PANAJI: In the final round of admission to the programme at Goa Engineering College (GEC), Farmagudi, on August 15, only seven of the 30 seats on offer have been taken up. In the previous round, 50% of the seats had been taken up. However, it appears that most students have vacated the seats after obtaining admission to other ‘better’ engineering streams, officials said.

Seats in the second year of the mining engineering degree programme, which similarly went vacant last year, were made available for direct admissions. Students who had completed their diploma in mining engineering could avail of direct admission to the second year of the degree programme. However, 17 of these seats, too, have found no takers. After iron ore mining activities in the state ground to a halt based on a Supreme Court directive, the demand for mining engineering seats has seen a steady decline.

At the Government , with no students admitted to the programme, the 40-seat diploma in mining engineering programme has been discontinued from the current academic year 2018-19. The decision to discontinue the programme was taken last year itself after just five students applied for admission. Incidentally, the diploma programme was over 20 years old.

Ever since the initial September 2012 ban on mining in the state, the seats for the degree programme have never been filled to capacity, this despite the course being offered at the state-run engineering college.

Despite the presence of four institutes offering engineering degrees in the state, students usually opt for GEC as the fees are highly subsidised in the state-funded college.

While a mining engineering degree still offers job prospects elsewhere in India, the course was highly popular in Goa due to lucrative local employment opportunities.

Now, with mining prospects dwindling, so has the interest in the related degree programme.

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