A number of engineering colleges in Tiruchi region may be bracing up for closure of their civil engineering departments from 2020-21 due to sharp drop in admissions over the last few years.
The slowdown in construction activities due to sluggish pace of economic development accentuated by a weakened MSME sector is stated to be the cause for the negative trend.
“It is not that the job prospects for other branches are any better. The faculty profile in civil engineering departments in several colleges has been dismal,” a teacher of a self-financed engineering college said, requesting anonymity. “Managements seem to see the easy way out by adding more sections in other departments because it is easier to find faculty.”
A civil engineering graduate would rather find better paying jobs in consultancy firms in the construction sector rather than complete post-graduation only to land in teaching jobs for salary as meagre as ₹15,000 per month, the teacher added.
At least 10 out of some 70 engineering colleges in Tiruchi region encompassing Ariyalur, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Perambalur, Pudukkottai, Thanjavur, Tiruchi and Tiruvarur districts may dispense with civil engineering discipline, it is learnt.
Tiruchi district accounts for the highest number of affiliated colleges of Anna University — 32 — followed by 12 each in Pudukottai and Thanjavur districts, six in Nagapattinam, five in Cuddalore, four in Ariyalur and three in Tiruvarur district.
“The situation has come to such a pass because policy makers did not take into account the demand-supply factor while permitting new engineering colleges. Of what use are swanky infrastructure in private colleges in the absence of quality faculty and good placements. Only those societies with a clear sense of purpose ought to have been given permission for running the colleges,” said former Director of National Institute of Technology M. Chidambaram.
“The Union Education Ministry ought to take note of certain manipulative practices of deemed-to-be universities that accentuates unemployment and unemployability. For instance, the carte-blanche given to these universities to have any number of seats across disciplines without factoring in the job market scenario must be stopped forthwith to begin with,” he pointed out.