With engineering seats falling vacant each year, IIT Hyderabad chairman B V R Mohan Reddy has advised the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to stop setting up new colleges from 2020 and review the new capacity every year.
AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe told that the committee has submitted the report and the suggestions given by IIT Hyderabad are being considered by the technical regulators.
An investigation found that 51 percent of the seats were falling vacant of the 15.5 lakh B.E/B.Tech seats in 3,291 engineering colleges.
The investigation found that these vacant seats were due to the college’s poor infrastructure, labs, and faculty; not enough linkages with the industry and the absence of a technological ecosystem.
The AICTE submitted a 41-page report in which they suggested that no additional seats shall be approved in the specific areas of engineering such as mechanical, electrical, civil, and electronics, and the institutes should be encouraged to convert capacity of traditional disciplines into emerging new technologies.
It has been noticed that current capacity of utilization in traditional disciplines i.e mechanical, electrical, civil, electronics is just 40% as compared to 60% occupancy in other branches such as engineering, aerospace engineering, and mechatronics. The committee has also urged the AICTE to introduce undergraduate engineering programs exclusively for artificial intelligence, the blockchain, robotics, quantum computing, data sciences etc.
A few weeks later AICTE announced the decision to reduce the intake in course where the interested candidates are less by half from the session 2018-19.
Following this order, the total number of B.Tech and M.Tech seats all across AICTE approved institutions dropped by 1.67 lakh.
For improving the situation the AICTE appointed a committee headed by former NASSCOM chairperson and industrialist B V R Mohan Reddy this year to come up with solutions to expand the engineering education.
“While we take such a serious decision, we also recognize that there could be some applications in the pipeline for additional/new capacity applied in the last one or two years. These may be pending for want of some minor clearances. So, applications made in the current year and the past two years may be considered for starting institutions if the infrastructure is already in place,” the report states.
As for approving additional seats in existing institutions, the committee has suggested that the AICTE should only give approvals based on the capacity utilization of concerned institute.