There has been a 45% jump in the number of students who have registered for Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (CET) for engineering courses this year. On March 27, the last date for registration, 3.82 lakh students had signed up for the test, almost 1.20 lakh more than the number of aspirants in 2016.
Officials from the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) said worries about the medical entrance test going national this year — as National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) — could be the reasons for the growth in the number of MH-CET aspirants.
“JEE has negative marking and the syllabus becomes very different, so it is possible that many students chose to appear for CET over the other national level entrance exam,” said Dayanand Meshram, joint director, DTE. He added that this increase in number of registration also shows increased interest in professional courses. “DTE had recently received over 94,000 applications for just about 32,000 seats in management institutes. This shows that demand for professional stories is high,” he added.
While admissions to engineering colleges, including premier institutes like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) keeps getting tougher with every passing year, there has also been an increase in the number of engineering seats going vacant in the past few years. In 2016, almost 45% seats in state engineering institutes had gone vacant. “Almost one in two seats had gone vacant in state engineering institutes last year and we hope that this increase in the number of registrations also leads to more students applying for seats,” said the director of a technical institute in Mumbai on condition of anonymity.
Last year, many institutes had shut down their courses or reduced the number of seats offered to engineering aspirants due to lack of demand. From 1.53 lakh seats up for grabs in 2015, the total seats available in 2016 were 1.38 lakh. This year more institutes seem to have reduced their intake capacity. “We’ll get the final figure of seats available for admissions only in the month of April. However it is encouraging to see so many applicants for engineering courses once again,” added Meshram.