THE INTAKE capacity of engineering colleges in the state should be restricted to 420 to address the problem of seats lying vacant. This is one of the suggestions the state Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) will make to the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) after the latter sought the state government’s views on its approval policy.
The AICTE, which governs all technical institutes in the country, has in a letter to the principal secretary for higher and technical education asked the state government’s views to improve its policy on granting approval to new colleges, extending approval to existing colleges and reduction of intake of colleges. Even as the revision of the approval policy is an annual process for the AICTE, sources in the DTE said after a brief gap of not consulting with the state, the apex body has again sought the government’s suggestions.
Principal Secretary Sitaram Kunte said, “Earlier, the body took recommendations from the state but in between it started approving colleges and intake despite a dip in demand for some streams. This year we had requested the AICTE to take the state’s suggestions.”
Dayanand Meshram, Director, DTE, told The Indian Express, “In light of the high percentage of vacancies in seats, we have suggested that the intake capacity for all colleges be capped at 420.” He said the AICTE has sought responses by November 28.
Around 40 per cent seats in engineering colleges have been going vacant for the past couple of years. This year, of a total of 1.44 lakh seats available, 64,418 (44.7 per cent) lie unoccupied. While this number is marginally lesser than last year’s vacancy of 64,625, the number of admissions dropped from 89,242 to 79,435, indicating a drop in demand for engineering courses in the state.
Among other suggestions, the DTE has said the AICTE take into account the state government’s perspective plan for technical colleges. “We have suggested a smoother admission process, particularly for architecture and pharmacy courses,” said Meshram. While AICTE is the apex body for Pharmacy and Architecture, the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) and the Council of Architecture, too, have governing authority over the courses respectively. “Having two bodies causes confusion and the guidelines should be streamlined. For example the AICTE allows only 10 per cent seats for lateral entry in second year as opposed to PCI which allows 20 percent,” said Meshram.
The suggestions will be vetted by Kunte before being presented to the AICTE. “I am yet to look at the suggestions drafted,” said Kunte.