32 professional colleges to be shut down soon

The education industry in the state seems to be going bust.Unable to attract students and faculty and not being in a position to maintain the required standards,at least 32 engineering and business management colleges have thrown up their hands and called it a day.Accordingly,the state government has given a green signal to these 32 institutions to shut shop and not admit students from the academic year 2012-13.

It is for the first time that so many colleges are folding up in the state,in sharp contrast to the trend a decade ago when engineering colleges,business schools and pharmaceutical colleges sprang up all over the state.The No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to 21 of the colleges to close down were issued in January while the remaining ones were allowed to close down in February.

Among the colleges going out of business are five engineering,nine MBA,14 MCA,three pharmacy and one 1 PGDM colleges. The list includes the much publicized colleges such as Malla Reddy Institute of Management Sciences,Secuderabad,Rajahmundry Engineering College,Rajahmundry,Narasimha Reddy PG College,Medchal,Asian School of Business,Ranga Reddy,St Francis Institute of Computer Sciences,Qutbullapur and Anantapur Institute of Management & Sciences.

The closure of these colleges is the result of the crisis that set in the technical education field in the state,which was the pioneer in the mass-scale establishment of professional colleges,said sources.

Even though there is not a single town in the state that does not have an engineering college,very few are known for their quality education.So,students prefer ordinary degree courses over the substandard engineering colleges, sources in the department of technical education told TOI.

According to the sources,45 per cent of the seats in the engineering colleges are lying vacant,while the vacancies in business management courses are 38 per cent and 45 per cent in MCA.By the next financial year,many more colleges may call it quits,they added.
The lack of qualified faculty,inability of these institutes to maintain the standards set by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE),the apex body that controls the technical,MCA and MBA courses in the country,and the inability of these institutions to pay the salaries fixed by the AICTE have also compounded the issue.There are colleges which have not paid salaries of the faculty for months, said a lecturer from an engineering college on the outskirts of Hyderabad.Technical education commissioner S Balasubramanyam confirmed to TOI that letters of NOC were issued to 32 colleges for their closure.
Meanwhile,the trend is not unique to Andhra Pradesh alone.The decline of technical education has also set in other states as well,albeit in a small way.

According to D Purandeswari,Union minister of state for human resources development,around 134 business schools across the country are facing closure.Till now,the 134 business management institutions have submitted applications to the AICTE for closure of programmes due to various reasons including poor strength of students.

Last week,Purandeswari informed the Lok Sabha that with 32 such cases,Andhra Pradesh tops the list of colleges shutting shop followed by Rajasthan,where 25 institutions are on the verge of closure.There are 18 such institutions in Uttar Pradesh,while 14 B-Schools of Maharashtra have requested the AICTE to allow them to down the shutters.The other states are Madhya Pradesh (8),Gujarat (7),Haryana (7),Karnataka (6),Chhattisgarh (5),Punjab (4),Tamil Nadu (2),Himachal Pradesh (1) and Uttarakhand (1), she said.
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