As many as 800 technical institutes, including around 80 run by the government, may face closure if they do not find enough students to fill their seats as they have been served notice for poor performance, technical education regulator AICTE said on Monday.
Faced with a large number of institutes which are not able to fill their seats, the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) served notices to 800 technical institutions last year, which, according to an official, were not able to fill 30 per cent of their total seats in last five years.
The official said about 10 per cent of these institutes are government-run, and the rest are privately-owned.
"We have given them three years' time to get their act together. If after three years, they do not fill the seats sufficiently, we will be force to close them down," AICTE Member Secretary Alok Mittal told IANS.
AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe had earlier said that institutes with less than 30 per cent seats filled will be closed down.
However, Mittal clarified that this is not going to happen immediately and the decision will not be imposed retrospectively.
"We have consulted with lawyers also... It would be unfair of us if we do not allow them a chance. Moreover, we may not close down the institutes completely but only those departments where vacancies remain high," he said.
There were 37 lakh seats available last year across all 10,063 AICTE-approved institutions offering technical courses in management, architecture, engineering, hotel management and pharmacy, among others. The quantum of seats filled across institutes was pegged to be around 45-50 per cent of the total.
On the common admission test being mooted by the council, Mittal said the council is "trying to" to get all states on board test which is work on lines of NEET conducted for admission in medical colleges. He said most states have given their nod, except a few from the "south of the country".
The test will be conducted by the National Testing Agency, which got cabinet approval last year.