Demand for engineering courses declines as 45% seats lie vacant in state
Are the days when fathers would coax their children to opt for an engineering degree becuase Sharmaji’s son did it and is now working in a MNC, gone?
Well, if actual numbers are any indication, that might just be true – especially in the case of engineering courses in Maharashtra.
According to the data gathered from the Directorate of Technical Engineering (DTE), there has been a sharp decline in the number of students opting for engineering in the last few years.
In the current year, of the 1.44 lakh seats available across colleges in the state, 64,418 are still vacant. That’s roughly 45 percent of total seats. In comparison, 64,625 seats were vacant last year.
But the most important statistic, that shows the magnitude of change, is the number of students who have opted for engineering courses. That number has dropped from 89,242 last year to 79,435 this year.
While core branches like mechanical, IT and civil were better off, other branches like electrical and allied streams have witnessed a sharp decline in demand.
Why the decline?
According to sources, multiple reasons are responsible for the decline in demand. The most important ones include:
# Higher number of seats – Back in 2011, there was a dearth of engineers in the country. As a result, colleges increased the number of seats. When the demand stabilized, colleges were left with excess seats. However, over 15,000 seats were reduced across colleges from the state this year.
# Quality of engineers – According to GD Yadav, Vice Chancellor of Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, only 15 percent of the graduating engineers are employable. The major factors contributing to the decline in quality are the lack of good teaching faculty and infrastructure.
# Placement opportunities – While the demand for engineers has increased over the years, the supply has increased exponentially. As a result, only students for the top tier colleges end up getting good placements. Even IT sector, which witnessed a boom in the last decade and led to an increase in demand for engineers, is growing at a steady pace today.
A source from the DTE says that while the situation looks bleak now, things should improve going forward when government backed initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Smart Cities Project’ start in full swing. These initiatives are expected to create thousands of job opportunities for engineers, among others, which will help balance things out.
In addition, colleges are also bridging the gap between demand and supply at their level to ensure that they have enough seats to cater to interested students without having the burden of excess seats.