Year after year seats are going vacant because of demand-supply mismatch
It is a sense of déjà vu for those who have been reading about thousands of engineering seats finding no takers year after year in the State. This year too, as many as 18,861 engineering seats have remained vacant at the end of the second round of counselling of the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMEDK) quota and the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA). Last year, over 25,000 seats were unfilled under the COMEDK and government quotas.
While 10,085 COMEDK engineering seats have remained vacant as the second and final round of counselling ended on Wednesday, 8,776 seats under the government and government-quota seats were also unfilled when the KEA announced the results of the second round of counselling on Thursday. In fact, it was only for engineering courses that there were no takers during the KEA counselling.
Out of the 161 colleges in which seats were available for students during the second round under the COMEDK, all seats have been taken only in 22 colleges. On the other hand, there are at least 45 colleges where the number of seats remaining is in double digits. And, in one college there are 287 engineering seats vacant.
Among the courses, the largest number of vacant seats is in mechanical engineering (2,122), followed by electronics and communication engineering (1,996) and computer science engineering (1,840).
This continuing trend is being blamed on the mismatch in demand and supply. For example, this year, the total number of seats in engineering was over 96,000, with 58,637 available under the government and government-quota alone. Even as the option entry for Common Entrance Test (CET) rank holders began, a whopping 7,415 seats were surrendered by various managements to the KEA. The 18,861 vacant seats will now return to the management pool as both the consortium and KEA cannot hold another round of counselling. Referring to the large number of vacant seats, COMEDK chief executive A.S. Srikanth said the erratic schedule of counselling for professional courses this time was also a contributing factor. “We usually hold the engineering counselling in the end. But this time, as the COMEDK counselling had started before the CET counselling, the State government requested us to push the medical seat surrender dates to a later date, which is why we held the engineering second round counselling earlier. Even after the CET second round results were announced (which was a day after the COMEDK second round engineering counselling ended), there were students coming to us and asking if they can surrender the seats as they had got better seats in CET,” he said.