The demand to set up engineering colleges has come down in the country, Nagaraj, head of the department of civil engineering, Shridevi College of Engineering and Technology, Tumkur, has said.

He was speaking at the The Hindu EducationPlus career counselling session on the Siddaganga Institute of Technology campus.

“The All-India Council for Technical Education received 2,176 applications to set up engineering colleges in 2011-12. However, it came down to 362 in 2012-13,” he said.

“There are 3,393 engineering colleges in India in which 15 lakh seats are available. Sixty-five per cent of them are in south India,” Prof. Nagaraj said. He said job opportunities for engineers in computer science and electronics had come down owing to the slowdown in Western economies. “Jobs in these branches are dependent on multinational companies based in Western countries. They are not rushing to engineering colleges these days to recruit students. Students who graduate in biotechnology find it difficult to get placements. Engineering students should equip themselves with additional skills to be acceptable in the job market,” he said.

Inaugurating the programme, Basavarajaiah, Dean, Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Tumkur, said students should opt for courses of their choice rather than following popular perceptions.

Anandaraju A. of the Karnataka Examinations Authority spoke about the online seat selection system which was introduced last year for the Common Entrance Test to bring transparency.

G.M. Sujith, programme co-ordinator, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Konehalli, Tiptur, spoke about the opportunities available in agriculture.

Mahidhara Davanagere, managing director of Pramartha Consulting, Bangalore, spoke about degree courses in science, arts, commerce, journalism, education, and nursing.

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