Hyderabad, Feb 13: A total of 800 engineering colleges, including 80 government-run institutions, across India are on the edge of shutting down. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has sent a total of 800 technical institutions a closure notice if they fail to admit students to fill their vacant seats as they have been served notices for poor performance, AICTE said on Monday.

Last year, the AICTE had sent notices to the 800 technical institutions as they had been unable to fill up 30 per cent of their total seats for five consecutive years. 10 per cent of these colleges are government-run and the rest are privately-owned colleges. (Also Read: Technical Institutes shutting down in India even as country pushes STEM Education)

“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 forced to close them down,” AICTE Member Secretary Alok Mittal told IANS. The students can be “shifted to engineering colleges in the vicinity that have sufficient student strength,” AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe said.

“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.

Sahasrabudhe had earlier said that the colleges with less than 30% seats will be closed down, but not immediately.

Earlier, the council had released a list of 65 engineering institutions that will no longer admit students in first year engineering programme. The council had also said that 800 technical colleges will be shut down due to poor intake of engineering students in last few years. (Also Read: AICTE to Shut 800 Engineering Colleges Over Low Quality, Decreasing Admission Rate: List of the 65 Institutions Listed For Shut Down in 2017)

Last year, a total of 122 private engineering colleges had opted for a closure. Approximately 150 colleges voluntarily close down every year due to stricter AICTE rules. One of the AICTE rules states that if a college lacks proper infrastructure and reports less than 30 per cent admissions for five consecutive years, it will be closed down.

However, it is likely that the 800 colleges would not admit more students from next academic session but would continue with the existing batches, till they complete their courses.

In the academic year 2014-15, 77 institutions were closed down; in 2015-16, 125 were shut down; in 2016-17, 149 were shut down and in 2017-18, a total of 65 engineering institutions were listed by the AICTE.