Times of India | 18 July 2018 |
Chairman of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) which regulates technical institution across the country Anil Sahasrabudhe believes that a regulator should not limit itself to inspection, it should also be a facilitator. In an interview with TOI, the head of the national-level apex advisory body talks about where engineering colleges are going wrong and why TN colleges are suffering.
Q: AICTE is known to conduct surprise inspections. What were the major problems found during these inspections? A major issue is fake names of faculty members on the list of colleges. Although we have relaxed the student-faculty ratio from 1:15 to 1:20, there have been institutions who don maintain the minimum ratios. Several of these colleges show a ratio of 1:30 or 1:50. Worse, the faculty register has names of people who are not employed by the institute. Last year, more than one lakh names of faculty members were weeded out across colleges after inspections. Now, we have started asking colleges for Aadhaar and PAN cards of teachers so that they cannot show inflated numbers. Another issue is that many of these colleges are not paying salaries of teachers as per the prescribed standard.
Q: What were the problems you encountered while inspecting Tamil Nadu institutions? In the past three to four years, a major concern in the state has been that less than 10% of the seats are filled in many engineering colleges. For any institution to function well, 50% to 60% of the seats need to be filled. This is needed to pay the teachers, maintain equipment and ensure overall quality of the institution. When there are not enough students, the pay of faculty members gets affected, good teachers are not sustained and in turn admissions suffer when the quality goes down. It becomes a cycle. Because colleges do not want to cut down on intake, we are forced to close down institutions. For colleges that are unable to ensure the sufficient number of new entrants, the approval process handbook provides options of starting courses for skill development, applied arts and sciences so as to utilize the existing manpower and resources. However, many are not aware of the guidelines in the handbook.
Q: Do we need a single accreditation body to regulate all institutions? When it comes to technical institutions, we have only two the National Board of Accreditation (for programme-based accreditation) and the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (institution-based accreditation). In the general scenario of education, having multiple agencies is not a bad idea as it may help in simultaneous accreditation of multiple institutions through different agencies given the large number of institutions we have in the country. What we need is a team of people who have integrity and can carry out the process fairly to prevent corruption in these processes.
Q: How important is accreditation in impacting the existence and approval of colleges in future? For the first time, we are going to introduce a rule where colleges may risk losing approval if two-thirds of their programmes are not accredited. Starting from this academic year, the colleges will have four years to achieve this. This is a suggestion that came from the ministry of human resource development. Q: With regard to architecture schools, the council of architecture and AICTE individually carry out inspections. Some schools have been complaining The two bodies should ideally carry out a joint inspection to make the process simpler. We have spoken about this with the council. They initially agreed but somehow it has not translated into practice. The only way forward would be through amendments to the AICTE Act; so that the apex body has full power to carry out inspections across architecture schools.- Courtesy
Accredited courses a must for approval – The Hindu, 18 July 2018
Institutions were given four years to comply, says AICTE
In another four years, it would become mandatory for every institution to get accreditation for 2/3rd of its courses to receive approval, AICTE Chairman Anil D. Sahasrabudhe said here on Tuesday. He was speaking at a workshop for institutions in the five southern States to discuss the feedback on approval process for the current academic year and the suggestions for 2019-2020 at the Anna University. The MHRD and the Niti Aayog had come down heavily on the Council for approving institutions with unaccredited courses, he said. “If of the six programmes in a college four are not accredited, then the approval may be withdrawn. This is a regulation requested by the ministry to be implemented by the AICTE in order to maintain quality of standards in the institution,” he said.
The Chairman said he had sought four years’ time to comply with the requirement. “We told them that overnight it is very difficult to accredit 10,000 institutions,” he said. The Council would facilitate institutions in preparing self-assessment reports. Niti Aayog had also insisted that institutions should put up all details regarding accreditation pending/process on their website, Mr. Sahasrabudhe said. To a complaint from an institution in Udupi that the AICTE’s regional office was unresponsive he said the Council would open a Facebook page for the institutions to discuss with the chairman their issues. On the concern that institutions with a NAAC score of over 3.26 were permitted to start courses and increase intake he said the Council reserved the right to withdraw the approval if written, signed complaints of violation of norms are received. The council had approached the different boards of studies to give their requirements to enable the council ensure that the norms are followed, Mr. Sahasrabudhe said. The Council was working on signing special accords as required for courses such as architecture and pharmacy to improve opportunities for students, he added.Anna University Vice Chancellor M.K. Surappa urged institutions to adhere to the systems and processes and not deviate or dilute the system. – Courtesy