In Maharashtra state 60 Engineering colleges faces closure. Around 40% of these colleges seats are lying vacant.
Most of these are located in rural areas. 60 degree and diploma Engineering colleges across the state may be shut down from this year.
One of the Bureaucrat from these management colleges blames AICTE for the 'Mess' in Technical Education.
"Earlier, the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) gave permission for closure of engineering colleges after the state issued no-objection certificates. Now, though, in view of a recent Supreme Court order, the University Grants Commission will have to take the decision and not AICTE. We expect managements of 60 colleges to seek permission for closure of their institutes,'' a senior bureaucrat said.
Once UGC gives permission to shut down. These colleges may be converted into complexes for commercial purposes.
"Most managements had taken loans ranging from Rs 15 crore to Rs 20 crore when they started out. Now, they have no option but to utilize the premises for commercial purposes to repay their loans. Although we made it clear to AICTE that there are an estimated 1.4 lakh vacancies in professional colleges, it went ahead and granted permission for 11 more colleges," he said.
This year, around 55,000 seats are lying vacant out of 10.5 lakh available seats.
In diploma colleges 60,000 seats are lying vacant out of 1.6 lakh available seats.
According to the bureaucrat, 42.7% of Engineering seats in Aurangabad region were not filled, followed by 38% in Nashik, 28.9% in Pune, 27% in Nagpur, 26.7% in Amravati and 8.5% in Mumbai region.
From past years, Maharashtra had faced a steady rise in vacant seats. AICTE have to take the correct measures and plans to reduce the seats lying vacant.
The bureaucrat said while there was no end to the demand for private colleges in Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Nagpur, there are no takers in rural areas. "There is a regional imbalance. It's the AICTE as well as the state government's responsibility to ensure equitable distribution of seats. AICTE should not consider applications for colleges in urban areas for increasing seats.''