KOLKATA: As many as 31 private engineering and technical colleges in Bengal may have to shut down if the decision taken by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) becomes a reality . The council has decided to de-approve colleges which have more than 70% seats vacant in the 2017-2018 academic year.
A source in the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination Board said, “There was a time when students in Bengal flocked to study engineering. So, private technology institutes started mushrooming.Now, every state has a National Institute of Technology . And the numbers of aspiring engineers are going down. The IITs too have increased intake capacity . Students now want to take admissions in either government engineering colleges or the institutes of repute which offer better placement opportunities.”
This year, a private tech college in Murshidabad’s Domkal has managed to fill up just two seats. Another college in West Midnapore has got only six candidates.
The source added that the Beng al government has now decided to go slow on expansion of technology studies in the state. “Only two government engineering colleges have opened this year have managed to fill up all seats,” said the source.
As per AICTE norms, it can withdraw approval of a college and ask the affiliating university to distribute the students in other institutes in the vicinity . AICTE may also call for progressive closure.
“The scope of placements is diminishing; there is stagnation in the market. The job opportunity has remained same over the past one decade. If AICTE decides to implement their decision then these 31 colleges will face closure. But the question remains, why did the AICTE give so many approvals by just considering the infrastructure and teacher strength?,” said a source in Bikash Bhavan.
“Enhancing quality is required for teaching-learning process in technological sciences. But we should also ensure that students’ interests do not suffer when we adopt any measure to improve the academic quality ,” said Jadavpur University vice-chancellor Suranjan Das.
In September, AICTE had said they might close down about 800 engineering colleges across India as they didn’t have any takers.