M.L. Melly Maitreyi
More may be approved in the run up to admissions that may continue till September
Among the new colleges, 27 will be exclusively earmarked for women
‘Boasting over the issue is not entirely a happy situation without quality education’
HYDERABAD: A whopping 156 new engineering colleges have been accorded approval for this academic year by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) pushing Andhra Pradesh to the top position in the number of such colleges.
As a result, the total number of engineering colleges in the States stands just short of 500 – 494 to be precise. And, officials told The Hindu, this is not the final count as some more colleges may be approved in the run up to the admissions that may continue till September.
Together, they will have a pool of 1.6 lakh seats, a jump from 1.2 lakh seats in the existing 338 engineering colleges. Among the new colleges, 27 will be exclusively earmarked for women.
Officials, however, admitted that boasting of the highest number of engineering colleges was not entirely a happy situation without quality education.
Managements in the competition driven environment were aware of this, officials add.
But, Asutosh Mishra, Secretary, Higher Education, justified the numbers as market driven.
“Looking at employability of technically qualified graduates in IT and ITES sectors, engineering, MCA and MBA courses have emerged as the best bet for the students,” he said.
But does the State have enough faculty support to cater to the boom in engineering colleges? “Shortage of good faculty is a problem felt through out the country, not exclusive to the State.
Engineering colleges are employing retired faculty as well as recruiting fresh graduates to tide over the problem”, he said. Moreover, AICTE gives its approval only after it is satisfied with the infrastructure, teacher-student ratio though they may not physically verify the numbers. Apart from this, universities do their check to ensure colleges fulfil the norms before granting affiliation.
The accreditation given by the National Board of Accreditation, AICTE, for engineering courses in colleges is one way of qualifying good institutions.
It would take three of four years for new engineering colleges to get this grading. The colleges with accredited courses are allowed to charge more as an incentive to encourage the trend.