Rising Interest in AI Courses: MHT-CET 2024 Sees Record Applications Despite Industry Challenges

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MUMBAI: Aspirants seeking admissions to engineering, pharmacy, and agricultural education courses in the state have increased by 14%. In absolute numbers, close to 90,000 more students have applied for the MHT-CET 2024 from across the state, bringing the total number to 7.25 lakh. The number of MHT-CET applicants has never crossed the 7 lakh mark in recent years.With the state government extending benefits to transgender students from this year, the CET cell has seen registrations from 49 students seeking admissions for different professional courses in the state.
In 2021-22, a little over 5 lakh students had applied for the MHT-CET, and in 2022-23, the numbers rose to 6.07 lakh. From last year, the numbers have gone up by 88,228, but the jump is significant in the PCM group (see box). An official said that the PCB group also appears for NEET-UG for admissions to MBBS, BDS, and other health science courses. MHT-CET is taken by students keen on seeking admissions in state engineering colleges. The number of aspirants has been on the rise in recent years, owing to a large number of new courses being introduced by the All-India Council of Technical Education, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, data sciences, and data analytics, said a CET cell official. He said that there are many takers for these courses, and colleges are increasingly adding these courses to their lists.
Principal GT Thampi from Thadomal Shahani College of Engineering, however, said that they had expected the number of applicants to drop this year, owing to the IT industry scenario. “The recession in the US and especially the layoffs in IT companies there has had an impact on the Indian market too. The recruitment season was not as buoyant in many colleges here in the academic session 2023-24, including the IITs. Probably, people feel that this is a temporary situation, and that AI is the future and the biggest wealth creator citing the massive success stories of NVIDIA and Open AI, therefore these courses will remain in demand,” said Thampi.
A CET cell official said that for the first time they sought applications in a separate category from transgender students. For MHT-CET alone, 26 students have applied, and it is a great start, said the official. The state government, for the first time, had issued guidelines to colleges and universities directing them to set up transgender cells to address their issues. In an earlier directive, colleges and universities have been asked to give students a full fee waiver too.
Comparison of MHT-CET Subject Group Applicants: 2024-25 vs. 2023-24

MHT-CET Subject Group 2024-25 2023-24 Difference in Numbers
PCB 3.14 lakh 3.03 lakh 11,283
PCM 4.10 lakh 3.33 lakh 76,945
Total 7.25 lakh 6.37 lakh 88,228

MHT-CET exam dates clash with elections
The State’s CET Cell has realized that MHT-CET exams on two days clash with the election dates in the state – April 19 and 26. The exams are scheduled to take place at centers in Maharashtra from April 16 to 30. The cell is contemplating rescheduling exams on these dates, and students will be notified about it.



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