The number of engineering seats in Goa have gone up by over 35% in the last two years. The demand in the state is going up for electronics communication and mechanical engineering degree courses, while civil engineering is a less preferred stream.
The state-run Goa Engineering College (GEC), which was set up more than forty years ago, added the mining course last year with an intake of 30 seats. ""A booming mining industry in Goa provides mining engineers ample career opportunities within the state itself. But the lack of a mining course in Goa was forcing students to opt for institutes in far away states like Bihar until last year,"" deputy director for technical education in Goa, Pradip Kusnur, said.
The mining engineering course has taken up GEC's seats up to 410.
With only three engineering colleges in the state - the RIET at Shiroda with an intake of 189 seats and the Padre Conceicao College of Engineering, Verna with 252 seats, other than GEC - Goan aspirants were forced to turn to engineering colleges in the neighbouring states of Maharashtra and Karnataka until 2010.
But before the last academic year 2011-12 could begin, the Don Bosco College of Engineering in south Goa was granted approval by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for 252 seats in computer, mechanical, electronics communication and civil engineering streams.
This year, the Fr Agnel College of Engineering in north Gao was given a nod by AICTE for 180 seats in electronics communication, mechanical and computer engineering.
All the new engineering seats have taken the number of seats up in Goa from 810 two years ago to 1272 during the current academic year.
Officials said that rise in the number of engineering seats will not mean the quality of students is compromised. ""These students from Goa would opt for courses outside the state when they could not get into the Goa colleges anyway and would become qualified engineers and come back to the state. These students can now study in the state itself,"" Kusnur said.
Read Amore About Goa Engineering College (GEC)
The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) is said to have blacklisted 37 colleges in the State for making excess admissions in violation of the PCI norms and with the pretext that the AICTE has permitted them so.
The PCI central council meeting held in New Delhi recently is said to have taken the decision as some colleges have admitted 200 students though the original sanctioned strength is only 60. As per the PCI norms, the maximum strength can go up to 100 if the colleges are more than four years old while it has to be 60 for colleges established in the last four years.
K. Ramdass, general secretary of the A.P. Pharmacy Colleges Association, has said that PCI president B. Suresh will be meeting Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on May 9 along with the managements of pharmacy colleges to discuss the issue of excess admissions. He is also likely to discuss other issues with regard to pharmacy education in the State.
The PCI and AICTE have been at loggerheads over the authority on pharmacy education in the country. While the PCI claims that it should decide on admissions and administrative aspects of pharmacy education, the AICTE maintains that it has the authority to sanction additional seats in the existing colleges apart from sanctioning new colleges.
Source: The Hindu
Despite several thousands of seats falling vacant in engineering courses in Tamil Nadu in the last academic year, the State's educational entrepreneurs have not lost their zest for starting new engineering colleges.
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) officials say they are processing 104 applications from trusts and societies for starting technical institutions, including over 50 applications for engineering colleges.
The State has 502 engineering colleges and 22 schools or institutes of architecture for which admissions are through a single window system of counselling under Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions (TNEA).
Of the two lakh and more seats available under both government and management quota in engineering education, 42,000 fell vacant under the government quota and about 25,000 under management quota last year, say Anna University officials.
Last year, there were nearly 140 applications to start technical institutions but most of them were rejected initially for failing to obtain building certificates from the Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP). Permission was granted to colleges in phases and the process continued even in the final stages of counselling.
“This year, the AICTE plans to complete the process of approval by April 30,” says an official here. The filing of online applications for academic year 2012-13 was closed by December 2011 and the processing of online applications with respect to all approvals for existing and new institutions would be over by March 31.
After the verification of documents submitted by the trusts and societies, the AICTE Southern Regional Office here has forwarded the applications to the headquarters in New Delhi for further scrutiny after which inspection teams will be dispatched to verify the claims of the applicants in all aspects.
“If the approvals for new engineering colleges are issued early by the AICTE, it will be easier for students and parents to personally visit the campuses and check the infrastructure and faculty qualifications,” says Rhymend Uthariaraj, secretary, TNEA. Last year, some colleges could not be included into the admission process as it was too late.
The AICTE is thinking of freezing the number of engineering institutions from 2014 as States like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have breached the 500 mark. In the past five years, 40 to 50 new engineering colleges are being set up each year in the State. “We have written to the Tamil Nadu government seeking its opinion on the necessity for new colleges,” says a senior AICTE official.
The previous Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government had written to the AICTE not to approve new engineering colleges from academic year 2011-12 but the apex body for technical education continued to grant approvals (in the initial months of the AIADMK regime), pushing it past 500.
Source: The Hindu
Read About Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions (TNEA).
With supply outstripping demand for engineering and management seats, the country may stop new professional colleges coming up from 2014. This firm stand was taken recently at a meeting of the All-India Council for Technical Education, the country's inspector which grants permission to new professional technical colleges. The decision follows requests from several states that want the Council to reject fresh proposals for more colleges.
While many states wanted the AICTE to immediately stop accepting applications, the process of setting up a college, like buying land and building the infrastructure, starts two years before a college trust approaches the AICTE for permission. "So, we have decided that two years from now, we will review the situation and may stop accepting proposals for all new technical colleges," said AICTE chairman S S Mantha.
States such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra told the AICTE to not to clear proposals for new institutes after waking up to the fact that the number of vacant seats in engineering and management colleges has risen dramatically over the last three years. India is now home to 3,393 engineering colleges that have 14.86 lakhs seats; today there are 3,900 management schools with a total student intake of 3.5 lakh. Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh have about 70% tech institutes. When admissions closed last year, AICTE estimated that nearly three lakh seats were unfilled.
Despite the AICTE's decision, many states have decided not to allow colleges to start this year, with the state governments and the council embarking on a collision course.
This year, the AICTE received a total of 204 applications for new engineering institutes and 86 for MBA colleges. "This year, we saw an interest in colleges again wanting to invest in engineering education. However, applications from the southern states, which have witnessed the expansion, are down to a trickle," added Mantha. Andhra Pradesh, which has the largest number of engineering colleges in India, has dispatched merely eight applications this year and a similar number for starting MBA colleges.
However, over time, with no plan, growth has been skewed, but if AICTE's optimism is anything to go by, the country will now see professional colleges springing up in areas like the north-east and in central India, which are yet suffering from low enrolment in the professional education sector.
Closer home, edupreneurs (education entrepreneurs) from Maharashtra are bullish on the growth in this sector. Maharashtra has a rich pool of 348 engineering institutes and 408 MBA colleges. And the fact that 34,000 seats did not have any takers last year did not play spoilsport. The AICTE received 30 applications to start engineering colleges and 15 for MBA institutes from Maharashtra this year (see box).
"We have received the highest number of applications from Maharashtra. But, we have an impressive 307 applicants (almost 50% of the entire pool) for starting polytechnics (colleges that offer diploma in engineering) from across India," added Mantha.
However, overall the slowdown is perceptible: two years ago, the AICTE received 2,176 applications to start new professional degree colleges and this time around, the number stands at a paltry 362. And two years from now, there may be no new colleges that will come up.
The human resource development ministry has come up with a proposal to set up 100 community colleges on a pilot basis in the 12th five year plan. To build consensus on this plan for educational reforms, a meeting of state education ministers was held with the HRD minister Kapil Sibal in New Delhi on Wednesday. As per the HRD ministry, this alternative system of education will benefit the disadvantaged sections of society by offering job-oriented courses to the students.
Welcoming the Centre's proposal, Uttar Pradesh higher education secretary Avnish Awasthi, who attended the meeting, ''The concept of community college is luring, in a way it will help increasing the gross enrolment ratio (GER), thereby helping anybody and everybody seeking education."
He added that the concept has emerged from the continuing demand supply mismatch where some college have cut-offs as high as 100%. On the possibility of community colleges in Uttar Pradesh, Awasthi said, ''In our state, getting admissions in commerce stream is a problem. When it comes to BA and BSc, one qualifies easily, at times leaving a few seats empty. In this context, we can definitely think of community colleges to help students enrol in commerce."
He said that as of now, the proposal is in its nascent stage. Picking the concept from Western countries like the US, the proposal of community colleges will ensure a seat for a local student seeking higher education in a college or institution in the district in which he/she resides. Thus, the concept of community college is that any student willing to pursue higher education will be allowed and academic excellence will be no barrier, but one will have to fulfil a minimum criterion.
With the present plan, it is expected that the first 100 community colleges proposed to be set up on a pilot basis will help around one lakh additional students and the number would rise as implementation progresses. The ministry note further says, ''This will also ensure an increase in effective gross enrolment ratio (GER)."
As per the proposal, community colleges will offer two-year programmes in various disciplines which will have employment potentials, especially in industries. After the completion of courses, students will be awarded 'associate degrees'. Community colleges may have a few or many disciplines based on the need and employment potential. At present, the ministry has proposed to identify 80 colleges under the University Grants Commission (UGC) and 20 polytechnics under the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to set up 100 community colleges.
The ministry also clarified that the Central government could provide some incentives to the institutions acting as community colleges in shifts when normal colleges do not utilise their infrastructure (including laboratories and classrooms).
Experts discuss anthropology's evolving face: Eminent scholar and former UNESCO director, Prof Yogesh Atal delivered a lecture during the ongoing Congress on 'Contested Identities in the Global World' on Wednesday. Describing the future agenda of anthropology, Prof Atal said, ''Generally, anthropology is considered as a study of primitive tribes. There is, however, a paradigm shift in the focus of the study from primitive tribe to tribes in urban and complex space. We need to study tribes into transitions."