Over 27 lakh engineering seats have been lying vacant across various engineering colleges in the country over the last three years, an All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) data said on Thursday.

According to AICTE, 9,07,632 seats were vacant across various colleges in the country in the academic year 2016-17. The figure at 8,97,914 was comparably low for the year 2015-16 .

There are 10,361 engineering institutions in the country, that are approved by AICTE, with a total intake of 37,01,366.

While the number of seats for undergraduate students have declined, there has been an increase in the number of vacant seats for the post-graduate courses. "If you look at the figures for the last three years, there has not been much change in the number of undergraduate seats as compared to that of the post-graduate seats," said a senior AICTE official.

The ministry of human resource development has been trying to inspire the engineering graduates by introducing mandatory internships and making the course more industry relevant. AICTE has devised a 10-year plan for reviving engineering education, including expansion of technical education from socio-economic perspective, inclusiveness in technical education, increasing the role of information and communications technology in education and accessing the needs of the industry.