DTU suspends a third of its MTech programs over ‘poor admissions’

The Delhi Technological University (DTU), formerly known as the Delhi College of Engineering, has “suspended” more than a third of its master’s programs for the academic year 2022-23 due to “fewer numbers of ‘admissions’, The Indian Express has learnt.

At least 10 of the 26 M.Tech programs offered at DTU will not run this year as two-thirds of the sanctioned seats in the 10 programs found no takers.

These 10 programs that collectively offered around 250 places are MTech in Bioinformatics; Industrial Biotechnology; Hydraulic engineering and water resources; Geoinformatics; Geotechnical Engineering; Microwave Engineering and Optical Communications; Control and instrumentation; Power system; Production engineering; Thermal Engineering. Of these, two programs are from the Biotechnology department, three from Civil Engineering, two from Electrical Engineering, two from Mechanical Engineering and one from Electronic and Communication Engineering.

In an office order issued two weeks ago, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, students who have already been admitted to the earlier suspended programs will be offered transfer to another programme, subject to the criteria of eligibility and the availability of places in the corresponding M.Tech branch. In case there are no vacancies in the desired office, the institute has announced that it will refund the fees paid.

DTU is a state university and is counted among the leading engineering schools in the country. It was ranked 35th nationally in the latest edition of the National Institute Ranking Framework.

(Charts by Dinkar Sasi)

M.Tech seats falling vacant has been a persistent problem in engineering colleges, but reputed institutions have been mostly spared. In the IITs, for example, about a quarter of the M.Tech seats remain vacant mainly due to students dropping out of the program midway after finding employment in public sector units or PSUs. However, an IIT has never “suspended” a program due to dropouts or vacant seats.

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Why are the seats vacant?

M.Tech seats falling vacant has been a persistent problem in engineering colleges, but reputed institutions have been mostly spared. In the IITs, for example, about a quarter of the M.Tech seats remain vacant mainly due to students dropping out of the program midway after finding employment in public sector units or PSUs.

At DTU, however, the vacancy problems seem more acute. So much so, that the institute, in a meeting of the Academic Council in May of this year, approved a political decision that if the admissions made in any M.Tech program are less than a third of the total approved places by the Indian Council of Technical Education. (AICTE), then that branch of engineering will remain suspended during this academic year.

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The previous year’s admission brochure had noted that the institute reserves the right to suspend or suspend a particular program in case of not admitting a sufficient number of students. A standing committee, to study this year’s M.Tech admissions, had recommended this one-third formula, which was approved by the Academic Council.

“In the past we have also closed M.Tech courses when we had low admissions, but this year we have finalized a policy that we will close those with less than one-third admissions. In most cases, students come to IT and IT programs, and these have 100% admissions. In areas such as Mechanical, Civil, Electrical and Biotechnology, the number of students in the undergraduate courses itself has become low and fewer postgraduate admissions in these areas are a consequence of this. Private institutes have closed UG courses in these areas and they are left only in government colleges,” DTU Acting Vice-Chancellor JP Saini said, stating that the institute will look into renaming and remodeling of these courses in the direction of Computer Science and Machine Learning to draw more admissions.

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