For the third year in a row, more than 50 per cent of seats in 161 engineering colleges of Madhya Pradesh remained vacant as students opted for other courses instead of engineering. Out of 61,815 seats available in various courses, only 29,886 have been filled.
According to Directorate of Technical Education sources, actually there were 71,823 seats in the colleges of Madhya Pradesh. However, college owners were asked to put on hold 10,000 seats on the expectation of low demand. However, on the last day of counselling for admissions, only 29,886 seats could be filled. During the 53 days of the two-round online, centralised admission process, just 48.34 per cent seats could be filled.
Out of the 161 colleges in Madhya Pradesh, seven engineering colleges could not even fetch a single admission. Out of these seven, three institutions are located in Bhopal. In 2015, just 52 per cent of the total seats were filled, which reduced to 46 per cent in 2016. In 2017, the figure came down to 45 per cent.
Because of the decline in admissions, a number of colleges are also getting closed down. While in 2015, there were 203 engineering colleges all over Madhya Pradesh, some 40 colleges shut down in order to reduce their losses. This resulted in a huge number of employees becoming jobless.
This year, among prominent branches of engineering, 9,230 students secured admission for computer science, followed by mechanical engineering with 5,686 students, civil engineering with 4,851 students, electronics and communication with 3,357, information technology with 1,771 and electrical engineering with 1,712 students. This year, in addition to the poor numbers at private engineering colleges, some 300 seats fell vacant in the four government engineering colleges of Sagar, Shahdol, Naugaon and Jhabua.
Chairman of Association of Technical and Professional Institutes (ATPI) J.N. Chouksey told mediapersons that the policies of the state government are responsible for decline of admissions. He said that counselling should be done when there are more applicants in respect to available seats. He also noted that scholarship amount given by the state government was way too less compared with other states. As a result, students migrate to other states, he said.
While the number of students taking admission in engineering colleges is going down, students are preferring courses in pharmacy and polytechnic disciplines. Nearly 20,000 students have taken admission in polytechnic courses in Madhya Pradesh.
Professor H.K. Tiwari, a retired government college principal, attributes this fall of admission to the low standard of college education in Madhya Pradesh. He said, “Colleges have come up indiscriminately with huge buildings, but with no focus on quality of education. Over the years, the students have realised that the poor quality in the colleges is not making them employable, hence the students prefer to go to other states where things are little better.”
Tiwari said it is high time that governments focus on quality instead of quantity.