Professional courses

Pune: Several colleges under SPPU seek permission to end vocational courses

AS THE Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) Board of Management meeting takes place on June 26, it will decide the fate of several colleges that have asked the university for permission to close courses or even entire institutions .

Among those who have requested permission to close are Dr. DY Patil College of Engineering and Innovation, Maval, which offers two courses of BE (mechanical) and BE (civil), the Pravara Center of the Vikhe Patil Foundation for Research and the Management Development, off Senapati Bapat Road, which offers an MBA course with a capacity of 120 students, the Bachelor of Architecture course at the Pravara Rural Education Society College of Architecture, Mohu, the Vidya Pratisthan Indapur College of Architecture and the BE Diploma in Electronics and Telecommunications from Gopinath Munde Institute of Engineering Education and Research, Nashik.

Over the past few years, colleges and institutes offering vocational courses have consistently closed across the country, with Maharashtra also having a high number of closures. The increasing number of vacancies in engineering, MBA and architecture schools due to low student demand has led to this scenario.

Data from the state’s CET cell shows nearly 45% of places in first-year engineering courses remained vacant, with more than 95% of vacancies in private engineering institutes without aid. Last year, out of 55,000 vacancies in engineering, more than 54,000 were in private institutes.

On average, at least 50 engineering schools apply for closure every year, which even prompted the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to stop granting permission to new engineering schools from 2020- 21.

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Figures from the state’s CET cell show the MBA’s luster fading too, with one in three available MBA and MMS seats finding no takers in the 2020-21 academic year.

Experts said a general trend of lower student demand for such courses, in addition to the loss of family income or jobs due to the pandemic, could have led to the situation where colleges do not find no takers for the courses and are now unable to support them.