Thanks to the Kiran Governments indifference towards students and the unique program of tuition fee reimbursement scheme the majority of Engineering and MCA colleges are on the verge of closure from next Tuesday , February 7th.
Following the dues of Rs.4500 crores of arrests in fee reimbursements the government has ignored the notice given by the educational institutions on January 15th. Next to IT sector the Education sector has been worst hit due to political agitations in the Telangana and Coastal Andhra region that struck Andhra Pradesh in early 2010.
The impact has been so rough that in as many as 46,242 of the 1,80,000 seats in the 692 plus engineering colleges in the state has no takers .Only 95,000 of the 1.42 lakh students took admission in the first round of counseling which concluded on Wednesday accounting for 54 percent of the total seats . College management and Government are apprehensive that in the second round of counseling the percentage of admission might fall further . Subsequently nearly 175 of n720 odd engineering colleges had also announced their decision to shutdown shop due to government indifference to clear the dues.
“Uncertainty over whether they will be able to complete the course, threat to academic activity and also prospects of violence has been keeping the students, particularly those from non-locals (outside states ) away “ says the state higher education council former chairman Prof K C Reddy.
The student’s community, teachers and the managements of educational institutions are in a jittery as the political parties –TRS, BJP, Congress and TDP intensified their activities with the approaching deadline for announcement of Telangana. “: Whether students will write their annual exams for 2010 academic year in March next is the million dollar question “ says Dr. K .Sudhakar Chowdhary , chairman of one of the institutions .
Of the 46,000 vacant engineering seats, 40 percent were from the 225 odd engineering colleges in Hyderabad city and outskirts. “Earlier students were opting for colleges on the basis of faculty and courses, but now they prefer colleges near home so tha t they could overcome the bandhs and agitations “said Niranjan Reddy, who worked at an engineering college, 25 kms from Hyderabad. As a result the College management ( mostly real estate operators ) have offered apartments, hostels etc as an inducement to fill up the seats in their colleges .
Last year, at the end of the first phase of counselling only 4,630 seats of 1.5 lakh seats on offer were left vacant. If there were 654 colleges last year, there are 692 now and the number of seats has gone up by 30,000. Officials say that many students have taken admission in engineering colleges of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, giving AP a miss due to poor standards of education in the state . But analysts blame it on the 'T' trouble brewing in the state is another factor that has led to this brain drain from AP.
Officials say that of the 280 plus engineering college in the state almost 250 were in private sector and spread over Telengana ( 340 ) including 225 odd in Hyderabad ), Coastal andhra ( 210 ) and remaining in Rayalaseema region .” Ironically students of Telangana are choosing colleges in Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra “, say the education department officials
State social welfare minister Pilli Subash Chandra Bose said the fall out in the engineering seats was also due to the uncertainty in the ‘tuition fee reimbursement scheme under the Rosaiah regime. Former chief minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy had initiated the program to bring higher education within the reach of the poor students of all sections like BC/SC/ST/EBC and Minorities.
” Nearly Rs. 2600 crore was given away to 22 lakh students till 2008 and after his death the backlogs for 2009 itself was Rs. 1800 crore “ said the minister . Rosaiah had not placed income ceilings of One lakh and also attendance of 75 percent as eligibility to claim the reimbursement benefit which was disbursed online directly into the bank accounts of students .
Another factor bothering the engineering colleges in the state is the low off take of B.tech graduates in the IT industries in the state. Of the nearly .1.1 lakh B.tech graduates passing out from the engineering colleges since 2005 hardly 30,000 to 50,000 are getting absorbed and others have to opt for low paid options like the Call centres and BPO .