Hyderabad: At a time when engineering colleges in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are shutting down due to lack of students, Dr S.S. Mantha, the chairman of the All-India Council of Technical Education, opined that vacancies in institutions were “just a passing phase.” Pitching for expansion, he said existing capacity would not be able to accommodate all students, if more of them start joining engineering colleges.
Dr Mantha was speaking at the annual convention and golden jubilee of the Computer Society of India at the JNTU-H. He admitted that expansion of the system brought its own problems, but added that expansion was needed and inevitable.
“There has been an expansion of the education system in the country over the past few years and like any other system, it has its own problems,” Dr Mantha said. He has been vociferous in his attempts to project the AICTE in positive light in the last couple of years. But the situation in the two states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh is difficult. Lakhs of seats have fallen vacant each year as there are more seats than the number of engineering aspirants. This year, in the Telangana state, there were about 68,516 engineering seats but only 52,839 seats were filled leaving 15,677 seats vacant. This is excluding the 174 colleges that were earlier barred from admitting students. In AP, 57,382 seats went vacant as just 63,190 students sought seats from the total of 1,20,572 seats.
Asked about the huge number of vacancies, Dr Mantha said, “If the counselling would have held on time, many more students would have taken admission. The state governments need to look at various mechanisms to increase quality and to retain students.”