Over 100 new professional institutes – engineering, management and pharmacy – have received approval from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to begin admission for the academic year 2020-21. Taking into account the nationwide Covid-19 blockage, AICTE approved these colleges for the first time by reviewing all required documents online and taking a virtual tour of the institute to verify the infrastructure before signing their permits.
According to AICTE, a total of 58 new engineering diploma and graduate schools were admitted for the academic year 2020-21, which increases the total capacity by 16,333 seats. Due to the gradual decline in demand for technical seats overall, more than 600 technical institutes have sought to reduce their absorption capacity, and a further 140 institutes across the country have asked for permission to close completely. This will further reduce the total absorption capacity of the engineering institutes in the coming academic year by more than 1.22 lakh.
In a statement published in May 2020, the Council made it clear that the requirements for documents remain the same as in previous years. “We have developed an online review of documents and inspections from virtual institutes to proceed with the approval of new universities. This happened because the approval process could not be delayed further and we had to find a viable solution, ”said Anil Sahasrabuddhe, chairman of AICTE. He added that the online exam is comparable to any physical exam institutes have done in the past.
This year again, not a single new engineering institute in Maharashtra has received approval for 2020-21.
While new admissions for 54,618 seats in diploma, bachelor, and postgraduate institutes have given way in the past year, the total admission capacity of engineering institutes has decreased by over 2.20 lakh, including 99,806 diploma seats and 1.20 lakh UG and PG seats either closing from institutes or departments in certain sectors.
“Engineering institutes across the country have suffered and the majority have failed to attract enough students over the years. The ban on new technical institutes was to ensure control over the number of institutes that do not promise high quality education, ”added Sahasrabuddhe.
Since the two-year ban on new technical institutes was introduced in 2020, several institutes have asked for permission to open new branches in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, data science and analytics, robotics or the like.
“Several areas of engineering, including construction and mechanical engineering, attract very few students too late due to the limited number of vacancies. On the other hand, the software industry is constantly evolving, attracting good jobs and students, ”said Gopakumaran Thampi, director of Thadomal Shahani Engineering College in Bandra. He added that the reduction of seats in redundant branches and the promotion of new dimensions in this area is welcomed by technical aspirants.