Failure Rate of Engineering Students in 1st Year – A study


As we know, there has been phenomenal expansion of self-financing engineering colleges throughout the length and breadth of the country without taking into consideration Need Analysis in respect of the demand and supply of engineering graduates. Today, if one desires to determine the number of engineering colleges in the country, it may indeed be a difficult proposition. Further, this has resulted into unemployment of engineering graduates qualifying from self- financing engineering colleges. In this context, it is important to study the paper of this author “Declining Standards of Technical Education” published by congnifront very recently.

It is important to mention that there was a time when engineering education used to be the first choice of students and now we are witnessing that good students are not opting for career in self- financing institution, with the result, in majority of these colleges, even 25-30% of the sanctioned intake could not be filled. Around 25-30% of such institutions are at the verge of closure and finding other ways and means to run the colleges by offering non-engineering courses and even to the extent of conversion to schools.

This author conducted a study of self- financing institutions by collecting feedback from 15 colleges and also looked at the university results of failure rate of engineering students in 1st year in these colleges. Following are the details arrived at from the feedback based on the result of December, 2014 examination:

  • 46-53% students could not qualify the subject of mathematics
  • 50-60% students failed in physics
  • 30-42% students could not qualify the subject of chemistry
  • 33-40% students also had compartment in engineering drawing
  • 50-55% students could not qualify the subject of English
  • 40-45% students failed in Bio-Technology

When the entire first year result was analyzed, it was noticed that only 20-30% students were such who could qualify all the subjects without having any compartment in any subject.

Results of some of the private universities are better because of internal system of examination.
This author interacted with good percentage of teachers to determine the reasons for such large failure of students in the first year. Following is the summary of feedback received from teachers:

  • 50-60% students joining B.Tech courses are of lower merit ranging from 40-55%.
  • Majority of these student are poor in basic sciences and humanities and do not possess cognitive abilities to comprehend what is being taught to them.


  • 30 to 40% students do not attend the classes on regular basis, with the result continuity is missed. These students comprise of those students who have been forced by their parents to join B.Tech courses.
  • Medium of instruction and the environment of engineering colleges is much different from school education. This is also one of the reason that students with lower merit feel inferior, particularly as compared to urban students.
  • Many teachers pointed out that in the school system, students develop the habit of cramming, which is not relevant in the professional colleges.

Some students also mentioned that good percentage of teachers teach too fast. They are not able to cope up with their speed. Students hesitate to clarify their doubts due to the fear of snubbing.

Under the scenario described above, what could be the solution alternatives? This author suggests the following:

  • Further growth of engineering colleges in the conventional disciplines should be stopped. The focus should be to stabilize the existing institutions.
  • It is also essential to limit the intake to a  maximum of 60 students in each discipline with at least 60% marks at 10+ 2 level. This is being suggested to admit students with minimum cognitive abilities. It should also be understood that the industry do not hire students below this level for employment.
  • It may be worthwhile to offer a foundation course of 4 – 6 weeks  in basic sciences to all new entrants before actual classes start.
  • Stress should be given on tutorial and laboratory classes to clarify basic concepts and principles involved.
  • It may also be essential to offer remedial classes for weak students.
  • Organization of quiz competitions in basic sciences can also be helpful to considerable extent. This can be further supplemented by organizing science exhibitions.
  • While teaching basic sciences, teachers may use A.V. aids/demonstrations to clarify concepts and principles.
  • The course contents should be proponed to keep essential aspects of applied sciences.

The paper closes by saying that teaching of basic sciences is a must for engineering professional and some of the suggestions made in this paper can go a long way in improving the situation. Suggestions/ remarks if any, may be forwarded to :

Prof.(Dr) L.N. Mittal
e-mail Id:,
Mobile No. 09041011600


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