It all began when AICTE chairman Anil D. Sahasrabudhe spoke about the falling
quality of engineering education in the country, and batted for more autonomy for
engineering colleges, soon after taking over as Chairman in July 2015.
In August 2015, AICTE started seeking suggestions from
technical institutes across the country to improve the approval process for new courses and colleges – and realised that almost 8.5 lakh seats from
the current set of nearly 16-18 lakh seats had gone empty.
The results of these activities came about in September 2015,
when AICTE announced that they would reduce the number of engineering seats by
as much as 40%, by culling 6 lakh seats, and bring down the total number of seats to a more manageable 10-11 lakh. Scroll.in
succinctly headlined this move as “Finally, India will produce fewer lousy
engineers every year“
When nearly 50% of engineering seats are going empty across
the country, the AICTE move is quite welcome, if it is executed smartly instead
of chopping off colleges and seats arbitrarily. It will certainly rationalize
the engineering education sector, ensuring that the student-seat and
student-lecturer ratio is well managed and less seats go vacant every year. However,
it remains to be seen if the move can actually improve engineering education in
Studies have shown that only 18.43% of engineers are
job-ready for information technology jobs, and less than half that for core
engineering jobs (Read the scroll.in article linked above for more information.)
Job ready engineers are a result of the quality of education provided to them. Quality
education is partly derived from quality teaching. Reducing lakhs of seats will
also reduce the need of hiring hundreds of lecturers. The AICTE then has to act
to ensure that quality teachers get hired in the remaining roles, which has a
stronger chance of improving the quality of education students receive.
What do you think about this? Should AICTE move ahead with
reducing the number of seats in engineering? Or should they try something else?