Blame it on AICTE and State Govt
Blame It On AICTE And State Govt. Engineering and ICET admissions are almost over barring the process of filling up of management quota seats.
Engineering and ICET admissions are almost over barring the process of filling up of management quota seats. For the fourth successive year, thousands of seats were left vacant after two rounds of counselling of convener quota. In engineering stream, according to one estimate, more than 1.75 lakh seats are now lying vacant where as in MBA and MCA, nearly one lakh seats remained unfilled.
This scenario is not totally unexpected as the cash-hungry private colleges have been going on increasing their intake each passing year, without improving the necessary infrastructure for the students.
The methodology followed by the AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) for its blind and unrestrained granting of additional intake drew flak from all quarters.
If any college applies for additional intake, without verifying the ground realties, the AICTE is giving its nod. According to an owner of private college, it is nothing but putting a tick mark in the pro forma (of additional intake) and nothing else. More than 60,000 seats have been added this academic year alone but not even one quarter of them were filled.
AICTE simply passes the buck on to the State Council of Higher Education saying that it’s the Council which should ensure the quality standards set by it. “We are just the granting authority. The Council shall see whether sufficient number of faculty, adequate library, labs and necessary infrastructure is in place or not.
The Council shall ask the respective universities to which the colleges were affiliated and basing on the annual inspection reports of committees set up by the varsities, we take the decision” a functionary of AICTE explained.
But the officials of the Council differ with this view.
“It is a fact that the respective affiliating universities are responsible for ensuring the standards. But the AICTE is granting the additional intake without going through the facts. For example, it is known to everyone that there has been dearth of faculty in tech education in the country as a whole.
Similarly, it was informed time and again to the AICTE that the infrastructure in a particular college had not been sufficient to cater the needs of additional intake. Still, it chose to ignore these harsh facts” a senior official of Technical Education Commissionerate said.
“It has not only confined itself to seats remaining vacant but the engineering education in the state as a whole lost its sheen. Except a few elite colleges, the remaining institutions can no longer attract students both within and outside the state” the official felt.
State government has in fact urged the AICTE not to grant new colleges this academic year and in the same breadth it asked the central authority not to grant additional intake.
Even some of the engineering colleges in a meeting held some time back resolved not to press for new intake. But, they went against their own decision and applied for additional seats. The AICTE too has not paid heed to the request of the state government saying that ‘the request is not binding on it’
Task Force.. a wasteful exercise?
State government on its part has constituted Task Force Committees at district, regional and State level to conduct inspections in engineering and other professional colleges to check whether the reports of the colleges that they have sufficient infrastructure and faculty, were true or not.
The inspections were conducted in all the 685 engineering institutions long back, but to this date, nobody knows about the final report. It was aimed at reining in errant colleges, streamlining the situation in almost all the colleges, but nothing concrete happened.
Government has now been working out a plan to release the reimbursement of fee for the economically weaker sections. An estimated Rs 2,750 cr is expected to be released in three installments in the next couple of months. It was earlier thought to hold back reimbursement of fee for under-performing colleges.
But the policy appears to go ahead without any changes in view of the uncertain situation, delayed admissions and lack of new transparent policy.
It is worth mentioning here that the existence of 138 engineering colleges are completely in peril as they could not get even fifty students during the web counselling.
Unless they make a tie up with the neighbouring colleges, they cannot run. Questions over the career of students of these colleges, their fee and reimbursement etc remain to be answered.