AICTE May Lift Cap On Engineering Seats; What This Means For Mid-Level Colleges

New Delhi: The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) proposes to remove the cap on seats for individual branches from 2024-25. This means that more students could go to top engineering colleges at the cost of mid-tier ones.

At present, a college can have a maximum of 240 seats in one branch. The upper limit was introduced following a mismatch between demand and supply. “As envisaged in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, and the nation’s proactive initiatives towards enhancement of Gross Enrolment Ratio, the council proposes to remove the upper limit on intake allowed for colleges/programmes offered by existing institutions,” AICTE said in its draft approval process handbook.

The council mentioned that this was subject to infrastructure availability and occupied faculty positions. Expert committees will make inspections before granting approval for an increase in intake. An increase in seats will be allowed only if the institution already offers at least three courses in core branches, according to a Times of India report.

While top engineering colleges are upbeat, the mid-level ones that provide quality education are worried that the move would affect their admissions. “We will wait for the final approval process handbook, although there is a likelihood that the proposed move will increase the gap between the top colleges and mid-tier ones. They may not be able to provide quality education if admission dips,”  B Chidambararajan, director of SRM Valliammai Engineering College was quoted as saying.

The reportd quoted Anna University vice-chancellor R Velraj as saying that the move would accelerate the end of sub-par engineering colleges. As of now, Tamil Nadu has a sanctioned strength of 2.6 lakh seats in 440 engineering colleges.

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