The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has trashed the Maharashtra government’s request for not allowing new engineering and B-schools in the state.
In a presentation to the apex technical education regulator on Thursday in Mumbai, the higher and technical education department of the government had requested AICTE to not allow further proliferation of professional institutes in Maharashtra citing large number of vacant seats across the state. Over 40% MBA and 34% engineering seats remain vacant every year in Maharashtra.
At the presentation, higher and technical education minister Rajesh Tope and director of technical education SK Mahajan listed various reasons for huge student-crunch in professional colleges. This included haphazard approval of new institutes and extension of existing colleges, lack of infrastructure and qualified teachers in rural institutes. Indirectly, the AICTE was blamed for the poor show in the state.
AICTE chairman SS Mantha, however, trashed all these explanations. “Student-crunch is a global phenomenon. Institutes in the US, the UK and Canada are also facing similar problems, barring the top seven to eight institutes. But we are looking at the future. The gross enrolment ratio in the higher education, which is currently 18.8% in the country, is increasing fast. A big youth population will add up in the next few years which will need more institutes and opportunities,” Mantha said.
Turning down the state’s proposal of not allowing more institutes, Mantha said, “In the country, when private sector is playing a major role, we can’t stop anybody to open the institute.”
He also rubbished state’s suggestions that lack of infrastructure and unapproved teachers are behind the student-crunch. “Lack of quality or good teachers has nothing to do with the vacancy. It is for the universities to keep a tab on quality and de-recognise the erring institutes,” said Mantha.
When asked for reaction, a top official of technical education department said, “Over 72% of the professional institutes are facing more than 35% vacancy this year. We don’t need a single institute now. But if the AICTE has a broader vision, we can’t do anything.”