Business Standard | Kalpana Pathak | Mumbai October 3, 2015 |
In a bid to stem proliferation of technical institutions, AICTE is planning to revise norms for setting up of such institutions.
Setting up of new technical education institutions is soon going to get tough. In a bid to stem the proliferation of technical institutions, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is planning to revise norms for setting up of such institutions in the country. AICTE is the technical education regulator of the country. Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman, AICTE said, “We want to be more strict with setting up of new institutions. With a large number of seats going vacant in technical education institutions, the norms of setting up of new ones need a review.” Sahasrabudhe took over as the AICTE chairman this July. Many institutes, Sahasrabudhe said, have come forward and expressed their desire to shut down. “This has resulted in engineering seats coming down by 600,000, almost a 40 per cent decline,” he said. Currently India has over 1.67 million engineering seats. AICTE says it has allowed discontinuation of 757 technical and professional courses at educational institutions this year. Of the 757 courses that have been shut, 556 were engineering courses, followed by pharmacy (89), computer application (57) and management (54). Also, 83 colleges — 46 management and 31 engineering colleges — have shut. Majority of these institutions, 345 or 45 per cent, are situated in Telangana and Tamil Nadu. Between 2006 and 2013, engineering institutions saw a growth of 131.5 per cent, rising from 1,511 to 3,498. During the same period, the number of management institutes went up from 1,132 to 2,467, up 118 per cent.
Shankar S Mantha, ex-chairman, AICTE says the proliferation has happened due to lack of a perspective plan from the state governments. “Till states come up with a perspective plan on their educational needs, it will not be possible to stem random proliferation. One needs to know how many students pass out of class X and XII every year. How many of them opt for science, arts or commerce streams? States have to make an estimate of such data and then decide on the seats required for higher studies. These plans can then be discussed in the Cabinet and facilitate decisions,” said Mantha. Mantha said, in the past, when AICTE had denied permission to individuals or institutions from setting up new institutes, it was taken to court. “If states have a perspective plan, AICTE can assess which areas require technical institutions to be set up. In the absence of a plan, it becomes difficult to argue in the court why AICTE denied permission to an institution,” added Mantha. B-school directors say the norms to set up new institutions are not in sync with changing times. For instance, a management institute does not need acres of land to set up a campus. “AICTE should ask for built up area and not land. In addition to this, AICTE emphasises on keeping physical copies of books and journals. In this digital age, neither students nor the faculty uses hard copies. E-books should be emphasised upon,” said the director of a B-school from Noida. AICTE, said professors, should encourage good institutions and not leave it all for the market forces to decide. “Non-serious institutions are indulging in “hire and fire” policy. This demotivates academicians. AICTE has to address all these issues,” the director added. – Courtesy