GoM to study AICTE revival issue

GoM to study AICTE revival issue

GoM to study AICTE revival issue. Confusion prevails over the issue of AICTE as the Union Cabinet failed to arrive at a consensus on restoring the...

l Approvals from UGC may be tough hereafter

Confusion prevails over the issue of AICTE as the Union Cabinet failed to arrive at a consensus on restoring the powers of key central body which has been giving permissions for both the new colleges as well as additional intake.

A Group of Ministers would be constituted soon to study the issue, as per the decision of Cabinet.

The AICTE Amendment Bill is being brought against the backdrop of a Supreme Court ruling which had stripped the body of its powers to approve institutes offering technical courses. It also ruled AICTE does not qualify to affiliate MBA and MCA programmes.

According to information, the matter came up for discussion and there were differences on the Bill. A number of ministers who opposed the Bill on the ground that since AICTE has become a name-sake body by just approving the proposals being sent by the universities, there will be no use in continuation of such Council. More so, since the Supreme Court has curtailed its powers it is better to bury it. But some others, including the HRD Minister MM Pallam Raju have reportedly argued in favour of the revival plan. “The technical education has been expanding on a vast scale across the country and like MCI, the engineering education too should have an independent monitoring authority” he opined.

The HRD Ministry's proposal seeks to amend Section 2(h) of the Act and insertion of Section 24(A) in the Amendment Bill

The Supreme Court’s verdict in April last year had clearly stated that “colleges affiliated to a university do not come under the purview of the definition of "technical institution" as defined under Section 2 (h) in AICTE Act, 1987”.

While the ruling had triggered confusion about the fate of technical education especially of the management programmes, the ministry had also at one point of time, thought of bringing an ordinance to undo the apex court ruling. However, the proposal was dropped later as the ministry was unsure about it being carried through.

To avoid confusion, the MHRD had immediately pressed the UGC into action and transferred all the responsibilities hitherto shouldered by the AICTE. The UGC has also prepared broader guidelines on the matter of affiliating the technical institutes as an interim arrangement till the AICTE (Amendment) Bill is passed by Parliament.

But confusion reign supreme with regard to technical institutions in Andhra Pradesh as how they would get their proposals accepted at UGC level. Many institutions have been making plans for additional intake, in spite of the fact that the number of students is less than the number of available seats. The colleges have to submit their proposals to the affiliated varsity which would in turn forward them to the UGC.

As of now, the AICTE, without going into details, straightaway accepts the proposals. In the words of a member of a private college management, the AICTE simply puts a tick mark to their proposals. Same will not be the case with respect to UGC as it may ask for inspection report and may send its own personnel to know the facts on any proposals.

As the GoM report may not be expected before four weeks, the AICTE revival plan may not be taken up by the present government, according to an MHRD official.

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