In a significant move, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has decided to shut down nearly 200 'substandard' engineering colleges over the period of next 12 months.
According to an order passed by AICTE, the colleges, which were termed as ‘substandard’ will not be able to enroll new students. The institutes will cease to function only when its current batch graduates.
With the closure of these colleges, the number of engineering seats will be brought down by 80,000 this year.
"This year too there will be around 80,000 seats less. Around 200 colleges have applied for closure as they were having very low admissions in the recent past. So, effectively, these colleges will seize to function as engineering institutions from about three-four years from now," Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairperson of AICTE, was quoted as saying by a news agency.
The closure of the engineering colleges will, however, not affect the current batches as the colleges would continue to function till these students complete their courses.
“The colleges will continue to function till the current batches graduate. However, these colleges will not enroll new students from this year,” Sahasrabudhe said.
According to the AICTE, the number of seats in engineering colleges has been reduced by 3.1 lakh in the last four years.
“The actual enrolment in engineering colleges has come down by 1.86 lakh since 2012-13 and there had been a decline in the number of engineering seats offered to students since 2016. There is a fall of approximately 75,000 engineering seats,” the AICTE said in a statement.
The AICTE has also decided that at least 50% of the programmes offered at engineering colleges will have to get mandatory accreditation from the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) by 2022.
“According to current figures, only 10 per cent of the programmes in the country are accredited,” the AICTE said.
However, certain elite colleges such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs), on the other hand, had witnessed an increase in its enrollment.
"IITs and NITs have increased their seats and there will be more opportunities here as the new IITs shift to their own campuses. Right now, they are functioning with 300-400 capacity," an official from the MHRD was quoted as saying.