New Delhi, August 11: Officials of the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) have informed that more than half of the undergraduate engineering seats in Maharashtra are likely to stay vacant this year. During a press conference, Chandrakant Kunjir, Joint Director, DTE (Pune region) said, “Though admissions are still underway and final figures are yet to emerge, the overall trend suggests that admissions will not cross 60,000 seats.” There are a total of 1.5 lakh engineering seats available in the state.
Decline in demand for engineering
The demand for engineering has come down drastically in recent years, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has stated. The sanction for opening new engineering colleges in Maharashtra has not been given by the AICTE in the past two years. DTE officials said that at least 27 polytechnic institutes in the state have shut down and three engineering colleges have been ordered to close this year.
“It is very clear that management of engineering colleges will have to partner with industries and adopt self-financing models in the future Closing down colleges will not be a solution. We are working on how to help colleges with poor admission rate. One way is to link such colleges with industries. The laboratories in colleges will now need to transform into manufacturing units and develop products, which they can tie up or sell to industries, and build a self-sustaining model,” Kunjir has been quoted as saying to a national daily.
Regular performance review
Review of the performance of colleges concerning the awarded industry partnerships will be done every three months, he said. “A review will focus on the abilities of the college and its initiatives to address industry problems,” he told the media.
DTE officials and college representatives along with organisers of the press conference said that engineers, who are without the required skills for the industry, are unable to get good jobs. It believes that facilitation of more mutual interactions between industry and academia is the only way to tackle the problem of shortage of skilled manpower. This has been limited in the past. Playing the role of mediator between the two and forming a common platform for regular interaction is one of the DTE’s immediate plans.