More than 4.21 lakh sanctioned seats in engineering colleges across the country remained vacant in the academic year 2021-22 even as the situation has improved in comparison to the last four years, according to Ministry of Education statistics.
The information was shared by Union Minister of State for Education Subhas Sarkar in response to a written question in Rajya Sabha asked by a Bharat Rashtra Samithi member.
According to the data, of the 12,53,337 sanctioned seats in engineering colleges approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), 4,21,203, or 33 per cent remained vacant in the year 2021-22.
The situation, however, has improved in comparison to the previous years when 5.66 lakh sanctioned seats remained vacant in 2020-21, 5.87 lakh in 2019-20 and 6.78 lakh in 2018-19, and 7.22 lakh in 2017-18.
"The filling up of seats in engineering institutes is dependent on the demand-supply situation which is dependent on the location of the institutes, academic and infrastructural facilities therein, and the placement opportunities," Sarkar said.
Concerned over the issue of vacant seats in engineering colleges, the AICTE 2018 constituted a committee headed by BVR Mohan Reddy, chairman of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad, to recommend short-term and medium-term perspective plans for engineering education in India.
The panel recommended AICTE stop setting up new colleges from the academic year 2020 and review the creation of new capacity every two years after that.
Later in 2022, the committee again reviewed the situation and extended the ban for another two years.