The Times of India ||
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Six of the seven engineering colleges for women in the state have approached the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for mixed college status. LBS College of Engineering for Women, Poojappura, is the only women’s college that didn’t seek the change. The Kerala Self-Financing Engineering College Managements’ Association has placed the request on behalf of these self-financing colleges at a meeting of technical education stakeholders organized by AICTE in Bengaluru early this month. These colleges had failed to attract enough number of students for their BTech courses. Five of these colleges were among the 13 engineering colleges that recorded less than 30% first-year admission this year while the sixth one fell in the 30-40% admission category.
“Students seem reluctant to join these colleges if they get admission to a mixed college of their choice. These colleges can function effectively only if the AICTE grants them permission to shun the women-only status. We hope the request will be considered favourably,” self-financing engineering college managements’ association president K Sasikumar said. The Kerala Technological University has also partially supported the demand. “We have asked AICTE to give relaxation in the present condition that such a change can be made if admission to a women-only institution is less than 40% seats for three consecutive years,” university pro-vice-chancellor M Abdul Rahman said. “However, we are not in favour of AICTE diluting other conditions mandatory for converting a women-only college into a co-ed college.”
The managements of engineering colleges for women get several relaxations from AICTE. Such colleges need only five acres as against 10 acres for other colleges while the mandatory bank deposit in favour of AICTE is Rs 27 lakh for these colleges as against Rs 30 lakh for mixed colleges. There is relaxation even in the application fee for AICTE affiliation. However, according to AICTE norms, colleges that shed the women-only status should fulfill the other criteria applicable for mixed colleges. Two engineering colleges for women-Yunus Institute of Technology, Kollam, and Holy Grace Academy of Engineering, Mala -were converted into mixed colleges last year and the permission was granted after they fulfilled all additional requirements. – Courtesy