The committee set up to look for ways to overhaul engineering education in the county in 2018 had earlier advised the government to put a moratorium on granting approvals to new engineering colleges for two years starting 2020, and now in its interim report, it has recommended continuing the freeze barring some exceptions, the union ministry of education informed the Parliament on Monday.
The committee cited low enrolment in engineering and diploma programmes across the country as the reason behind the recommendation, the ministry said.
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in 2018 constituted the committee headed by BVR Mohan Reddy, the chairman of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad, to recommend short term and medium term prospective plans for engineering education in India. The development came after AICTE observed that seats were lying vacant in several engineering colleges.
In 2019, the Reddy committee advised AICTE to stop setting up new colleges from the academic year 2020 and “review” the creation of new capacity every two years after that. The committee observed that the capacity utilisation in engineering colleges during 2017-18 in undergraduate and postgraduate level was at 49.8% .
“The Committee has held three meetings on 18.10.2021, 10.11.2021 & 30.11.2021 and reviewed the Engineering Capacity, Enrolment and Placement Data over the last three years in Engineering Institutions. In the light of low enrolments into the Engineering and Diploma programmes across the country, the Committee in its interim report submitted in December, 2021 recommended to continue the moratorium on approving new Engineering Colleges in the country barring a few exceptions,” minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in the statement.
The committee’s recommendation has come at a time when engineering colleges in India recorded a 10-year-low in the number of seats being offered this year. Officials had cited closure of over 340 colleges between 2018-19 and 2020-21 and the ban on opening of no new colleges as the reason behind the drop.
As per the data presented by the minister, the total approved intake in the AICTE approved engineering institutions has declined from 26,95,333 from academic year 2012-13 to 23,66,728 in academic year 2021-22. The intake was 24,42,948 in 2020-21, and 25,39,682 in 2019-20.
As per the data provided by the ministry, the enrolment remained low over the last three years. For instance, against the intake capacity of 24,42,948 in 2020-21, only 12,75,880 enrolment were reported. Similarly, in 2019-20, only 14,10,683 students enroled against the 25,39,682 seats, and in 2018-19, only 14,16,319 out of 27,11,068 available seats were filled.