With thousands of engineering colleges mushrooming in the country over the past few decades, the number of seats available for aspiring engineers saw a steep rise to meet the increasing demand. Especially in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, technical education sector saw a huge boom. But it is also a well-known that in recent years, there has been a fall in demand, leaving several lakh of engineering seats empty across the country.
Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani said in December 2015 that across India, more than 8 lakh seats remained vacant in 2014-15.
In the five southern states alone, more than two lakh engineering seats lie vacant for the current academic year (2015-16).
Tamil Nadu fares the worst among the southern states with nearly two-thirds of the seats lying vacant.
In Kerala, although 90% of computer science, IT and electronics and communication students in Cochin University got campus placement in the current year, only 20 of the 60 eligible mechanical engineering students got placed.
In Karnataka, about 11 colleges in and around Bengaluru have had either single-digit and two-digit admissions in the academic year 2015-16.
The picture is bad for Telangana too. However, MCA saw a hike of 42% in the number of students taking admission in this academic year.
Industry body NASSCOM following a 2011 survey said only 17.5 % engineering graduates were employable.
The vacancies are not only limited to engineering, more than 18 lakh seats of all AICTE courses were unclaimed in the last four years. For the first time in several years, the overall number of engineering seats has come down by about 30,000 seats in 2015, according to AICTE. They would further like to bring it down to between 10 lakh and 11 lakh from a little over 16.7 lakh now.