New Delhi: The ban on opening of new engineering colleges will continue till further notice, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in the Lok Sabha Monday.
The ban had been enforced in the country in the academic year 2020-2021 due to a decreasing demand for engineering seats.
The decision of extension was taken by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) after holding three meetings with an expert committee led by IIT-Hyderabad Board of Governors chairman B.V.R. Mohan Reddy, on whose recommendations the ban was first put in place.
The council had been exploring whether it could lift the moratorium from 2022-23, and approached the Reddy committee in this regard.
Replying to a question, the education minister informed Parliament Monday that the AICTE had held three meetings with the Reddy committee on 18 October, 10 November and 30 November to “review 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,” the minister said in a written response in Parliament.
‘Capacity utilisation, intake low’
The Reddy committee was constituted in 2018 to work on a “short-term and medium-term perspective plan for engineering education”.
In its report submitted in 2019, it had observed that capacity utilisation in 2017-18 at the undergraduate and postgraduate level was 49.8 per cent (intake capacity versus enrolment) and recommended that no new seats be approved by AICTE starting from the academic year 2020, except in emerging areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc.
Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan also told Parliament that the total approved intake in AICTE-approved engineering institutions has declined to 23.66 lakh seats in 2021-22, from 26.95 lakh seats in 2012-13.
(Edited by Gitanjali Das)