Hyderabad: On the backdrop of shutting down around 180 engineering colleges due to lack of students, Andhra Pradesh state cabinet has decided not to grant permission to new engineering colleges in the state. The number of students in existing colleges will also be capped to 420 per college.
This will freeze the number of engineering colleges in the state to the current 717.
For accredited colleges, the number of new admissions per college has been capped at 540 students.
There will be some exemptions to the decision. Few engineering colleges in the backward districts of Srikakulam, Mahbubnagar, Adilabad and Anantapur would be allowed set up, provided that the required standards are maintained.
The cabinet decision has been taken on the basis of the recommendations made by a high-powered expert committee headed by former bureaucrat K Lakshminarayana. The committee was appointed in 2010 to suggest modalities and remedial measures for strengthening un-aided (private) professional institutions.
The 717 engineering colleges in the state at present have an intake of 3,44,986, up from an intake of 82,225 students studying in 238 colleges in 2004-05.
In 2010-11, approximately 30% of the engineering seats remained vacant while in the current academic year, nearly 50% seats were not filled.
The increased number of engineering colleges has put enormous strain on the availability of qualified teaching manpower, thus affecting the quality of education and employability.
As a result, the state government requested the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) not to sanction second shift of sections in the existing engineering colleges. Also, the state government decided to recommend to AICTE imposition of ceiling on the number of seats in under-graduate engineering, MBA and MCA courses, as per the recommendations of the expert committee.
Welcoming the move, Vidya Samasthala Parirakshana Samithi, a body representing engineering college managements, stated that they have been repeatedly asking AICTE to put a cap on the seat allotment in the existing engineering colleges.
“We have been asking AICTE since the past three years to not approve proposals for new colleges as the existing seats are not getting filled. Currently, 3.2 lakh engineering seats are available in 717 engineering colleges and over 40% of them have no takers. Under these circumstances, the cabinet decision is welcome,” said K V K Rao, president of the managements’ association.