Chairman of All India Council of Technical Education ( AICTE), Anil Saharsrabudhe conceded that the technical institutions in the country were facing a crisis of huge vacancies prompting a stiff reduction in intake, ( fewer engineering seats), over the next few years.

We are looking at reducing intake by 30 percent in the next few years and the National Board of Accreditation ( NBA) is also undertaking stringent assessment of expansion proposals. Since a large number of seats are lying vacant several colleges are closing down programmes, he observed while talking to reporters on the sidelines of a workshop on Road Map on Technical Eduction in Odisha: Present and Future Perspectives” organized by the Biju Patnaik University of Technology ( BPUT) here on Tuesday.

Anil Saharsrabudhe said, in 2014, 27,000 seats in engineering colleges were reduced and in the coming year, it will be further slashed by 40,000 seats. “We are looking at the final admission rate stabilising at 70 percent of the total intake capacity, as against 40 to 50 percent prevaling at present,” he added.

The AICTE chief noted that over the last decade intake in engineering colleges and polytechnics had soared from 1.85 lakh engineering seats in the year 2000 to 16.73 lakh. The growth of diploma and polytechnic seats had also risen from 2.1 lakh to 12.64 lakh during the period.

Reduced intake will help colleges manage their teacher-student ratio and improve the quality of eduction which has dipped, he observed. Sharsrabudhe also referred to the problem of finding quality faculty faced by several institutions across the country.

Inaugurating the workshop, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the changing scenario in the job market, globalization of work and international recognition of certification calls for revisiting our technical education syllabus making it more dynamic, skill driven with focus on increased employability.

There should be continuous innovation in the process and content of learning. Research, enquiry, creativity, innovation, technosavvy approach, entrepreneurship and adaptation to contemporary developments are ingredients necessary for technical education.

Technology has made education easy but competitive. If we do not harness our current opportunity and go ahead with perspectives of future, we will lag behind as global economic and technological development is highly correlated to higher technical education, he said.

With fast industrialisation and globalisation, the engineering and professional segments need to be treated differently to cater to the need for quality and skilled manpower.

Along with quality faculty in technical education, the universities should take expeditious steps for revision of curriculum and syllabus with thrust on soft skill development, industry exposure and inter disciplinary studies.

Special care should be taken for encouraging Research and Development activities in the institution to suit to needs of industry. The curriculum should also adhere to the non-negotiable academic calendar.

The state, he claimed, has taken many initiatives in the recent past to integrate formal and non-formal education sectors. Initiatives have been taken to define the skills relevant to industry requirements in order to address the emerging issues of employable technical manpower.

Secretary employment, technical education and training, L N Gupta said of the 1.5 lakh seats available in technical institutions, only 88,000 have been filled. Technical education minister S D Burma and Vice Chancellor of BPUT Shyam Sundar Patnaik also addressed the inaugural session.