In a shocking development, around 51 per cent of BE/BTech seats are going vacant in the engineering colleges across India, accoridng to Indian Express report. Campus placements have been under 50% for the last five years, according to data obtained from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Previous year, roughly eight lakh BE/BTech students graduated, but only about 40 per cent got jobs through campus placement. In the wake of extremely low seat filling – the technical education institutes having 70% or more vacant seats for the last five years – has got AICTE to consider asking such colleges to wind up and leave. Notably, AICTE is the apex body for technical education in the country. This comes even as there are reports which has hinted that education quality has been degrading in the country.
As per the report, the reason behind such a picture has been glaring gaps in regulation. This includes:
• Alleged corruption
• A vicious circle of poor infrastructure, labs and faculty
• Non-existent linkages with industry
• The absence of a technical ecosystem that can nurture the classroom
All this accounting for low employability of graduates and, therefore, an abysmal record of job placement. In short, a steady devaluation of Brand BE/BTech.
IIT-Kanpur chairman and chief of Maruti Suzuki, R C Bhargava explained the reason behind vacant engineering seats. According to him, it is because the institutes impart very poor quality education. “Most of the graduates don’t know the basics of engineering. The reason these vacancies keep increasing is because graduates can’t find jobs. That’s because employers don’t think they are worth employing. Most people will tell you that 80 per cent of engineering graduates are not employable,” Bhargava was quoted as saying.
What led to this?
As per experts, while considering several factors most of them pointed out that the engineering boom that started in 1995 and peaked in the 2000s, which was later fuelled by the IT phenomenon and the Y2K bug. AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe was quoted as saying that a large number of people were required for coding then. The engineering branch did not matter at that time. There was always a job for an engineer in an IT company.
As a result, several private institutes came up to catch the opportunity to feed the industry’s appetite for engineers. The retired IISc professor D K Subramaniam explained the issue and said that when there was a demand for engineers, the private sector stepped in. A large number of government colleges did not immediately get into modern branches of engineering such as IT and computer science. The entire IT industry would have collapsed had it not been for these private institutes. The boom, however, ended in a problem of plenty.