Engineering colleges that have less than 30% admissions of the total approved intake for five years in a row would not get a fresh approval from the All India Council for Technical education (AICTE), as per the set of rules released for 2017-18. The move is expected to address the issue of vacant seats across engineering colleges in the state. The council recently released a set of rules for the new academic year which would be mandatory for all the engineering colleges across the state for the year 2017-18. One of the most important norms set as per the new guidelines is the non-approval of courses that have had poor intake in the last five years – “Institutions having Courses where the admission is less than 30% of approved intake for the last 5 years consistently and if it continues for the current Academic Year, such Courses shall be closed next year with the approval of the Council,” states the handbook of guidelines.
While the decision is hailed as a positive step considering the fact that more than 50% seats across engineering colleges in the state are lying vacant this year, experts have shown concern over the fact that colleges that miss the mark by a few points would still be given approval. “It is indeed a great step considering that there are several colleges in which courses with low demand have been running for the last several years. This would help put a cap on the vacancies that increase every year” said Prof. GD Yadav, Vice Chancellor, Institute of Chemical Techology. Dayanand Meshram, Joint Director, DTE said that while there are several colleges that have vacant seats, the norm cannot be used to stop all the courses as it demands a consistently poor intake for 5 years. “Some colleges that are on the border-line cannot be included under this they need to have lower than 30% intake consistently for 5 years,” added Meshram. Some of the infrastructure norms that have undergone a change from last year’s rules include mandatory occupational certificate unlike earlier relaxation of conditional approval, reduction in the area requirement to start a new college from 2 acre to 1.5 acre, reducing the space allocated for staff rooms from 30 square metre to 20 square metre, etc.
Professor Vaibhav Narwade, secretary, Citizen Forum for Sanctity in Education, a non-profit body working in the field of technical education said that apart from reducing the resources, the new guidelines seem to have very ambiguous penal actions for colleges that do not comply. “There is a set of guidelines applicable for all violations but the fact that the competent authority can use any of those and not a specific guideline for a particular offence gives an opportunity to colleges to get minimum punishment” added Narwade. “An Institution running any Programme/ Course in Technical Education in violation of Regulations/ Approval Process Handbook (APH) 2017-18, shall be liable to appropriate initiation of Penal action including fine, no admission, reduction in “Approved Intake”, Withdrawal of Approval and/ or criminal action by the Council against defaulting Trust/ Society/ Company/ Associated Individuals and/ or the Institution, as the case may be,” state the guidelines. – Courtesy