Buoyed by an encouraging campus placement trend, the college managements also anticipated a change in fortunes with an increase in student enrolment this year.
Managing to remain afloat amid the pandemic-induced crisis, engineering colleges in Kerala have survived a second year on the trot without any closure. Buoyed by an encouraging campus placement trend, the college managements also anticipated a change in fortunes with an increase in student enrolment this year.
With the admission process for B.Tech courses underway, APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) is yet to receive any closure requests from self-financing colleges. While a private institution in Kottayam had reported the possibility of property attachment owing to loan default, the management has been confident its students would remain unaffected, sources said.
Even while it has been witnessing a scenario of over 17,000 seats going unfilled in self-financing colleges for many years, the State has been able to arrest a slide in the number of engineering colleges for the last two years. While there were 161 engineering colleges in the state in 2014, KTU currently has 145 affiliating colleges including 107 private and 24 government-controlled self-financing colleges.
Slight fall in seat count
The approved B.Tech intake for the next academic year has marginally decreased to 44,946, a slight fall from last years’ count of 45,197. There had been 47,268 available seats in 2019.
With the state reporting surplus seats every year, the fall is unlikely to affect demand. The counts of vacancies were 27,191, 24,985, 20,459 and 17,106 in the respective years from 2017.
Private college managements felt the large number of vacant seats could be partly attributed to the delay in commencing admission process in the state. Blaming the government for the delay, Kerala Self-Financing Engineering College Management Association president Biju Ramesh said the state has been facing a drain of engineering aspirants.
“Allotments must ideally be completed within a month of the declaration of Class XII results. The KEAM entrance examination must be conducted soon after the completion of the qualifying examination. Any lackadaisical approach would only serve the interests of engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu and other states,” he said.
Notwithstanding the glum scenario, stakeholders firmly believe the resurgent campus recruitment prospects, fuelled by the information technology (IT) sector, will attract more takers for B.Tech courses.
Following a dip in B.Tech intake in 2018 when 25,066 students had been admitted to various streams (compared to 28,119 the previous year), admissions have been on a revival path with 26,809 and 28,091 students enrolling for B.Tech courses in 2019 and 2020 respectively. A further increase of at least 2000 is expected this year.