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Call for tech seat shuffle as seats lie vacant in Jadavpur University and Calcutta University

Education experts advise universities to consider rationalisation of seats

By Subhankar Chowdhury in Calcutta
  • Published 12.08.19, 4:05 AM
  • Updated 12.08.19, 4:05 AM
  • 2 mins read
Calcutta University Picture: Calcutta University website

Twenty-nine seats in the mechanical engineering course at Jadavpur University and 23 in Calcutta University’s jute and fibre technology course have remained vacant this year.

The vacancy trend over the past two years has prompted education experts to advise universities to consider rationalisation of seats, which would involve cutting down the number of streams in courses with less demand and increasing intake in more popular streams.

Metro reported on Sunday how over 260 engineering seats have remained vacant at Jadavpur University this year and the number has gone up in the past fortnight as many students have opted for other institutes.

Veteran teachers said there was a time when students would never consider quitting JU but that perception seems to have changed.

Officials at the two universities said they would go through the reasons for the seats remaining vacant.

Of the 68 seats that have remained vacant across nine streams in CU’s BTech programme, jute and fibre technology accounts for the highest number. At JU, mechanical engineering had the highest number of vacant seats across 16 disciplines.

Partha Pratim Das, a professor of computer science and engineering at IIT Kharagpur, said the universities must assess whether there was a need for rationalisation of seats.

“If a particular discipline is found to have vacancies in successive years because of lack of demand in the job market, the university can always explore the possibility of slashing seats in that stream and proportionately increasing seats in a discipline with greater demand. This helps in containing the problem of seats remaining vacant in large numbers,” Das said.

An official at IIT Kharagpur said the institute had several years ago decreased seats in mining engineering as there were few takers.

A JU teacher said the university should look into the possibility of decreasing the seats in mechanical engineering and increasing intake in computer science and engineering, electronics and telecommunication engineering instead as the demand for core engineering courses has been on the wane over the past few years because of job crunch.

Anupam Basu, the director of NIT Durgapur, said Calcutta University should think of slashing seats in the jute and fibre technology programme. “It has the most number of seats but the course seems to have lost favour with students,” he said.

Asked about the need for rationalisation of seats, JU pro-VC Chiranjib Bhattacharjee said: “We have to study the reasons for the vacancies before taking any decision.”

The two universities would conduct counselling sessions to fill the vacancies this month.