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Why Engineering Colleges are Shutting Down in India?

I am from the southern part of India, around my home town almost 4 engineering colleges started in time period 2000 to 2015. They were running successfully, but after 2016 the number of students joining the engineering courses reduced drastically. Which end up closing 2 colleges in my hometown. This lead me to think about what could be the reason for this...

23.6 lakh engineering seats were available across India in 2021-22, the lowest since 2012-13, while the number of management seats was 4.04 lakh — the highest in 5 years. India's total engineering seats have fallen to their lowest in a decade amid the recurring theme of colleges applying for closure since 2015-16 and capacity reduction in others.

Except for last year’s Covid-induced disruption, at least 50 colleges have closed each year since 2015-16. This year, the AICTE has approved the closure of 63 colleges.

At the root of the problem is low-quality engineering colleges over the years. As students from such colleges fail to get suitable jobs, they face a decline in enrolment. Now a large number of these colleges are being shut down.

Recently, a study found that Russian and Chinese engineering students were better than those in India. Indian students make substantial gains in mathematics and critical thinking skills in the first two years of their education compared to their counterparts in China and Russia, but their overall higher-order thinking skills are substantially lower than the Chinese and Russians, according to an Indian Express report on the preliminary finding of learning outcome assessment of undergraduate engineer..

An analysis of data from 2017-18 to 2020-21 also revealed that more seats have been left vacant in engineering colleges in the last five years, compared to management courses. the two trends highlighted by the data are correlated and are indicative of the fact that the decrease in engineering education demand has given way to an increase in demand for management. The problem is with the unemployability of engineers… Engineers are not getting jobs after graduating, so they are going for an MBA. The civil, mechanical and other engineering graduates do not end up getting a job in their core area, hence they think they want to be in the corporate side.

So I did some studying…these are facts I have found.

When did the Private Engineering College started Booming?

India has become the hub for Information Technology (IT) & IT enabled services industry .colleges have become training centers for the service-based industry with short-term economic development goals. The majority of these engineering colleges were mostly established by politicians and individuals who used the privatization of higher education as a means to enhance their wealth and power in society. Though regulatory body like the All India Council for Technical Education has been regulating the quality of education, they have failed to improve the quality of education at large. The structured curriculum delivered through, outdated university system has not created professionals who are up-to-date with technological changes.

The privately run colleges have sprung up all over the country in huge volumes. Though they had major role in generating human resources for IT service industry, demand and supply have been overs shot in recent years.

The growth of many Indian IT companies in late 90’s; they recruited large volume of graduate engineers who could suffice back office processing work. This requirement resulted in the government allowing private investors, The growth in the IT service industry resulted in the rapid increase in number of engineering colleges across the country. The structured curriculum delivered through, an outdated university system has not created professionals who are up-to-date with technological changes.

What are the cause of the Failure?

  • Motive of setting up such institutions in private sector, Corruption and don’t care attitude and failure to analyze forth coming changes in technology and science have led to such a state of affairs.

  • To fill the number of seats that has been allocated to the engineering colleges in each discipline of undergraduate degree programs the entrance level qualification in terms of mark secured have been lowered bare minimum of 45 % in the qualifying School leaving examination that secures a seat in an engineering course has become so easier

  • Lack of syllabus Update,Most of Engineering colleges function like the manufacturing industry. Most of the courses are delivered to structured syllabus with specific text books and laboratories exercises. This in-turn cause lose of creative thinking and experimentation. The methods of evaluation is about the volume of information known in a particular subject rather than the depth of understanding a student has in a particular subject

  • Students don't have much practical knowledge The subjects are evaluated based on theoretical concepts. The students are required to memorize a prescribed syllabus and answer questions.

  • Lack of Quality Professors Engineering colleges lack quality teaching professionals.

  • Focus on English language and Aptitude Test Engineering colleges are more focused on providing employment to students in the IT service industry

  • Now IT companies are recruiting people with any degree, but they should pass clear the Interview round. So students after taking a basic degree. They do some certifications and apply for IT companies. The salary tier for an Engineer will be different for a person having a basic degree. But for IT companies that are profitable so for less wage, they will get employees. So nobody wants to join an Engineering college and pay high Tuition to get into the IT field


So we need to think ,How we can improve the current situations

Engineering colleges should be run by academicians not by entrepreneurs. It can be learned from other private universities which are running on their own similar to Harvard and MIT

The number of students per undergraduate program should be reduced. A Professor’s selection should be based on measurable outcomes like quality of research, experience in research, experience in industry, compulsory pedagogy training, Instead of calculating the number of teachers based on student strength, based on the curriculum and subject range the appointment should be made.



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