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Upper, lower fee limits soon for engineering courses

Deccan Herald | Prakash Kumar | DH News Service | New Delhi | Dec 11 2017 |

The All India Council for Technical Education has kick-started the process to fix  minimum and maximum fees for engineering courses, and assigned the task to a committee headed by Justice (Retd) B N Srikrishna. The move  comes two years after the council accepted the recommendations of a 10-member committee – headed by the same judge – on capping the fees for engineering, architecture, information technology, management, pharmacy and nursing courses.  But that committee had prescribed only the maximum fee limits. Many technical institutions  from different states demanded a uniform minimum fee limit, too. They argued that they  were struggling to run  technical courses as  several states had fixed the minimum fee limit in the absence of guidelines from the AICTE, official sources in the council said.  “To address their grievances, the council has decided to fix both minimum and maximum fee limits for all technical institutes. The Srikrishna committee has been asked to make fresh recommendations,” a source added. The fee limits, to be notified on the basis of the panel’s recommendations, will also apply to the deemed-to-be-universities that offer technical programmes in various disciplines, the sources said. The AICTE had formed the Justice Srikrishna committee, asking it  to prescribe fee limits so as to check profiteering by private institutions. The  council’s move followed the Supreme Court verdict in the TMA Pai Foundation case. The committee submitted its report in 2015,  prescribing  varying maximum fee limits for technical programmes on the basis of factors such as  tuition and development fees in tier-1, tier-II and tier-III cities. – Courtesy

AICTE wants a minimum fee for technical courses –    Neelam Pandey |  Hindustan Times, New Delhi |  Dec 10, 2017  |

Justice Srikrishna committee had put a ceiling on maximum fee institutes can charge but did not prescribe the minimum amount for courses.

A year after the regulatory body put a ceiling on the maximum fee technical institutes can charge students, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has now prescribed a minimum fee for the colleges governed by it. A government-appointed committee had recommended putting a cap on the tuition fee last year, following which AICTE directed all the states to implement the recommendation at all private institutes for technical courses, including engineering and MBA. But no word on minimum fee meant several states lowered the fee for various courses. The AICTE has written to the Justice Srikrishna committee that was set up to fix a fee cap for technical institutes, asking them to prescribe the minimum fee as well. Sources in the HRD ministry said the committee has accepted the suggestion in-principal. There are over 7,000 institutes under AICTE.

“A number of institutes have written to us that in some states they have been asked to lower the fee to Rs30,000 per semester which is not feasible. They said they are adhering to the maximum fee cap but a minimum limit should also be set. We have written to the committee and they have agreed to it. It will be worked out soon,” said a senior AICTE official. The AICTE last year made it mandatory to implement proposals of the National Fee Committee, a 10-member panel headed by former Supreme Court Judge BN Srikrishna, which was formed in 2014 to prescribe fee guidelines for technical institutions. The AICTE had said that institutions failing to comply with the recommendations will face legal proceedings and cancellation of their AICTE approval.  The report prescribed caps on tuition fees and related funds charged by institutes for engineering, management, pharma and technical courses. But autonomous and accredited institutions will be allowed to charge an additional 10% and 20% tuition fees respectively. IITs will not be affected by the move as they do not require the AICTE’s approval. For instance, the committee had fixed the maximum (tuition and development) fee for a two-year MBA course at Rs1.57 lakh to Rs 1.71 lakh per annum, depending on the location of the institute. The annual fee for a four-year engineering degree (BE or B Tech) was fixed at Rs 1.44 lakh to 1.58 lakh. Similarly, maximum fee for technical courses like B Arch, B Pharma, MCA and M Tech were are fixed by them. – Courtesy

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AICTE new rules: Technical institutes to publish complete list of fees on websites

Hindustan Times | Neelam Pandey  | New Delhi | Dec 07, 2017 |

Failing to follow these norms will mean that colleges will have to pay a fine — the amount being twice the total fee collected per student.

All technical institutes in the country will now have to publish a complete list of fees, on their websites and will not be permitted to charge students for any other costs, according to new rules notified by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) on Thursday. Failing to follow these norms will mean that colleges will have to pay a fine — the amount being twice the total fee collected per student. Not only this, the AICTE can also suspend approval for NRI and supernumerary seats given to any institution for one academic year. Also, according to the new rules, no institute will be able to name itself a way that the abbreviated form of the name matches the country’s premier institutes — IIM, IIT, IISc, NIT or government bodies such as AICTE, UGC, MHRD, GoI. The council says this rule was brought in to avoid confusion. “This (naming institutions along similar lines) is often done to mislead the students and they end up taking admission in such institutes,” said a senior AICTE official. The regulations have been notified in a document called the All India Council for Technical Education (Grant of Approvals for the Technical Institutions) (1st Amendment) Regulations, 2017. As per the notification, fees charged by these institutions will have to be clearly announced on their website.  No other fees can be collected from the students aside from those that are fixed by the state/fee regulatory committee.  The norms have also prescribed penalties for violations. For instance, the penalty for charging excess fees will be twice the total fees collected per student.

The excess amount collected will also have to be refunded to the student. Additionally, the sanctioned intake of the institute will also be cut down. The institute can also lose its approval to operate along with its approval for the programme/course.  “The applicant shall also not use the word(s) Government, India, Indian, National, All India, All India Council, Commission anywhere in the name of the Technical Institution and other names as prohibited under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use), Act, 1950…” reads the notification issued by the council. The notification also extends to foreign universities/institutions operating in India by opening their own centres or having entered into partnerships with domestic institutions. The notification adds that in such cases, the council will inform concerned agencies including the ministry of external affairs, the home ministry and the Reserve Bank of India of their decision and advise them against issuing visas to employees/teachers and to stop repatriation of funding. – Courtesy

AICTE Approval Process Handbook 2018 – 2019

PUBLIC NOTICE
FOR APPROVAL PROCESS 2018 – 19
Approval Process Handbook 2018 -19 will be published in the first week of December 2017 ensuring timely processing of approvalsfor the Academic Year 2018-19for the existing Technical Institutions as well as new establishments. All applicants are requested to read the AICTE Approval Process Handbook 2018-19meticulously before submitting on line applications for the Academic Year 2018-19.  –    Prof. ALOK PRAKASH MITTAL, Member Secretary, AICTE —– Click here to View / Download the AICTE Circular, 1 page, pdf
For important dates and updates do visit this page

AICTE to shut down 300 engineering colleges in India? Check if your institution is in danger too!

Financial Express | FE Online |  December 2, 2017 |

Meanwhile, another 500 engineering colleges are under the scanner for not being able to fill up seats according to a senior HRD official.

In a decision taken by the government, more than 300 private engineering colleges would be reportedly asked to stop functioning from the 2018-19 academic session. The institutions which have less than 30 percent enrolment for five consecutive years, would be asked not to undertake any admission process for any fresh batch, as per the report by the Times of India. With total intake capacity of 13.56 lakh, India has close to 3,000 private engineering colleges offering undergraduate courses, as per the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) website. The report adds that out of these, there are around 800 engineering colleges whose enrolment percentage is less than 50 percent. Not only this, as per the Human Resource Department (HRD) sources, over 150 out of 300 institutions which would be asked to close operations as engineering colleges, have less than 20% enrolment. So, if your college is also having the same problem, it might have to face the heat. Meanwhile, another 500 engineering colleges are under the scanner for not being able to fill up seats according to a senior HRD official. All such colleges have been asked by AICTE to consider alternate options like converting to science colleges or vocational education institutions, the report added. The matter will, however, be finalised by end of December 2017.

AICTE earlier in the month of September wanted to shut down about 800 engineering colleges across India as there are no takers for their seats, and the admissions are plunging in these institutions. AICTE has earlier given a nod to the closure of more than 410 colleges across India, from 2014-15 to 2017-18. Out of these 20 are in Karnataka. The maximum number of institutions was approved for closure in 2016-17. Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have the maximum number of institutions that were shut, the report added. A progressive closure means that the college can no more admit students to the new batch but the existing students will continue. AICTE had also introduced the plan for teachers training keeping in mind the quality of engineering education and their employability being a big challenge. – Courtesy

Ailing engineering colleges get 3-year ‘lifeline’ to perform

The Times of India | Shoeb Khan | TNN | Oct 11, 2017 |

JAIPUR: In a major respite to poorly performing engineering colleges across India, the All India Council for Technical Education has relaxed its proposal of closing down such colleges which have an average of 30% and below enrolments in the last three years.  The new proposal, exclusively shared with TOI by AICTE member secretary Alok Prakash Mittal, says these colleges will now be observed for next three years and if their enrolments remain less than 30% in coming academic years too, they will be closed down. In Rajasthan, 50% of the colleges were falling in poor performer category.  “Our earlier proposal was subjected to extreme legal vetting. It was also realised that they (institutions) should be given time to perform for the next three academic sessions.Still, if they didn’t meet the benchmark of 30% enrol ments they will face closure.The new proposal will be formally discussed in the executive meeting to be held in this month. ,” said Mittal, while talking to TOI on the sidelines of his lecture in a private university in Jaipur on Tuesday.

He argued that they (poorly performing institutes) are not generating enough financial resources to meet the quality of education and to provi de facilities to students. “In the present academic session off 36 lakh seats in technical institutes, 20 lakh seats were filled leaving the rest vacant,” informed Mittal.   This year 122 engineering colleges have applied for progressive closure including 10 from Rajasthan. The revised proposal will give a new lease of life to the technical institutes facing a dearth of students in Rajasthan and in the country for atleast three years.   Elaborating on steps taken by the AICTE to promote technical education in the country, Mittal says that AICTE funded Smart India Hackathon event in 2017 providing a platform for students to provide IT solutions to the Central government ministries. “It had been a great success as many of the solutions suggested by the students has been executed successfully. It has instilled confidence among the students,” said Mittal, who announced that next season-2018 the AICTE will allow students provide hardware solutions to the ministries in Hackathon. “Our plan is also to add management solutions in the Hackathon to widen its reach,” said Mittal, who hinted that in the coming year’s states can also hold state departments specific Hackathons.  Keeping in the line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create an ecosystem for job creators, the secretary has informed that AICTE is revising the model curricula by adding `Startup’ policy in it. The curricula will be ready to be implemented from the next academic session. The secretary believes that every institute follows up 80% of their curricula and will promote the startups among students. “The AICTE also gives financial support to Start-Ups on the basis of the merit. A team of experts evaluate the startup’s feasibility before shortlisting them for support,” said Mittal.- Courtesy

AICTE to crack down on institutes offering technical education without approval

Prakash Kumar |  DH News Service | New Delhi | Aug 14 2017 |

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is gearing up for a crackdown on the institutes offering technical programmes without its approval in different parts of the country.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is gearing up for a crackdown on the institutes offering technical programmes without its approval in different parts of the country. It has decided to collect information about such institutes from the general public and take “appropriate legal action” against them. As the Council’s regulations revised in 2016, such institutes are liable to face “punitive and criminal action” for violation of the AICTE Act. “Let people inform us about such institutions. We will conduct an inquiry and take legal action against them. We have issued a public notice inviting people to come forward and inform us about institutions offering technical programmes without obtaining any approval from the Council,” an AICTE official told DH.

To offer technical education in the country, the institutions need to have the mandatory prior approval of the AICTE in accordance with the section 10 and 11 of the AICTE Act, 1987 and Regulation 2016, the official added. The move comes as a large number of institutions continue to offer technical programmes without any approval from the AICTE despite several requests were made to the States to put a check on such institutes in the best interest of students. “We have requested the State Governments and the Universities operating in different parts of the country to ensure that the institutes seeking a grant of affiliation from them have obtained a prior approval of the AICTE to offer technical programmes,” the official said. Any Institute not having prior approval from the AICTE and offering degree, diploma or certificate programmes in technical education are liable “to punitive legal/criminal action” in accordance with para 9 and 10 of the AICTE regulations, 2016 as notified in the Gazette of India on November 30 last year, the official added. – Courtesy  /   AICTE Notification : Public Notice – Prior Approval from AICTE

AICTE conducts surprise checks at 41 engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu

The New Indian Express | Express News Service  |   21st May 2017 |

CHENNAI: The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) inspected 311 engineering colleges across the country recently. Of these, 41 colleges were in Tamil Nadu, the Chairman Anil D Sahasrabudhe told a conclave on  ‘creating competent engineers for a new India, with innovative minds and entrepreneurial capabilities’ on Saturday. He also announced that from the coming academic year, the first three to four weeks, engineering colleges will have no classes. The period would be used to focus on soft skill development and also socialisation of students. Especially for the ones who hail from rural background and after joining college, feel out of place. Sahasrabudhe said a surprise inspection was done in 311 colleges which was three per cent of the total number of colleges in the country. “Of the 311 colleges, 41 colleges were from Tamil Nadu. In the first round when we checked, 187 colleges were having deficiency. Deficiency may range from minor to major deficiencies. More than 60 percent had deficiency,” he said. When show cause notice was given to the colleges, some of them who had minor deficiencies rectified them. They were given two to three month’s time to rectify. There were 45 percent vacancies in all colleges in every State.

He also said 28 colleges on their own applied for closure, of which six had no admission.  Sixteen new institutions had come up in Tamil Nadu of which eight were  pharmacy, two are for engineering and two for government polytechnic and four for post graduate diploma. Prist University got approval from AICTE for Chennai and Madurai campuses. Amrita School of Engineering is to open a new college with 300 seats. In the MGR Film institute, the diploma courses will be closed and will be upgraded into degree courses. Speaking on soft skill development and socialisation during the first month of the engineering classes, he said that during orientation day, there is not much interaction with students. Students coming from rural areas feel out of place as they might not be speaking good English. Also there are students who have inhibitions to talk to others.“First three to four weeks there won’t be any class at all. Teachers will focus on soft skill development so that those who are not fluent with English or do not know English,” he said adding therefore a student’s ability to express is important. He may express his ideas in his language. This will help develop his self confidence. “We will also teach physics, chemistry and mathematics which they learned in Classes XI and XII. After this they will start their regular course,” he said adding that teachers will be trained in this. Initially, they will be trained by IIT experts. – Courtesy

Anna University cuts intake for courses in 44 engineering colleges across Tamil Nadu

The New Indian Express | S Mannar Mannan  |  Express News Service  |   16th May 2017 |

COIMBATORE: Inspection teams of Anna University, which visited private engineering colleges across the State, have found that select courses offered by 44 engineering colleges are not supported by adequate faculty strength and infrastructure. The university has therefore decided to reduce the number of students allowed for these courses. Ahead of the new academic year, Anna University had sent separate inspection teams to around 530 self-financing engineering colleges to check whether they have adequate faculty strength and infrastructure, including classrooms, laboratories and libraries. The visits, which began in mid-February, were completed recently.  The university had sent notices to the colleges short of the required faculty and infrastructure, asking them to rectify the shortfalls. They were also asked to send compliance reports. Based on the compliance reports, the university has taken a final call.  “As per the Supreme Court order, we have to complete the affiliation process before May 15.

The final decision on extending the affiliation of engineering colleges was taken during a meeting on Saturday,” said a highly placed source in the university.  “The university has decided to reduce the intake of some courses offered by 44 private engineering colleges, as they were found short of faculty and infrastructure. Some of them have rectified the deficiency highlighted by the university and they have been granted affiliation and allowed full intake,” the source added.  Meanwhile, 11 existing private engineering colleges did not apply for affiliation this year. “These colleges will be closing down from this academic year. Existing students could be shifted to other colleges,” the official said. The university has completed its affiliation process and is now awaiting the extension of approval process by the AICTE. – Courtesy

More than 220 educational institutions across India seek AICTE nod for closure

The New Indian Express | S Mannar Mannan  |  Express News Service  |   04th March 2017 |

COIMBATORE: Not all institutions offering engineering and management courses attract students like the premier colleges to which students make a beeline. This was once again proved when a whopping 221 institutions of technical education across the country applied to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for closure from the coming academic year.  In the last five years, the apex regulatory body for technical education had permitted the closure of 507 institutions — 122 in 2016-17, 125 in 2015-16, 77 in 2014-15, 111 in 2013-14, and 72 in 2012-13, according to a senior AICTE official.  In Tamil Nadu, there were 30 closures in the last five years — 12 each in 2014-15 and 2015-16 and three each in 2013-14 and 2016-17. In 2012-13, no institution was closed down in the State.

On the other hand, the AICTE received 477 online applications to open new institutions. There were also 10,337 online applications for extension of approval from existing institutions.  Information in this regard, specific to Tamil Nadu and separate figures for engineering and management colleges, were not immediately available, the official said. Commenting on the scenario, T D Eswaramoorthy, secretary of All India Federation for Self-financing Technical Institutions, said, “In the last couple years, a large number of technical institutions in Telangana were closed as the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University is following rules strictly.”  “In other parts of the country, the majority of colleges closed were part of groups. Some managements had opened many colleges to overcome the earlier restrictions on the number of students a college could admit… The promoter of a technical institution has to spend around Rs 25 crore in the first four years. The break-even point can be reached only in the 12th year,” he added.  –  Courtesy

Self-financed technical institutes unite to fight ‘AICTE bias’

Deccan Herald | New Delhi, Feb 13, 2017, DHNS |

Self-financed technical institutes have launched a front to fight against what they describe as “the AICTE bias” against them, saying the technical education regulator has framed all the rules for them and let off the deemed and private universities which also offer technical courses.

Demanding for a uniform set of regulations for all higher educational institutions offering engineering and other technical programmes in the country, the unaided private colleges on Sunday announced formation of an All India Federation of Technical Institutes (AIFTI) to carry forward their fight. “While there are government committees in states to fix the maximum tuition fee that we can charge from students, there is no such rule for the deemed universities and private universities offering technical programmes,” said Pradeep Kumar, vice president of the newly-formed AIFTI, at a press conference. The regulations of the All India Council for Technical Institutes (AICTE) require self-financed institutes to have a minimum area of 60,000 square feet to offer just one course, while the deemed universities and private universities can offer any number of courses in just 20,000 square feet area,” V K Verma, chairman of Shri Ram College of Technology, Bhopal, said.

Money power
“If you have money, you can get a degree in a technical programme without attending any classes and taking examination. There are many deemed universities and private universities in the country ready to offer you such a deal if you pay for it. There is no one to monitor their functioning,” the AIFTI vice president said. More than 8,000 self-financed institutes have been offering technical programmes approved by the AICTE in various disciplines.  Of them, over 4,000 institutes offer undergraduate degree programmes in technical education. A total of 554 self -financed technical colleges are operating in Karnataka while 1,201 such institutes are operating in of Tamil Nadu. Deemed and private universities offering technical programmes get their approval from the University Grants Commission.

“While deemed universities offering technical courses have to submit some details to the AICTE, the private universities offering technical courses are completely out of the ambit of the university,” AIFTI president R S Munirathinam, who is also the founder-chairperson of the RMK Group of Institutions in Chennai, said. About 127 deemed universities are operating in the country, besides a total of 176 private universities under the states. While 37 of the total deemed universities are fully run and managed by the government, 11 are government-aided and 79 are fully private deemed universities. “There is no regulation to fix their intake while the AICTE regulations require us to admit a maximum 180 students per course. We do not want such discrimination. We want one rule for all,” Munirathinam added. –  Courtesy