NEW DELHI: The number of engineering, management, and some other technical degree seats in old institutions in India is going down by about 1.5 lakh this year while about 1.4 lakh additional seats are being added by new institutions or those raising student intakes.
Nearly 1.5 lakh seats for the 2020-21 academic session have been dropped on account of closure of institutions, punitive action by the technical education regulator, or failure of some institutions to get renewals.
However, as about 1.4 lakh new seats in these streams have also been added. It means that the overall reduction in seats in institutions providing technical education is just about 10,000.
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) on Monday shared seat approval data for this year which showed that a total of 30,88,512 seats have been allowed in 9,691 institutions for 2020-21.
Apart from engineering and management, other streams that the AICTE governs include town planning, applied arts and crafts, hotel management, and catering technology.
Overall, the number of seats approved by the AICTE has gone down by over 2.5 lakh, as compared to the last year but that’s mainly because many architecture and pharmacy colleges are now not mandatorily affiliated with it as per a recent Supreme Court order.
A total of 179 institutions that had 34, 553 seats have shut down this year, while 44 institutions with 8,832 seats have been dropped due to punitive action by the regulator.
The sharpest reduction in the seats—69, 965 in 765 institutions- however, was due to course closure or course division due to the low intake of students for many years in a row.
On the other hand, 134 institutions with 40,578 seats, had not applied for renewal this year.
Also, 164 new institutes with 39,656 seats were approved for starting admissions this year while 1,311 existing colleges raised student intake by 1,02, 397 in ongoing courses and programmes.
AICTE said that the approval process for year 2020-2021 was a considerable departure from the previous years on several counts.
“Due to the imposition and subsequent extensions of lockdown, the approval process was delayed,” AICTE said in a statement. It was initiated in May and could be completed only by June end.
“Few AICTE Approved Colleges have not sought approval this year in view of the large number of seats lying vacant over the last 5 years thus making it unviable for continuing the institution,” said the regulator.
It added: “as per AICTE policy and guidelines, there has been 50% reduction in seats in colleges where enrollment has been less than 30 percent of approved intake consecutively for the last 5 years.”
Starting 2016, AICTE has been paying a lot of attention to raise the quality of education being provided in technical institutions across the country.