At a time when manpower shortage is adding to the woes of plastics industry in Gujarat, over 50 per cent seats remain vacant at the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET)'s different engineering courses, industry sources informed.
According to officials at CIPET, students from Gujarat are showing less interest to take admission at the institute, which has been set up specially to provide dedicated training and education on plastic industry to design and develop plastics products through long-term and short-term courses.
"About 50 per cent seats remain vacant at the undergraduate level course, and over 60 per cent seats are vacant at our masters programme. We have a mandate to induct only Gujarat-based students and from outside. But students from Gujarat are less interested, therefore seats continue to remain vacant," said Subhash Shit, head at CIPET.
The institute, which offers bachelor's degree in manufacturing engineering and plastics engineering as well as master's degree in plastics engineering, has about 138 seats approved from All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Of these, the institute has 18 seats for master's programme, while the rest are for bachelors' programme.
Besides degree courses, CIPET also runs short-term diploma and certificate courses in plastics technology, engineering, product design and development of moulds. The student strength for these short-term courses is over 1000. "There is manpower shortage in plastics industry, both in technical as well as in the on floor jobs. The input cost pressure is already there due to high raw material prices, while short supply of work force increases labour cost," said Mahavir Khatang, president, Gujarat State Plastics Manufacturers Association (GSPMA). Industry experts attribute lower availability of manpower to the reduced interest of students to opt for plastics engineering as a discipline to make a career in. "More and more students are opting for other attractive courses. Also, the spending capacity seems to have improved therefore less students want to graduate from a centrally sponsored institute," said Navin Trambadia, a plastics product maker and former president of GSPMA.
CIPET data showed that campus placement at the institute during May 2012 yielded minimum remuneration of Rs 25,000 per month for degree students. Even those students opting for short-term programmes like diploma and certificate courses, have got offers in the package of minimum Rs 10,000 per month.
According to Shit, nearly 1000-1200 students from different courses pass out every year from the institute but very few take up the bachelor's or master's course.
"We have three courses running at CIPET and as per AICTE regulations, we need to have nine faculties for each programme. Currently we have 16 faculties at the institute and we may appoint a few more in some months. But it becomes difficult to justify the expansion of staff and infrastructure without proper strength of students," said Shit.