The quality of technical education in Jammu and Kashmir is fast degenerating as the student enrollment has fallen by 46 per cent in the past five years.
According to the latest official data, the status of admission in government and private polytechnics has reduced from 72.63 percent to 36.34 percent since 2014—forcing some Institutes to shut down due to dearth of students.
The less number of admissions have resulted in the closure of some of the private polytechnics, while many are confronting financial crises and are at the verge of closure.
Moreover, the private polytechnics which are somehow managing to run their institutions are suffering from quality education as the arrangement of staff is becoming difficult with each passing day. Meanwhile experts said that it was high time that faculty members concentrated more on research side and ‘technical education should address needs of rural people.’
In the case of government polytechnics, the dearth of admission has led the huge infrastructure in terms of building and machinery being underutilized.
The documents reveals that due to the dearth of admissions, three private polytechnics that include north polytechnic Purkhoo Jammu, Kalamkari polytechnic for women, Paloura Jammu and Kite polytechnic in Kashmir were closed down.
According to the data, in 2014, 4,187 (76.63 percent) students sought admission in technical education that includes 1,822 students in private polytechnics, and 2,365 students in government polytechnics.
In 2015, the percentage reduced to 59.57 percent with an admission of 3,434 students including 1,446 students in private polytechnics and 1,988 in government polytechnics.
In 2016 and 2017, the total percentage of students applying for the admission was at static 63.35 percent and 60.42 percent respectively.
The data shows that in 2016, a total of 3,493 students were admitted across the state that include 1,322 in private polytechnics and 2,246 students in government polytechnics.
Similarly, in 2017, a total of 2,268 students sought admission in technical education. In private polytechnics, 1,237 students were admitted, while in government polytechnics 2,246 students applied for the admission.
In 2018, the number of admissions has abruptly fallen to 39.34 percent. The data reveals that a mere 2,268 students have sought admission in this year that includes 693 students in private polytechnics and 1,575 students in government polytechnics.
Currently, there are 24 government and seven private polytechnics in the state and 5,825 seats are approved by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in these polytechnics out of which 3,505 seats are in government polytechnics and 2,320 in private polytechnics.
Director of Techincal Education, Anoo Malhotra said the biggest hurdle that institutions are confronting is a clash of issuance of notification by Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE) for polytechnics entrance test and declaration of results in JK BOSE for 10th class examination.
Malhotra said that the department has written to the government that the procedure of admission polytechnic through BOPEE should be dispensed and State Board of Technical Education be allowed to take over the admission process.
Joint Director Polytechnic, Mohammad Shafi Bhat, said lack of awareness, lack of proper dissemination of information, non-popular programmes, non-availability of candidates in reserved categories and students going for higher education are also other factors for the decline in admission in technical education.
Bhat said to study the issue in depth and for the purpose of enhancing the admissions three teams were constituted and the committee was assigned the mandate to visit the states of Maharashtra, Punjab, and Delhi and ascertain the admission process existing in those states.
"Based on the committee's observation, we have approached the government with some suggestions. And I hope that we will be able to revamp the admission process in polytechnics soon," he said.