There is no shortage of engineering colleges in India, but if one inspects them, a Pandora’s box of issues come to the fore.
Poor infrastructure, no concurrent industry exposure, bizarre regulations, virtually stagnant enrolment and a glaring absence of a technical ecosystem to nurture the classroom—these are just a few examples of how poorly equipped educational institutions are in India.
To fix this, the All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has come to a decision regarding the existing engineering colleges, and the upcoming ones.
As per its recommendations, there will be no new engineering colleges from the academic session 2020-21. Furthermore, there will be a review of the new creation capacity once in two years.
The recommendations were made by a government committee headed by IIT-Hyderabad chairman BVR Mohan Reddy, and the council has accepted them.
Here’s all you need to know about the plans that AICTE has for expansion of engineering education in India:
1. The council will only be entertaining requests from existing engineering institutes to either commence programmes in new technologies or convert current capacity in conventional engineering disciplines to emerging new technologies.
2. The committee has justified its recommendation to stop setting up new colleges and focus only on emerging technologies on the ground.
This comes after observations that current capacity utilisation in traditional disciplines is just about 40 per cent as opposed to 60 per cent seat occupancy in pedagogies like computer science and engineering, aerospace engineering and mechatronics.
Because of this, the AICTE will now only grant approval for additional seats in existing institutions based on their capacity utilisation.
3. For the same reason, the committee had advised the AICTE to introduce undergraduate engineering programmes in advanced areas like artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics, quantum computing, data sciences, cybersecurity, 3D printing and design.
4. While the panel has recommended no new engineering institutes should be set up from 2020, it has also added that concessions should be made for applications already in the pipeline.
5. All the recommendations of the BVR Mohan Reddy committee have been made public in the AICTE’s approval handbook of 2019-20, which according to AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe, effectively means that the Council has accepted the report.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)