Vacant seats in degree engineering colleges of Gujarat may not come as a surprise. However, the numbers shared by the Admission Committee for Professional Courses (ACPC) reveal a shocking scenario. As many as 13 colleges of the state have managed to get only 50% students.
The figures emerged after the committee completed the admission process on 75% of the seats in 121 degree engineering colleges. This means that about 11% of the degree engineering colleges may have to run classes with 50% or less of the actual capacity.
What is more, data shared by the ACPC suggest that out of total colleges in the state, around 26 have 30% or more vacant seats. Also, there are 10 other colleges that have 40% or more vacant seats. In fact, very few colleges have managed to get students to full capacity.
This situation comes despite the historic 92% result of class XII (science) and inclusion of students from education boards other than Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB).
Keeping the vacant seats in mind, the state education department has now allowed colleges to fill up the vacant seats on their own, a desperate move to run classes at maximum strength.
Of the total, 75% of the seats are filled up through centralised admission system by the ACPC under the state education department. Remaining 25% of the seats are filled up by colleges under management and NRI quota. The committee gave admission on around 54,000 seats in degree engineering colleges.
When asked about the high number of vacant seats, supply comes as the biggest reason. According to those in the know of things, in the last few years, permission has been granted to more and more degree engineering colleges, without an estimate of the expected supply.
“College authorities were extremely happy when the result of class XII (science) was announced. Going by the popularity of engineering course in earlier times, we expected a smooth year. However, this, in no way helped the degree engineering courses. We face the same problem of vacant seats this year as well,” said the president of Association of Self Finance Professional Institutes in Gujarat.
He further said that the higher fee and infrastructure issues have diverted even brighter students to Bachelor of Science (BSc).
“Despite paying high fee to study engineering, if students do not get jobs, they will consider other career options,” said the president.
According to the experts, engineering colleges in urban areas do not face much of a problem. It is the colleges situated in the interior or rural parts that suffer the worst as they find it difficult to get students. Also, students do not prefer taking admission in colleges that have poor infrastructure and faculty.
Vice-chancellor of Gujarat Technological University (GTU), Dr Akshai Agarwal, said that Gujarat still fares better when compared to other states.
“Many degree engineering colleges have closed down in other states. Engineering colleges would survive only if the quality of education given to the students is improved. India needs good quality engineers and I refuse to believe that there is a dearth of job opportunities for them. GTU is constantly working upon improving the quality,” said Agarwal.