India, July 12 -- After a steady decline in recent years, the number of aspirants for diploma programmes in engineering has bounced back in 2019-20. However, the number of applicants for engineering degree courses in Maharashtra this year hit its lowest number in over a decade.

The state directorate of technical education (DTE) has received 66,586 applications for diploma programmes offered at polytechnics across the state - 15% more than the 57,748 students who registered the last year - reversing the trend of the past four years. In 2015-16, the state had received around 1 lakh applications, which dropped to around 80,000 in 2016-17; 65,406 in 2017-18; and 57,748 in 2018-19.

The rising demand for diploma programmes is also at odds wit...