Several AP engg colleges face closure
Widely regarded as a leading educational hub in the country, Andhra Pradesh is now caught in a paradox. A problem of plenty is staring at professional colleges which have mushroomed all over the state.
Not long ago, a string of professional colleges dotting the state capital and other cities were the hot destinations for students seeking a wide array of UG courses covering engineering, medicine, pharmacy, and computer sciences.
However, the scenario has changed dramatically. Several private engineering colleges are now facing the risk of closure following poor response from students. There are more than 700 engineering colleges in Andhra Pradesh with nearly three lakh seats but in the academic year 2011-12, more than one lakh seats remained vacant as there were no takers.
Nearly 256 colleges reported less than 100 admissions, indicating a sharp decline in demand among the students for engineering courses in these colleges. Indiscriminate sanctioning of colleges in private sector, poor infrastructure, faculty, laboratory, and other facilities and falling standards in the new colleges are among the factors that contributed to the declining demand.
The political unrest over the Telangana statehood issue has further compounded the problem. There has been a large-scale migration of students to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to pursue professional education.
Several engineering colleges are on the verge of closure, thanks to the drastic fall in admissions. According to the All India Institute of Technical Education (AICTE), out of 143 technical institutes from 14 states which have applied for permission to close down, 56 are from Andhra Pradesh.
AICTE’s Regional Chairman (South) D N Reddy attributed the trend to the lack of viability in running the engineering courses. “There are virtually no takers for seats in these colleges, largely due to poor infrastructure and lack of quality staff,” he said. The officials of the state higher education council said the number of students taking admission was less than 10 in as many as 44 engineering colleges. The admissions in 96 colleges were less than 50 while the number was below 100 in 116 other colleges.
According to a Nasscom study, AP has been producing only 5 to 8 per cent of “employable engineering graduates” every year as against the national average of 25 per cent.