Engineering is often thought of as the most coveted undergraduate course in the country. More than 9 lakh aspirants take the JEE exam every year to get admission in prestigious engineering colleges.
With an increasing number of aspirants each year, the demand of engineering colleges have grown, and so has the business. New colleges are being constructed to meet the demand to accommodate new students. But, not every college gets approved by the AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) and UGC (University Grants Commission), but they’re still fully functional just because parents and students are willing to take the risk just for the B.E/B. Tech tag.
On July 30, Satya Pal Singh, the Minister of State Human Resource Development presented a document in the Lok Sabha which stated that there are as many as 277 fake engineering colleges in India, with 66 of them in the National Capital itself.
“The instances of engineering colleges running their courses without the approval of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have come to the notice of the government”, mentioned Singh in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
By ‘fake’, he meant such colleges which aren’t approved by the AICTE. They’ve been running courses without any approval. The AICTE is the central body established by an Act of Parliament which aims to grant approval to new technical institutions, the introduction of new courses, etc.
The state-wise list of fake engineering colleges goes something like this: 66 in Delhi, 35 in Telangana, 27 in West Bengal, 23 Karnataka, 22 Uttar Pradesh, 18 in Himachal Pradesh, 17 in Bihar, 16 in Maharashtra, 11 in Tamil Nadu, 8 in Gujarat, 7 in Andhra Pradesh, 7 in Chandigarh, 5 in Punjab, 3 in Rajasthan, and 3 in Uttarakhand.
Fortunately, this has come to the notice of the government and they’re planning to take action. The AICTE has sent notices to such institutions to either get the approval or be ready to shut shop.
“The Institutions conducting unapproved courses are directed from time to time through public notices and individual letters under intimation to the concerned state government to seek AICTE approval for conducting of technical education programmes or to close them down,” said Singh.
Moreover, the UGC has sent notices to the state governments instructing them to take actions against such institutes. They’ve also released a list of 24 universities on their website.
The quality of education is below average in such colleges. Neither the degree they offer has any credibility, nor are the engineers graduating are qualified enough to be recruited for professional work. This is a huge concern for the education system. What good can this type of education can do to a student’s career? It is not a surprise that more than 60% of engineering graduates are unemployed in this country. Around 8 lakh engineers graduate every single year and they’re not able to find suitable or any work for that matter, ultimately contributing to the unemployment rate.
This sheds light on the mediocrity of these educational institutions, and how students have to adhere to this mediocrity for no fault of theirs. While most of them do not get what they signed up for, there is a large chunk of students who opt for engineering due to parental and peer pressure.
There are more students than there are engineering colleges in the country. This supply-demand gap has created a breeding ground for fake colleges. Mind you, these are only the 277 colleges that came to the government’s notice, who knows how many of these fake colleges exist.