Is Engineering no longer a popular choice for students?

With the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) completing the admission process for undergraduate engineering courses in the various IITs, NITs, IIITs, and GFTIs on July 19, 2019, and the release of the seat matrix indicating the number of vacant seats by the Central Seat Allocation Board (CSAB); a shocking data has been presented. The figure of 7464 vacant seats in various NITs, IIITs, and GFTIs raises a question on the status of engineering being the most sought-after professional course. Seats lying vacant even in prestigious NITs like Delhi, Calicut, and Warangal is truly an eye-opener.

To look at the statistics of this academic session, a total of 2,45,000 students qualified to get admission in 25 IIITs, 31 NITs, and 28 GFTIs, but out of the total number, 29,139 students did not even register for seat allotment. Around 13,000 candidates opted out of the seat allocation process in the initial phase only. In fact, many students opted out of the JoSAA counseling process even after being qualified to get admission in one of the 23 IITs.

Following is a table showing the statistics of vacant seats in the various NITs:

NITs No. of Vacant Seats
NIT, Agartala 295
NIT, Srinagar 227
NIT, Jalandhar 198
NIT, Surat 192
NIT, Raipur 161
NIT, Durgapur 154
NIT, Rourkela 149
NIT, Nagaland 128
NIT, Nagpur 124
NIT, Calicut 121
NIT, Karnataka 114
NIT, Patna 108
NIT, Bhopal 102
NIT, Mizoram 102
NIT, Arunachal Pradesh 100
NIT, Tiruchirappalli 99
NIT, Kurukshetra 90
NIT, Andhra Pradesh 87
NIT, Jaipur 85
NIT, Silchar 83
NIT, Sikkim 82
NIT, Hamirpur 77
NIT, Manipur 69
NIT, Delhi 68
NIT, Warangal 62
NIT, Meghalaya 51
NIT, Jamshedpur 51
NIT, Allahabad 50
NIT, Puducherry 46
NIT, Goa 35
NIT, Uttarakhand 24

Following table shows the vacancy of seats in the various areas of specialization:

Branches No. of Vacant Seats
Mechanical Engineering 421
Civil Engineering 391
Electronics and Communication Engineering 380
Computer Science and Engineering 287
Chemical Engineering 231
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 186
Electrical Engineering 181

There is also a subsequent decrease in the number of aspirants appearing for JEE exam. From 12,90,028 students taking the exam in 2014, the number reduced to 11,47,125 in 2019. The following bar chart shows the yearly statistics of the declining number of JEE aspirants:

The data forces us to confront the shifting interest of students in the present time, where non-engineering courses are getting equal, if not more attention. The question then is – what is the reason behind this drastic change?

Some plausible reasons to support the data may be:

  • Increasing interest in new-age professions such as journalism, digital marketing, content writing, graphic designing etc.
  • The pressure and competition of undertaking the journey of becoming an engineer makes the option less appealing. The difficulty level of the examination is as relentless as to drive students to the point of depression.
  • Lack of interest in students to pursue Science because of poor teaching methodologies at school level.
  • The dismal education system of the country doesn’t provide engineers with the adequate skills required in the professional world, thus leading to lack of employment.

Thus, it is time that we seriously consider what the future holds for engineering as a profession. Whether it will lose its glory or continue to be the most booming industry is a question which needs our immediate attention.

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