500 engg colleges log off IT stream

Hyderabad: After almost a decade of bull run, the much sought-after IT stream is being dropped by several colleges for want of takers. With the number of students opting for IT in the past two years nosediving, about 500 colleges from the state have decided to close down their IT classrooms for good. This would mean that just about 200 engineering colleges in the state will be offering IT education in the academic year 2011-12.

"Students fear that they will not get jobs if they join IT courses and hence, many IT seats were lying vacant last year. AICTE should understand our situation and allow us to pay a lesser amount for closure," said K V K Rao, representative of Engineering and Professional College Managements' Association. According to managements, about new 25 engineering colleges which applied for permission from AICTE, have excluded IT from their curriculum.

While the colleges, which sought permission for closure of IT courses from All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), had to pay Rs one lakh as closure fee, but managements say that they would incur more loss if the seats remain vacant throughout the year.

Many managements are thinking of converting their IT seats into other streams including Electronic and Electrical Engineering (EEE), Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE). College managements said of the total 60,000 available IT seats in the state, only 30,000 students took admission in 2010.

Meanwhile, subject experts of Jawaharlal Nehru and Osmania University told the managements not to get panic and wind up these courses. "IT education in the state took a hit in 2007-2008 as many passed-out students did not get jobs. But things have improved now as many companies are hiring again and there is no need to worry. If hundreds of colleges close down IT course, students who are genuinely interested in the course might lose out," said V Uma Maheswar, placement officer, Osmania University.

Apart from IT, MCA courses are also facing a mass closure. "In 2010, several MCA colleges had less than 10 students taking admissions. Twenty per cent of the MCA colleges, which faced this problem last year, want to close down this year," said Rao.

JNTU officials said some of the companies had offered Rs 4.5 lakh as remuneration this year for freshers who attended MCA campus placement interviews. "The colleges should wait for a year before winding up MCA course. In fact, there is much demand for MCA professionals outside the state," said M Narasimha Raju, senior professor, JNTUK. College managements, however, said that they will not go back on their decision to close down.
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