Bengaluru : India’s IT capital has recorded the closing down of the highest number of technology and management colleges this academic year. Six colleges offering engineering and management courses in Bengaluru will not admit students for the 2016-17 academic year. The Karnataka capital is followed by five colleges each in Nagpur (Maharashtra) and Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh), three in Jaipur (Rajasthan) among other cities, according to data from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the apex body that regulates engineering and management education.
At least 100 colleges have opted for “progressive closure” this academic year, with Karnataka accounting for eight of them—the highest ever tally for the state in four years. Progressive closure means that the institute will not admit students for the first year for any course, although existing students will continue. Since 2012, a total of 19 colleges in Karnataka have closed down for want of students. Interestingly, 16 of them were based in Bengaluru.
“With the value of land increasing in Bengaluru, people have realised that there is no profit in education.Those surviving are the ones with a service motto. That can be the only reason for colleges shutting shop,” said H.U. Talawar, director of technical education. That is only half the story. Iin February that 11 engineering colleges in and around Bengaluru either had single digit or two-digit admissions in the 2015-16 academic year. Statistics show that there were no takers for 26,718 of 1.07 lakh engineering seats last year.
“This trend cannot be arrested because there are more seats than students,” said M.K. Panduranga Setty, Secretary of the Karnataka Unaided Private Engineering Colleges Association. “Any college will take at least a decade or more to stabilize. Of the 206 engineering colleges in Karnataka, there are no qualified staff and infrastructure in about 180.”
Since last year, 10 engineering colleges have closed the information science course for want of students. Alpha College of Engineering (ACE) on Hennur-Bagalur Road is one of them. “This course is losing out in favour of computer science, which is followed by electronics and communications. Many colleges are also closing computer applications courses,” said K.R. Venugopal, technical advisor at ACE.
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