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Engineering seats dip for first time since 2007

Live Mint | Wed, January 27 2016 | Prashant K Nanda |

AICTE data shows that the number of engineering seats has grown from 3,200 in 1947 to 1,844,642 in 2015-16.  Looking at the current realities, the AICTE too is eager to reduce the engineering intake in the country by almost 600,000 seats over the next few years.

New Delhi: Since Independence, engineering seats have grown 576 times but in the face of poor employability and sluggish job creation, the growth has started ebbing for the first time in several years. As per data compiled by technical education regulator All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the number of engineering seats in the country saw a dip in growth for the first time since 2007. In 2015-16, India had a total intake capacity of 1.84 million, down from 1.9 million in 2014-15, an all-time high. AICTE data shows that the number of engineering seats has grown from 3,200 in 1947 to 1,844,642 in 2015-16.

“The growth of technical education in the country before Independence was very slow. The number of engineering colleges and polytechnics (including pharmacy and architecture institutions) in 1947 was 44 and 43, with an intake capacity of 3,200 and 3,400 respectively,” according to the regulator’s website. “Due to efforts and initiatives taken during successive Five-Year Plans and policy changes in the eighties to allow participation of private and voluntary organisations in the setting up of technical institutions on a self-financing basis, the growth of technical education has been phenomenal,” the regulator said. But in recent times poor quality of education and lack of job creation have given rise to the debate over whether “we need so many engineers”. Looking at the current realities, the AICTE too is eager to reduce the engineering intake in the country by almost 600,000 seats over the next few years. In its new approval process for professional colleges, the technical education regulator has eased the process for closure of technical colleges in the country, Mint reported on 27 January. – Courtesy

AICTE reduces land requirement for opening engineering colleges

Live Mint | Wed, January 27 2016 | Prashanth K Nanda |

New tech colleges can be set up on 1.5 acres in cities, 7.5 acres in rural areas, down from 2.5 and 10 acres respectively.

New Delhi: Technical education regulator the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has reduced the land requirement to set up engineering schools, along with ushering in measures to improve quality, facilitate closure of ailing schools and tide over chronic shortage of teachers. According to the new approval process document that AICTE has prepared for technical schools for the coming academic year, new engineering colleges can come up on just 1.5 acres of land in mega and metro cities and on 7.5 acres in rural areas. Mint has reviewed a copy of the document. Earlier, the requirement was 2.5 acres and 10 acres, respectively.  The move is seen as an attempt by the AICTE to tide over land crunch in the country and also reflects the new thinking that the horizontal sprawl of an educational institution is no longer required in the present context. Instead, institutions have been encouraged to go vertical, up to 10 storeys, provided building by-laws in the region allow such construction. The AICTE move, applicable from this year, comes ahead of a similar exercise that the human resource development (HRD) ministry was mulling for Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management and central universities. That plan is yet to be finalized.

“For the past year, HRD ministry has been debating about reduction in land requirement. AICTE administration believes horizontal sprawl is no more possible or desirable in education sector,” said a government official, requesting anonymity. Under the new approval manual, the regulator has decided to grant affiliation to technical institutions, such as engineering and management schools, for a minimum period of three years if at least 50% of the courses offered by them have been accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA). Right now, all technical institutes are required to apply for fresh affiliation every year from the AICTE. The NBA, autonomous body under the HRD  ministry, accredits individual courses. Technical schools, especially the reputed ones, have been demanding affiliation for longer duration. “In the case of institutions having at least 50% of eligible courses accredited by NBA, and if the valid accreditation period is more than one year, that is, up to 10 April 2017, the period of approval for such institutions shall be for a period of a minimum of three years, or the academic year up to which the accreditation is valid—whichever is more,” stated the AICTE document. It has also made NBA accreditation an enabler for increasing student intake and starting courses.

Some 11,000 technical schools function under the purview of AICTE. The regulator has also brought in a measure allowing for “progressive closure”, under which ailing technical schools will find it easier to shut shop. It will allow an educational entrepreneur to shut a college over a period of time. The move will thus take care of students who have already taken admission. “The institute may apply for complete closure or progressive closure. In the case of complete closure, the institute shall be closed completely in one instance. In the case of progressive closure, closure at the first-year level shall be allowed in the current academic year. The subsequent years of working shall lapse at the end of each academic year progressively,” the regulator said in the document. The move is in line with the AICTE’s plan to cut the number of engineering and management schools that have mushroomed in the last few years. It aims to reduce total number of undergraduate engineering seats by as much as 40%, or by 600,000, over the next few years by facilitating the closure of institutes, Mint reported on 20 September. Besides, it has allowed technical schools to have 20% guest faculty, a move that both education providers and administrators believe will address the teacher crunch and improve industry collaborations. The AICTE said that 20% of the teaching staff in a technical school can be appointed as adjunct faculty, or resource persons, from industry. “The 20% relaxation in faculty recruitment will allow us to bring people with industry experience. This will improve the industry-academia relationship and help tide over teaching staff shortage,” said R. Panicker, the director general of Indo Global Colleges, a chain of private professional colleges in Punjab. – Courtesy

AICTE eases hiring norms for technical institutions

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

Telangana State Private Engineering Colleges May Cut More Seats

The New Indian Express |  Jeevan Kumar Durgam |  26th January 2016 |

HYDERABAD:  After a massive cut in the number of engineering seats by 90,000 in Telangana in the previous academic year,  private engineering colleges are preparing to reduce more number of seats this year too. The private institutes, especially the ones which were denied affiliation for several courses this academic year, are likely to reduce the intake in some of their courses and some colleges are planning to shut their business. Among the 24 disaffiliated colleges, most of them failed to impress the Fact Finding Committee for Affiliation (FFCA) of the JNTU-H. The FFCA members stated that many of the colleges did not improve their facilities. Some of the colleges, lost affiliation for courses like Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

This affiliation row has already hit the intake of these courses in the disaffiliated colleges. As the next academic is year approaching, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has sought applications for change in intake or the cancellation of courses in the colleges. In a recent notice, the AICTE said, colleges that seek No Objection Certificate (NOC) for change in intake, closure of course or the institute can apply before January 30. Meanwhile, the JNTU, sent a reminder to the colleges for removing the names of faculty members who left the institutes.- Courtesy

AICTE to Give 3-year Approval which have valid autonomous status or NBA accredited colleges

The New Indian Express | By S Mannar Mannan |  23rd January 2016 | AICTE to Give 3-year Approval for Recognised Institutions |

COIMBATORE: In a major decision, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has decided to grant approval for a period of three years to colleges which have valid autonomous status or having at least 50 percent of their courses accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA). Presently, all existing technical institutions including engineering and technology and management colleges require getting their approval renewed by the All India Council for Technical Education every year. Shifting from this over a decade old practice, the All India Council for Technical Education  has now decided to give approval for three years.

Colleges which have valid autonomous status conferred by the affiliating university, Anna University in the case of Tamil Nadu, or having at least half of their courses accredited by NBA will now be given approval for a period of three years or the academic year up to which autonomy status or NBA accreditation is valid. “These institutions will be exempted from paying processing fee for extension of approval. But they have to submit institutional information like faculty and students on AICTE portal,” said an AICTE official. Welcoming this, TD Eswaramoorthy, joint secretary of the Association of Management of Coimbatore Anna University Affiliated College said, this will reduce unnecessary tension, as majority of the engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu have sufficient building and laboratory facilities.

Apart from this, the AICTE has also decided to relax its norms pertaining land requirement. The minimum land required for engineering and technology programme is now revised as 1.5 acres in mega and metro cities like Greater Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune and Surat, 2.5 acres in urban areas and 7.5 acres in rural areas. Previously it was 2.5 acres in urban and 10 acres in rural areas. In addition to this, the AICTE has also decided to approve technical institute in urban area, even if it is on at most two contiguous pieces of land, one of them being at least 1.5 acres for accommodating academic, administrative and essential amenities and other one being separated by not more than two kms, can be utilized for sporting infrastructure, hostel, staff accommodation and related education activities of the institution. This move is expected to help those interested in starting new technical institutions in urban areas and metro cities. –  Courtesy

Supreme Court allows AICTE to restart approval process 2016-17

Live Mint | Wed, January 06 2016 | Shreeja Sen| Prashant K. Nanda |

Court allows AICTE to publish its approval manual for all such institutions, including new and existing management and engineering colleges. The Wednesday order will benefit both AICTE as well as technical education institutions.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) to resume the process of approving technical institutions in India. In an interim order passed during the hearing of the Odisha Technical Institutions vs AICTE case, the court allowed the council to publish its approval manual for all such institutions, including new and existing management and engineering colleges.

A case in 2013 had put a question mark on AICTE’s capacity to operate as the technical education regulator of the country. The court had then observed that AICTE should have an advisory, not regulatory role. A year later, it was clarified that it can continue as the regulator pending final decision following chaos in the education space due to regulatory vacuum. The Wednesday order will benefit both AICTE as well as technical education institutions. While the former will regain regulatory strength by its approval process, existing institutions can approach AICTE for extension of their accreditation for 2016-17 academic year. Technical schools need an yearly approval from the regulator to remain as legal entities and admit fresh students. Similarly, new entrepreneurs can seek AICTE approval for setting up fresh institutions.  There are more than 11,000 technical colleges regulated by AICTE –  Courtesy

AICTE asked Technical Institutions to Submit Best Practices

The New Indian Express |  Express News Service |  03rd October 2015 |

COIMBATORE: The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has asked technical education institutions under its control, to submit the best practices followed in their institutions, which could be incorporated by other institutions. These technical institutions have been asked to submit brief information about the best practices followed by them along with other details such as–college name, AICTE permanent institute ID, college address, State or Union Territory in which the institution is located, name of the principal or director or contact person and their contact number. If an institution is following more than one best practice, they need to file them in separate forms. After taking charge as the chairman of the AICTE, Anil D Sahasrabudhe has initiated various steps, which includes soliciting comments from the technical institutions, on the difficulties being faced in filling up the applications online and  changes proposed to be made in approval process, for maintaining better transparency and accountability.

Admission to ME/M.Tech & PhD Programs for Regular Teachers of AICTE approved Degree level Engineering Institutions/NITs/NITTTRs under QIP_2016-17

Meanwhile, the AICTE has also invited application from regular teachers of approved degree level engineering institutions for admission to Masters degree and advance admission to PhD programme under Quality Improvement Programme for the year 2016-17. Candidates can register their names at http://www.qip.iitb.ac.in/applications2016. The closing date of online application is November 3 and the last date for receipt of  application is November 10. – Courtesy    /     AICTE Link

Norms (approval process) to set up new technical institutions to get tough: AICTE

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

Six more engineering colleges want to shed women-only status in Kerala

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

75 per cent curriculum of the Engineering courses to be prepared by the AICTE

September 15,2015  | THE HANS INDIA |

Hyderabad: With the engineering standards declining gradually, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has decided to frame 75 per cent curriculum of the Engineering courses. The universities would be given a free hand in framing 25 per cent of the curriculum based on their requirements and local conditions. Speaking to the Hans India on the sidelines of an awareness workshop on ‘Outcome-based Education and Accreditation’ at the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University-Hyderabad here on Monday, AICTE Chairman Prof Anil Dattatraya Sahasrabudhe said the Council was working on reforms to introduce in the Engineering education. With this move, majority of the syllabus for the Engineering courses across colleges in the country would be similar. Currently, as per the guidelines of the AICTE, universities frame the syllabus for Engineering courses.Further, the AICTE intends to introduce Biological Science in the curriculum of the Engineering education. The new curriculum is likely to come into force from the next academic year.

He urged the Engineering colleges to go for an autonomy status to improve the standards and have excellence.The AICTE Chairman said the standards of Engineering education had come down across the country. He further said 50 per cent of Engineering seats were going begging across the country and the trend of new colleges had been stopped. “What’s the point in running the courses when the required numbers of seats are not filled in colleges? About 15-20 per cent seats remaining vacant is okay but 50 per cent of the seats do not have takers. The college managements are closing the courses,” he lamented. Admitting that there should be 1:20 teacher and students ratio, he said while there had been a demand for the same, they were not takers for the seats and there was no point in continuing the course. “Such programmes should be closed and colleges should start courses which have good demand in the market so that seats will be filled up,” he added.  When asked why the council had failed to keep a check on the erring engineering colleges, the Chairman said granting permission every year was a futile process. “People feel they are being tortured and may resort to corrupt practices if inspections are held every year. We believe that the information provided to us is correct and based on the information we give permissions. If information is found to be false, based on the complaints filed, either we cut the intake or drop the course or permission to the college,” he said.  – Courtesy

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