At a time of cut-throat competition for admissions in higher education universities/institutes, a shocking revelation has been made by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, Smriti Irani in the Lok Sabha.
According to government data, over 8 lakh engineering seats remained vacant in the session 2014-2015. Irani noted that there is surplus capacity in the education sector, however, the competition is higher due to limited seats in government and reputed private institutions.
Irani also said that 'overall, there is surplus capacity in the engineering sector as 8,44,328 seats remaining vacant in 2015'. She also noted that there is competition among students due to limited seats in government and reputed private institutions as compared to the number of applications.
The problem of vacant seats was raised by IIT Joint Admission Board (JAB) in September. Taking cognizance of the situation, the IIT Council headed by Irani increased the quota of students appearing for JEE Advanced from 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh in a meeting in October.
Meanwhile, in a written response to another question, Irani said that her ministry is considering a proposal for the setting up of a National Academic Depository, which will keep the record of online storage, verification and authentication of academic awards. Irani also answered questions being raised on Indian universities/institutes not doing well in global rankings. She said that the phenomenon was due to the criteria followed by international agencies which depend a lot on the perception of a "selected group" of persons.
Recently, the government has announced three new Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Ranchi, Nagpur and Pune which will start functioning from the academic year 2016. The admission to the new IITs will be made through Joint Entrance Test (JEE).