Nagpur, Dec 17: Maharashtra Higher Education Minister Vinod Tawde said the government was not planning to set up new engineering colleges, as 43% seats were lying vacant in various existing colleges.
Tawde said this during the state Legislative Council session here while replying to a question raised by members Nago Ganar and Anil Sole.
There are total 367 engineering colleges in the state, including 10 government institutions. There are 1,56,067 seats in these colleges out of which 67,184 are vacant; the minister said adding that, however, there is not a single seat vacant in government engineering colleges.
Some educational institutes made massive infrastructural investment to set up engineering colleges, but there are no academic classes going on there. This infrastructure may be used for other purposes, he said.
"In the present situation, we cannot open new government colleges. With 2 to 4 colleges, we can make one cluster of it and convert it into a full college. But, it depends on AICTE's permission. We will talk to the chairman of AICTE," he said.
The government will also try to introduce new subjects and faculties in some engineering colleges as a part of the Centre's skill development programme, Tawde added.