If you thought that engineering, once considered the most alluring career options for Indian students alongside medicine, has lost its charm, you may want to reconsider. Engineering colleges in the western state of Gujarat are giving away free laptops and two-wheelers to woo students. While the reason behind such large heartedness may not exactly paint a rosy picture of the popularity of the course, but these colleges do know how to keep things interesting.
The rising number of vacant seats in engineering colleges across the country has now led authorities to devise a new marketing strategy in order to lure students into joining the course. Engineering colleges are now offering lucrative things like laptop and two-wheelers to woo students to join the courses with vacant seats.
As per a recent report, an engineering college in Gujarat is charging an annual tuition fee of Rs 2500 after a majority of their seats went vacant. Another college has hired commission agents to bring students. B.Tech/ B.E. colleges are also offering free laptops and two-wheelers to lure students to join the course. According to an Ahmedabad Mirror report, the management in some colleges has lowered fees to somehow fill up 30% of the seats as the AICTE has clearly stated that colleges with less than 30% admissions for five years will be shut down.
This year in Gujarat, 34,642 seats out of 55,422 in engineering colleges remained vacant after first round of admissions. Colleges have henceforth started providing free laptops and two-wheelers to students apart from offering several discounts including reduced fees in the name of scholarship, complete waiver of first-semester fee, half transportation and hostel fee at the end of four-year course to those who pay entire course fee by a single payment.
In recent times, engineering that used to attract the creme da la creme students has lost its sheen. In a report that came in May this year, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) approved only 36 engineering colleges that can provide degrees to students with just 66 diploma institutes being approved.
As per a report by Indian Express, the total number of B.Tech and M.Tech seats this year, across all AICTE-approved institutes, has dropped by 1.67 lakh, which is almost double the dip witnessed in 2017-18. The undergraduate and postgraduate engineering intake was 16.62 lakh seats last year and 17.5 lakh seats in 2016-17. It was also reported that All India Council for Technical Education is all set to shut down nearly 200 ‘substandard’ engineering colleges over the period of next 12 months.