Mumbai: After years of static demand engineering appears to be finding favour among students in Maharashtra.
The number of students applying for undergraduate engineering courses (BE/BTech) has been steadily increasing during last couple of years, with the state recording the highest-ever 1.55 lakh registrations for the Centralised Admission Process. This is a 16% increase in applications compared to last academic year 2022-23 when 1.33 lakh students had signed up for engineering admissions. The registration figure stood at around 1.13 lakh in 2021-22.
The growth in engineering applicants comes in the backdrop of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) lifting its three-year moratorium on starting new engineering institutes, which was put in place due to poor demand for engineering programmes and a large number of vacant seats across the country. The ban was lifted earlier this year, after the technical education regulator found the demand to be increasing, especially in core engineering branches.
The engineering colleges in the city have heaved a sigh of relief but they remain concerned about the lack of affinity for core engineering bbranches among students.
Braj Mishra, Principal of Thakur College of Engineering, Kandivali, said, "The pandemic has faded and things are becoming normal. More students have applied this year too. However, how many of these applications convert to actual admission is more important. A lot of new computer-aligned courses are being introduced as there also is a high demand for them amongst the youth. Core branches like Mechanical and Civil are losing popularity to CS and IT and it helps that new colleges are offering the latter generously."
Prasanna Nambiar, Principal of Don Bosco Institute of Technology, Kurla, said "It's good news for the institutes but 70% will probably opt for IT and CS and this doesn't look good down the line for the country's economy. There needs to be a balance. IT job packages are hard to match by manufacturing jobs and the government should step in to bridge this gap."