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Engineering institutes in Maharashtra's big cities do not face any difficulty in filling up seats. But the story in small towns is very different. In places like Washim, Hingoli and Parbhani, 77-88% of engineering seats go vacant. Places like Akola, Wardha, Solapur, Osmanabad and Satara fare better, but even there the vacancy is around an embarrassing 50%.
The main reasons are: one, students in small towns migrate to big cities for higher education; two, most youngsters cannot afford professional education. Also, college authorities say, the online admission process has made the system complicated for small town students. "The problem occurs when students fill forms online without proper guidance. Students end up filling forms incorrectly and they miss out on seats," said Vaishali Jain, secretary of the trust that runs Sanmati Engineering College, Washim. Against an intake capacity of 300, the college could fill only 85 seats through the Common Admission Process (CAP) this year. A professor from a college in another small town said that running a college with 20-40% of capacity is difficult. "Only trusts that have several institutes under their banner can afford to run such colleges (through a shar8ing of resources). The others perish. It is difficult to meet expenses if a management runs only one institute, that too a non-profitable one. Quality suffers; in turn forcing students opt for colleges in big cities." Students prefer to join colleges in big cities as such colleges are believed to have larger and better faculty, said Vaibhav Narwade, head of the IT department, Vasantdada Patil College of Engineering. "Another trend is that though we are seeing more students from small towns and rural areas joining professional colleges, they are all boys."
Courtesy: Times of India
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