The BVR Mohan Reddy Committee has advised that the ban on new engineering colleges being approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) be maintained for the time being.
"The committee's conclusion is appropriate," says Anil Sahasrabudhe, head of the AICTE. "Statistics show that the average number of seats in Engineering colleges exceeds demand." Despite the lack of clearance for new Engineering institutions during the last two years, an average of 50% of seats at current Engineering colleges have been unoccupied."
Instead of squandering money on creating infrastructure for new institutes, Sahasrabudhe suggests that funds be focused on bolstering existing structures.
According to Sahasrabudhe, this recommendation may have a few exceptions. "By the end of the month, the committee may offer some objections to the suggestion." For example, if a well-known philanthropic organization wants to construct a high-quality engineering institute, they should be permitted to do so because it will only benefit our country's education system," he argues.
The chairman stresses that not all institutes are having problems. "Some institutions have filled more than 90% of their seats, while others have struggled to fill even 10%." He says, "It depends on the quality of education and pricing structure at the various institutes." This is also why, according to Sahasrabudhe, low-quality institutes have been shuttered across the country in the last two years.
If the situation is to be improved, the employment availability scenario must also be strengthened, he says. "The availability of jobs and college enrollment are linked. A student will pay tuition and other connected fees only if he or she believes that after graduation, he or she will be able to find work. Because colleges are focusing on enhancing their quality, statistics show that over the last year, roughly 55 percent of all Engineering graduates were offered a campus placement," Sahasrabudhe said.
The establishment of new capacity in engineering institutions must be examined every two years, according to a previous Reddy Committee mandate.