Liberalisation of technical education in Kerala : has a significant increase in enrolment translated into increase in supply of engineers?
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There has been a significant increase in the places for undergraduate engineering degree programmes in the state. This has happened over the last decade by licensing a number of privately owned engineering colleges. Consequently, enrolments in engineering increased from about 2800 in 1991 to about 28,000 in 2008. The study analyses whether this increase in potential supply of engineers has resulted in actual supply of engineers. In fact, after a careful analysis of a unique data set the study reaches the conclusion that actual outturn rates have been steadily declining and especially since 2004. This decline is observed both at the aggregate level, across different branches and across different colleges. It then hypothesises about the probable causes for this steady decline in outturn rates and has identified this in terms of two prominent causes. The study then concludes with the larger implications of this state of affairs. Keywords: technical education, engineering education, pass rates, outturn rates, privatisation, self-financing colleges, TEQIP, educational loans, Kerala. JEL Classification: I23; 128; O30