The Tribune | January 26, 2016 | Rajmeet Singh | Chandigarh |
Relaxations will discourage colleges from enrolling ‘ghost faculty’
Even as the issue of ghost faculty in medical colleges has become a bone of contention between Minister for Medical Education and Research Anil Joshi and Punjab Medical Council (PMC) President Dr GS Grewal, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has come to the rescue of technical institutions on hiring of teaching faculty. The relaxations in hiring the faculty will discourage the 500 technical institutions from enrolling “ghost faculty” to fulfil the previous AICTE norms on the student-teacher ratio. According to the revised AICTE norms, experts from the industry and retired faculty can be employed as adjunct faculty in technical institutions. Now 20 per cent faculty members can be adjunct faculty and the remaining 80 per cent faculty has to be full time. Considering the shortage of faculty in the country, the student-computer ratio has been reduced from 1:6 to 1:8. Another major relaxation to colleges is in the form of land requirement. On the one hand, new colleges will have to invest less on the land, while the existing colleges will be able to expand more on the land already available with them which will be now surplus. The land required for engineering college has been reduced from 10 acres to 7.5 acres. The land requirement for polytechnic colleges has been reduced from 5 acres to 4 acres and the land needed for pharmacy, architecture and management colleges have also been reduced in almost same proportion. Instead of 2.5 acre contiguous land, now land could be in two parts i.e. 1.5 acre and 1 acre within the radius of 2 km in urban areas. “Such steps in the new approval process of 2016-17 will give a new life to ailing unaided colleges,” said Anshu Kataria, Vice-President of the Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association.
Besides, the AICTE has decided to grant approval for a period of three years to colleges which have valid autonomous status or having at least 50 per cent of their courses accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA). Earlier, all existing technical institutions, including engineering and technology and management colleges, had to get their approval renewed by the All India Council for Technical Education every year. However, the issue of hiring faculty in 12 private universities in Punjab — not governed by the AICTE — remains unaddressed as the state government is yet to set up a regulatory body for the universities. Prof Mohan Paul Singh Ishar, Vice-Chancellor of Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda, said there was a need for law to regulate the private universities. – Courtesy