New Delhi: Seats across technical institutions, including engineering, management and pharmacy, have come down by nearly 2 lakh this year. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), which is the regulator for technical institutions in India, released the latest data on admissions for the year 2020-21 early this week, which shows the reduced number of seats.
Admission this academic year will be carried out for 30,86,022 seats instead of 32,85,018 seats from the last academic year. The number of seats this year across various technical institutions like engineering, pharmacy, management and architecture were reduced by 1,98,996 because of the low demand for these courses.
“The reduction in the number of seats across colleges is mainly because of shutting down of colleges that did not have the minimum number of students to run the institution. There were some colleges that did not even apply for the renewal of affiliation and hence they were shut down,” said a senior AICTE official who did not want to be named.
The intake is the lowest since 2012-13, when colleges offered nearly 34 lakh seats. The number of seats increased after that, reaching its highest at 39.6 lakh in 2014-15. From here, it gradually declined to the lowest in 2020-21.
Declining number of students
According to the data shared on the official website of AICTE, the number of seats that are occupied each year are almost half the number of seats that are available across institutions, which is why the council decided to reduce the number this year.
“Intake across colleges is coming down each year because of strict AICTE regulations. It is a process to weed out colleges that were running like a fly-by-night operator. The council has very strict regulations that ensure that if a college does not have a minimum required number of students, the institution will be shut down,” the AICTE official added.
In order to maintain the quality of technical education, AICTE had also decided that they will not permit opening of any new pharmacy and engineering colleges until the academic year 2021-22.
The council has also restricted the addition of new seats in the existing colleges. Institutes have only been allowed to admit students in the existing seats.
Meanwhile, the revised academic calendar of AICTE dictates that admissions to the batch of 2020-21 will go on until October and classes will begin from 15 October. For second-year and third-year students, classes will begin from 15 August. In absence of any directive from the Ministry of Home Affairs, institutions have been asked to run classes online.