Nearly 40 per cent of engineering seats in West Bengal's Jadavpur University have remained vacant this year even after the completion of three rounds of online counselling. According to an official data, out of 1,250 seats offered by the varsity in 16 departments, over 450 seats are still not filled.
There are 40 to 60 vacancies in departments like Computer Science, Electrical, Mechanical and Civil Engineering. This matter has raised concerns among the authorities, who believe that the "negative image" of the university in recent times is one of the main reasons behind students not choosing the Jadavpur University in this academic year.
"One of the main reasons is negative image in the society about the university. The image of the university has deteriorated, especially among the people in the suburbs. Frequent movements, which lead to unrest in campus, is a major factor in losing favour among students," said Chiranjib Bhattacharjee, Vice-Chancellor of Jadavpur University.
For the last few years, some 100-200 seats at Jadavpur University’s Engineering Department were seen vacant. But this time the number of vacant seats has increased. However, the university authorities saw a glimmer of hope soon after the beginning of online counselling in engineering department amid pandemic situation. Out of a total of 1,253 seats, 1,240 students expressed interest in getting admission in the engineering department.
However, later the notice that the rhythm dropped soon after the beginning of the admission process. By the end of three rounds of online counseling, about 453 seats remained vacant which left the university authorities in worry.
Besides the "negative image" of the university in the society, the authorities are also blaming the tendency of students opting for other educational institutions like IITs and NITs.
"Other reason for the vacancies is that most of the students with good rankings are moving to IITs and NITs. This year, the counselling process of joint entrance was completed before the counselling process of IIT started. This is also one of many reasons why seats remained vacant in Jadavpur University," said the Vice-Chancellor.
Meanwhile, several professors in the university were reluctant to accept the argument that the image of the varsity is being adversely affected by the frequent student movements in the campus. Professor Parthapratim Biswas, who is also a president of Jadavpur University Professors Association, said, "For a long time now, there has been a tendency of seats remaining vacant. This is because the trend of getting a job after studying engineering is decreasing and thus the tendency to go to IITs is increasing. However, I do not agree with the argument that the student movement is having an impact on the society and the seats are being left vacant due to it."
Giving a mix response to this matter, Professor Bhaskar Gupta, former chairman of the board and Jadavpur University, said, "Maybe public perception is one of the reasons. But it is a long-term trend that students want to move to a better place if they get a chance. However, not only in Jadavpur, but also in many other places, engineering seats are still vacant."
According to sources, Jadavpur University authorities are going to start another counselling process on the basis of the application from the last week of December. To fill up these 450 seats, University authorities will provide counselling.