Experts believe that the primary reason is the increasing number of private engineering colleges that stands at 79. This is a sharp increase from around 2,200 vacancies last year from 73 private engineering colleges. The total number of engineering seats in West Bengal is about 28,100 compared to 24,000 last year.
It is also believed that in our country, a student decides to study or not to study a subject depending on its job prospects. The number of information technology seats remaining vacant is not surprising. If a student specialises in mechanical or electrical engineering, he will get openings in IT along with his mother trade, but not vice-versa.
Moreover, during the recession top-rung software firms such as TCS, Cognizant and Infosys had reduced their employee strength. The lack of infrastructure, the quality of faculty and poor placement go against most private engineering colleges. Long back, the entrance board used to publish names of around 1,000 students for admission. Now, with the proliferation of private engineering colleges, that number has crossed 50,000 or so. As a result, the quality of students is not good and ranking and employability has now become inversely proportional.
The increase in course fees hasn’t helped the situation either. There has been an increase in fees from Rs 40,000 last year to Rs 71,000. Experts see this as another reason for the high rate of vacancies.About 4.5 million students appear for the school leaving examination every year. Of these, 0.45 million are from the science stream which is about 10 per cent and 0.4 million passes the examination. But there are 0.5 million engineering seats in the country. Among them, students opt for medical, general sciences and other courses. Last year, seats in IT and food technology remained vacant. This year, computer science, applied electronics, bio-technology and pharmacy have added to the list.