KOCHI:If you thought it was only engineering seats that are waiting to be filled, you are mistaken. As many as 18,68,345 seats from a slew of courses ranging from MBA to hotel management and catering have been finding no takers for the last three to four years in the colleges affiliated to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), across the country.
The situation is acute in southern states with Tamil Nadu, one of the leading education destinations, leading the list with 2,79,827 vacant seats, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 1,83,911 and Karnataka and Kerala with 85,323 and 40,938 seats respectively.
Courses facing the crisis include pharmaceutical sciences, hotel management, engineering and technology, MCA, management, applied arts and crafts and architecture and planning. “Supply disproportionate to demand is the basic reason for seats remaining vacant in colleges,” said K Sasikumar, president of the Kerala Self Financing Engineering College Managements Association (KSFECMA).
As per the data available on the AICTE website, there are 10,329 affiliated institutions across the country. These institutions together have intake capacity of 39,56,234 but the total enrollment in 2015-16 academic year is 20,97,889.
Tamil Nadu has 1,347 colleges with an intake of 5,88,955. But enrolment in 2015-16 is 3,09,128 showing a huge difference of 2,79, 827. Kerala has 365 colleges and total intake capacity of 1,11,623 but enrolment in 2015-16 stood at 70,685.
Enhancement of number of seats during the last 10 years was not need-based. With reference to MBA, the number of IIM, which was four earlier, now stands at 12. In addition to the numerous private self-financing colleges, many universities also launched AICTE-approved courses.
As the number of seats increased, admission became just seat-filling exercises with an eye on profit and compromising the attitude and quality of the students. “This, coupled with low quality teachers of second line private colleges, made the situation worse and students who pass out started facing difficulties in finding a job,” said K A Zakariya, director of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Kaushal Kendra (DDUKK) under the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT).