students can apply till December 30. Going by the past few years’ record, though, applications are unlikely to exceed the total seats available. For ME and MTech too, there are around 8,200 applicants for 12,450 seats.
On the contrary, the CET cell received over 83,000 applications for 27,000 seats in BPharm. The number of institutions in the state has almost doubled in the past five to six years. “There is higher demand for courses in pharmacy in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. Even the diploma courses are high in demand,” said a professor from a pharmacy college.
“There is a huge demand for pharmacy courses in the country as India is a hub for generic drugs and there is tremendous scope. On the other hand, as manufacturing sectors are hit, core branches like mechanical and production engineering suffer. Several colleges which are unable to sustain the costs are, therefore, shutting,” said GT Thampi, principal of Thadomal Shahani Engineering College. There is demand, though, for emerging areas and AICTE is promoting these courses, he said. At least 10 colleges in the city are offering the courses this year, he said.
Meanwhile, there is a big debate on jobs. “We have more engineers and fewer jobs. Also, there is a perception our engineers are not employable. There has been a decline in the demand for engineering courses for some time. The number of applications is far lower than seats, forcing many colleges to shut. Some are shutting as they do not fulfil AICTE norms,” said V K Patil, coordination committee member, Association of Managements of Unaided Engineering Colleges (Maharashtra).
MBA, MMS and architecture courses have seen closure too. In the country, 180 technical institutes shut this year.

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