Reasons why Engineering Institutes are declining – Bad news for India

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The last three year statistics of the engineering education sector

As per the report from All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), in the year 2016-17, 51 percent of 15.5 lakh UG seats in India’s 3291 engineering colleges were vacant.

In 2017, among 8 lakh undergraduate engineering students graduated, only 40 percent got jobs via campus placements.

800 engineering colleges to shut down in 2017-18; AICTE has approved the progressive closure of 410 colleges announced in the website, 65 colleges have been reported to closed down.

In the start of this year 2018, 1564 engineering and technical institutes of Maharashtra witnessed 40 percent vacant seats.

Recently, Maharashtra State government has decided to reject approval to any new Engineering / Technical Institutes to emerge in the education sector when the State education department claimed that 50 percent seats are vacant in the existing engineering institutes. It is now feared since this figure has crossed above 50 percent due to further declining enrollments.

The reasons as stated by the education department that the students are not choosing engineering for their careers

  1. High standards set narrowing the chances to clear the entrance test.
  2. Hike in fee structure.
  3. Clearing exam not in the first attempt, students find it discouraging to pay high-end fees and then struggle securing admissions in good engineering colleges.
  4. Student’s preference for creative field of study over technical stream.

 What are causes of this downfall in the engineering education?

 Apart from the sighted issues, all the reports converges to more deep rooted issues around downgraded quality of education due to the fact that graduated students after putting their years into studies tend to be unskilled. It is not hush hush anymore that about 90% of the engineers cannot code only displays the state of low quality of education with outdated syllabus not resonating with the current industry’s technological trends and training on obsolete equipment giving no relevant hands-on training (Practical Knowledge).

To which, a chairman of a renowned institute has stated that most of the engineering students do not know the basics, 80 percent are unemployed.

Further the investigation found gaps in regulation, alleged corruption; poor infrastructure, labs facility, faculty leaving their jobs due to low pay and given no increment for years; load of teaching other papers makes the faculty fraternity unable to deliver quality teaching in their own subject; non-existent linkages with industry; and the absence of a technical ecosystem to nurture the requirements of classroom. All this, it is found, has accounted for low employability of graduates.

The after effects?

A college in Haryana failed to get any admissions in all of its 5 branches – Computer Science, Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Electronics for the last 5 years.

Another engineering College in Haryana faced tremendous pressure of appointing fresh under graduated students as many of their teachers left and for weeks there was no one to take classes for four of their papers. A school teacher was brought for the first year engineering students to teach thermodynamics thus violating norms mandated by the AICTE that at least the Assistant Professors teaching at entry level should have PG degrees.

And adding to this adversity, most of the engineering institutes have been shut down.

As alarmingly seats go unfilled in the engineering colleges, colleges have resort to dilute the admissions criteria to get students; not to blame the students but this is also one reason for the existing unskilled graduates and their lack of employability.


The government is urged to look at the colleges in the country who are incapable of meeting the requirements and maintaining the education standards in the field of engineering. These are the colleges which should either improve the education system or be closed.

What are the actions undertaken to improvise the current education’s ecosystem concerning engineering colleges?

 So the state government is planning to put an end to approving any new engineering colleges, revising the syllabus, shutting down the poorly performing engineering colleges (who are consistently having 30 percent vacant seats over the last 5 years).

As the number of jobs going down tremendously, as a measure to this, AICTE has formulated the National Student Startup Policy.

The State Technical Education department maintains at planning to focus on improving infrastructure, management, facilities and services rendered by the already established engineering colleges.

AICTE will be introducing six-month teachers training for the faculty who would be employed at the engineering colleges.

Having said this, it is hoped that someday lost glory of engineering comes back!


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