Nagpur: A big question in Nagpur city’s engineering scenario has bothered both the educationists and institutions alike – Why students are gradually distancing themselves from Engineering and shifting their choices to more traditional degree courses like B.Sc. and BCom?
Well the views may differ, however the fact remains that with every passing academic year the number of vacant seats in Nagpur, and the state in general, have been witnessing an alarming increase.
Director of Technical Education Subhash Mahajan roughly puts an estimate of over 50,000 seats likely to remain vacant this year across various Engineering and Technology colleges of Maharashtra.
Worse still, the number of vacant seats in Nagpur division after third CAP round stands at 11,300 which is more than 20% of the total vacant seats in Maharashtra. This covers 52 colleges affiliated to Nagpur and Gondwana universities.
Nagpur not the first choice
Moreover, those city students wanting to pursue Engineering are not taking up Nagpur colleges as their first choice. More students are moving towards bigger cities like Pune, Bengaluru and Mumbai to pursue their Engineering dreams. The trend has certainly created more worry lines on the forehead of college owners who have infused huge sum into building colleges. So what makes these students driving away from Engineering which once used to be the biggest bet post 12th class.
More colleges less students
A rewind into the recent past shows a large number of colleges have mushroomed within and outskirts of Nagpur. This has certainly taken a toll on the quality of faculties, infrastructure and the job prospects, to be precise. Sources say most of the colleges do not have full time faculties and even principals. “They are not qualified and experienced enough to bring out the desired quality in teaching,” adds the source. The extent of the situation can gauged from the incidents of offering discounts to private agents for booking seats, which came to light last year. Barring selected few colleges, all the colleges are running with the strength sharply below their intake capacity, sources informed.
Where are the jobs?
Another telling effect that hit the Engineering hard is the diminishing job prospects in its multiple streams. “Gone are the days when the students used to have the offer letters in hand well before their Engineering course was done. Now even the jobs offered are being cancelled owing the recession in industries across various sectors. The situation is too depressing for the jobs at the moment,” informed a manager of placement agency who facilitates campus interviews in Nagpur colleges for the top companies of India. “Now fewer companies are coming for campus interviews and that too remain undecided over the choice of candidates,” reveals the agent.
Why pay more for nothing?
With no jobs around in the field of Engineering, the students are detaching themselves from opting these courses. The scenario certainly does not justify the high cost of Engineering courses. The course fee per annum for engineering colleges in Nagpur ranges from Rs 75,000 to Rs 1,40,000 which excludes hostel accommodation. This takes up the total fee of 4 year course from Rs 3 lakhs to 6 lakhs which is far higher than the quality of jobs being offered at present. “BSc or BCom passed students are getting jobs more easily than we do. Even the pay scales for the both the degrees are not too different at the moment,” said a fresh Engineering passout from Nagpur, who is facing tough time finding himself a decent job.
Nagpur Today View
The situation is certainly alarming but this is not just the end of road for Engineering students. The grim situation can be sorted out provided the monitoring machineries keep a check on education sharks who are least bothered towards academic cause and more into minting money. It’s high time the State’s technical education department should trim down the non-performing colleges and set strict parameters for allowing the colleges to continue. Another important aspect – the high cost of Engineering should be urgently looked into. A high level committee should be formed to review the fees and bring about necessary amendments. Growth and recession are the phases that slide up and down but the most important thing here is to retain the lost glory of engineering courses.