Last year, 2010, around 2,000 engineering seats were vacant because of lack of applications. According to figures obtained from the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), this year the total number of seats available in the state is 1,14,268. The total number of applications received for engineering admissions were 1,10,858; pointing to a deficit of more than 3,400 seats.
"Initially, the last date was July 2, but as applications were lesser and overall MH-CET entrance results were lower, the cut-offs were dropped. But even that didn't have much impact as the final number of applications were also very low," said a DTE official.
In order to fill up vacant seats, the norms were revised. Instead of 50 per cent cut-off marks in Std XII examinations as a pre-condition for application to engineering colleges, the cut-offs were dropped to 45 per cent for general and 40 per cent in case of reserved seats.
According to DTE Director S K Mahajan, these vacancies could be due to newer engineering colleges that have come up. "There are a lot of new engineering colleges and institutes that have come up recently and that's why there is a feeling that many seats are vacant. It is not because the number of applications has dropped drastically, but because the number of seats has increased," he said.