Economy pushes students to core engineering streams
For years, computer science was a rage among those who made
it to the top of the Common Entrance Test (CET) selection list. But preferences
have changed as the information technology shimmer has faded and the state of the
economy has become less certain.
Among the popular streams, computer science has the highest vacancy (40%) and mechanical
engineering the least (16%). In between are electrical engineering (39%), electronics
and communication engineering (36%), civil engineering (36%), information technology
(28%), electronics and telecommunication engineering (25%), electronics engineering
(23%) and computer engineering (22%). The discipline of electronics and communication
engineering has gone down in popularity as much as computer science, said an official
from the department of technical education. "Mechanical engineering without any
ambiguity is the most popular stream today, be it by seat allocation, the number
of applicants or vacancy."
Going by seat allocation, the top stream is mechanical, followed by electronics
and telecommunication, computer, civil, information technology, electrical, computer
science, electronics, and electronics and communication. And by the number of applicants,
the order is: mechanical, electronics and telecommunication, computer, civil, information
technology, electronics, electrical, computer science, and electronics and communication.
Engineering college teachers say that with the economy no longer being at the top
of health, students prefer basic streams. Also, the popularity of streams is determined
by the previous year's placements.
According to Anil Sahasrabudhe, director, College of Engineering, Pune, core engineering
streams have become popular again because they allow a student the freedom to move
around. "If you join mechanical, you can shift to allied branches like metallurgical
But some branches have not taken off despite industry demand. For instance, 98%
of food engineering and technology seats remained unfilled when admissions closed.
Vacancies in streams with no demand, however, are understandable. An example is
textile engineering, where 80% of seats remained vacant. "Ever since the textile
mills of Mumbai shut down, this course has had very few takers, forcing many colleges
to close down the department altogether," said Krishnakumar Gawand, an assistant
professor at the Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute. Also, "we still see fewer
women than men joining engineering", Sahasrabudhe said. "But their numbers have
increased over the years."
Courtesy: Times of India