Lack of students in the as many as 800 technical institutes which also includes around 80 run by the government, may force them to shut down. All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) on Monday said that if these institutes do not find enough students to fill their seats as they have been served notice for poor performance, they may face closure. Previous year the technical education regulator had served notices to 800 technical institutions, as reported by IANS. These institutes according to an official, were not able to fill 30 per cent of their total seats in last five years. Among these, about 10 per cent are government-run, and the rest are privately-owned.
AICTE Member Secretary Alok Mittal was quoted as saying that the regulator gave these colleges time of three years to get their act together. Following three years, if they did not manage to fill the seats sufficiently, they will be forced to close down, he said. However, Mittal clarified that this is not going to happen immediately and the decision will not be imposed retrospectively. “We have consulted with lawyers also… It would be unfair of us if we do not allow them a chance. Moreover, we may not close down the institutes completely but only those departments where vacancies remain high,” he was quoted as saying.
Last year, around 51 per cent of BE/BTech seats went vacant in the engineering colleges across India, according to Indian Express report. Campus placements have been under 50% for the last five years, according to data obtained from the AICTE. 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 have hinted that education quality has been degrading in the country.