With more than half the engineering seats falling vacant every year, a government committee, headed by IIT-Hyderabad chairman B V R Mohan Reddy, has advised the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to stop setting up new colleges from 2020 and review the creation of new capacity every two years after that.
The committee was appointed to come up with a medium and short-term perspective plan for expansion in engineering education.
Important recommendations made by the committee:
Stop setting up new colleges from 2020 and review the creation of new capacity every two years after that.
No additional seats should be approved in traditional engineering areas such as mechanical, electrical, civil and electronics and institutes should be encouraged to convert current capacity in traditional disciplines to emerging new technologies.
For approving additional seats in existing institutions, the AICTE should only give approvals based on the capacity utilization of concerned institute.
Introduce undergraduate engineering programmes exclusively for artificial intelligence, the blockchain, robotics, quantum computing, data sciences, cybersecurity, and 3D printing and design.
More than half the engineering seats fall vacant every year. There were no takers for 51% of the 15.5 lakh B.E/B.Tech seats in 3,291 engineering colleges in 2016-17.
Besides, current capacity utilization in traditional disciplines is just 40% as opposed to 60% seat occupancy in branches such as computer science and engineering, aerospace engineering and mechatronics.
There were glaring gaps in regulation, including alleged corruption; a vicious circle of poor infrastructure, labs, and faculty; non-existent linkages with industry; and the absence of a technology ecosystem to nurture the classroom. All this accounted for low employability of graduates.