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The management faculty at the University of Pune (UoP) are a shocked lot these days. They are baffled by the lukewarm response from students to post-graduate courses in management. Nearly 50 per cent management degrees seats are vacant even after four rounds of centralised admission process (CAP).
Of the total 14,774 seats vacant across the state, 7,300 seats are from the Pune region alone. Officials at the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), which oversees management degree admissions, are also shocked as it is the second year in a row that this has happened. "Last year too there were thousands of seats vacant. In fact, we even conducted a fifth round of CAP, which had never happened before, but it didn’t have much effect on admissions. That’s when a decision was taken to allow students who hadn’t even appeared for common entrance tests (CET) to take admissions in management faculty," said an official. "The students were admitted based on degree marks and on merit basis." The source added that DTE officials were now considering allowing institutes to do the same this year as vacant seats are now being filled at institute level. This year, among the 111 institutes that fall in the district, more than 50 per cent are vacant. Dr. (CAPT) C. M. Chitale, dean of faculty of management, PUMBA, said that he was also shocked at the response shown by candidates towards seats for the management faculty. "It was expected that at least 14,000 admissions could have taken place after the fourth round of CAP. But only 3,500 students expressed interest and finally barely 1,190 admissions took place. Also, the minimum cut-off marks have also come down by 30 marks in almost all colleges and yet the response was so low, which is shocking," he said. Experts from the management faculty say that this downward trend may be because of loss of student faith in better placements as well as high number of seats and new colleges. S. K. Mahajan, director, DTE, accepted that students were showing lesser interest towards the management faculty. "On one hand, number of students aspiring is not as much, and on other hand, number of institutes offering management degree is increasing year after year. That’s why the demand is lesser and supply is more," he said. Compared to last year’s figure of 366 institutes, there are 385 institutes offering 40,000 seats as compared to 38,000 seats in 2010. "It is the newer institutes that are yet to prove themselves where the seats are vacant the most. The top colleges are usually 100 per cent admissions. The logic is simple; students have lesser faith in the chances for employment and packages offered after management degree because of mushrooming of newer institutes. They only want admissions in well-known institutes to get good placements," said a senior faculty member from MAEER’s MIT School of Business.
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