Excessive Growth of Engineering Colleges in AP
Andhra Pradesh state government’s ambitious ‘Vision 2020’ is to make AP the ‘knowledge society’ by 2020. Its aim is to make higher education more relevant, purposeful and also to impart skills and knowledge relevant to the emerging job market, particularly the services sector. As part of Vision 2020, the state higher education system is emphasizing on professional courses in areas such as engineering. The higher education department is encouraging private investors to set up engineering colleges.
With a mission to improve engineering courses, it started off well but ran into trouble by approving applications to set up engineering colleges without any controls. Today, with more than 700 colleges and 2.5 lakh seats, AP has the largest number of engineering colleges in India1. In 2008-09, there were about 2,297 engineering colleges in India2, out of which AP had 530, representing almost 25 percent, which means 1 out of 4 engineering colleges in India are from Andhra Pradesh. When it comes to number of seats, there were around 8.19 lakh engineering seats in India2 and about 1.74 lakh seats in AP alone, which means 1 in 5 engineering seats in India are from AP only.
Growth of engineering colleges
If you closely observe the growth in engineering colleges in the past decade, you can clearly see that it is taking a side track. In the academic year, 1994-95, there were 32 engineering colleges with 9,335 seats3. Five years later in 2000-01, there were 107 colleges with an intake of 30,896 students only4.
In 2001, the state government proposed to increase the seats in engineering colleges by 15 percent every year3. This was conducive to rapid growth in engineering colleges over the past decade. According to the proposal, it was projected that there would be 245 engineering colleges with an annual intake of 70,000 students by 2005. As a result there were 238 colleges with 82,225 seats by 2004-05 (12,225 seats more than what was projected)4.
This growth of engineering colleges never looked back from that point as increasing number of private investors started owning engineering colleges. In the next 5 years (2005-10), there was a huge growth – more than 650 colleges with more than 2.25 lakh seats were available in 2010.
|Sl.No.||Year||No. of colleges||No. of seats||YoY growth|
|1||1994 – 1995||32||9335||N/A||N/A|
|2||1995 – 1996||37||10155||5||820|
|3||1996 – 1997||37||10455||0||300|
|4||1997 – 1998||57||14155||20||3700|
|5||1998 – 1999||89||19773||32||5618|
|6||1999 – 2000||102||25064||13||5291|
|7||2000 – 2001||107||30896||5||5832|
|8||2001 – 2002||174||46090||67||15194|
|9||2002 – 2003||217||62710||43||16620|
|10||2003 – 2004||225||65960||8||3250|
|11||2004 – 2005||238||82225||13||16265|
|12||2005 – 2006||262||92600||24||10375|
|13||2006 – 2007||282||98793||20||6193|
|14||2007 – 2008||337||118993||55||20200|
|15||2008 – 2009||530||174742||193||55749|
|16||2009 – 2010||656||226000||126||51258|
|17||2010 – 2011||705||252000||49||26000|
This huge growth of engineering colleges and seats have totally destroyed the value of engineering courses. Due to this huge number of seats, even average and below average students are getting into these professional courses. If this is the situation today, imagine what would be the situation in 2020.
Now, the concerned authorities should take stock of the situation and resolve the issue before it worsens. Is it necessary to focus more on engineering courses ignoring other areas? Today, there is a need to produce skilled workers in a variety of areas in order to help India grow rapidly, not generating large numbers of third grade engineers.
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