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AICTE Call on 21 New Technical College Applicants this Week

The New Indian Express |  By Express News Service |  11th April 2016 |

COIMBATORE: The fate of over 400 applications to start new technical education institutions in the country will be decided by the Standing Appellate Committee of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in the coming week. The AICTE has started online application process for starting new technical education institutions, including engineering and technology, pharmacy, architecture, town planning, applied arts and crafts, management, MBA, PGDM, HMCT and MCA degree programmes, from January 21. The apex regulatory body for technical education has received hundreds of application for starting technical education institutions. From this, the AICTE has rejected 408 applications from trusts and societies to start new technical education institutions for various reasons. This includes 21 applications to start new technical education institutions in Tamil Nadu. These trusts and societies were given another chance to appeal against the AICTE decision and told to appear before the Standing Appellate Committee from April 12 to 15.

Apart from this, the Standing Appellate Committee of the AICTE will also hear the case of 40 applications for change in site of the institution, which was also rejected by the apex body.  In addition to this, the Standing Appellate Committee will also look into six applications for converting women only institutions into coeducation institutions. Those applications rejected by the Standing Appellate Committee of the AICTE will not have the chance to start new technical education institutions during this academic year. They have to apply afresh during the next academic year to start their institutions. Meanwhile, the Standing Appellate Committee of the AICTE will also look into the cases of 176 existing technical education institutions in the country, including at least 17 from Tamil Nadu, which have applied for closure of their institutions. – Courtesy       /           Approval Process 2016-17_​Schedule of Standing Appellate Committee (SAC)

AICTE to take lawyers on board

The Asian Age | | Age Correspondent | Mumbai |

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has roped in advocates for the approval process for new and existing institutions. According to officials, the move is aimed at ensuring that the institutions do not resort to any shortcuts as the approval process is online and institutions may submit false or exaggerated details. Accordingto an official from AICTE, ever since the online submission of details for approval was started two years ago, AICTE had received numerous complaints of institutions not sharing accurate details or providing misleading information, as it was not being physically verified. “Complaints ranged from multiple institutions operating from the same premises while each institution has to have an independent structure. Apart from this, classrooms and laboratory details as well as faculty details were being manipulated, based on which the institutions were getting annual approval. Hence, it was decided to not only rope in academic experts but also have advocates on board to initiate penal action against institutions that provide false information,” said the official.

Towards this end, AICTE has issued a public advertisement inviting experts and the legal fraternity to join them so that the online approval process can be strengthened. Institutions coming under the purview of AICTE have to take annual approval for continuation, courses as well as in-take capacity. Based on the information provided through the online submission process, AICTE gives its consent for continuation or permission to increase the in-take or offer newer courses. “AICTE has laid down norms from academic to infrastructure compliances that institutions have to adhere to, failing which their approval is cancelled. While older institutions tend to comply on all parameters, it is the newer ones that try to go around the norms. To curb such practices and send out a strong message AICTE will not tolerate such misdemeanors, experts and advocates will be taken on board,” said the official, adding that AICTE would be including the new persons in the academic monitoring committee too from the next academic year. –  Courtesy

Private Colleges With High NAAC Score Can Seek Autonomy

The New Indian Express |  By Express News Service |  23rd March 2016 |

BENGALURU:  Affiliated private colleges can now secure autonomous status if they have secured high grades from National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). This is if the college gets permission from the university it is affiliated to, said Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Smriti Irani, here on Tuesday. She was speaking at a national conference on “Making India a Global Hub for Quality Higher Education,” organised by the Education Promotion Society of India. She also agreed with the recommendation made by a few private varsities to not have a government nominee on their Boards of Managements. However, she said that if the varsity had to engage with the University Grants Commission (UGC), a nominee from UGC will have to be selected. Speaking at the venue, Prof D P Singh, Director, NAAC, Bengaluru, said that in order to be an important player in the global arena, Indian higher education needs to adopt a truly global outlook. “It involves international collaborations for teaching, research and training along with faculty-student exchange programmes. Our curriculum also needs to match global standards,” he said. A new Education Policy is being formulated and many schemes and reforms are in the pipeline in the education sector, he added.

AICTE Approval

Speaking of annual approvals for various courses from All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), Irani said such practices will be put to an end. Approval for courses will be equated with the accreditation granted to the varsities, which is for a period of five years. The National Achievement Survey, which is conducted once every three years by National Council of Educational Research and Training, will henceforth be conducted every year in all states, she said. Irani said the annual data collection exercise will help in improving the quality of education.

Hike in Fees

If the demands of private medical colleges are heeded by the Medical Education Department, it is likely that their fee will go up ‘substantially’. Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil said the demand is yet to be considered by the Department. He said three medical colleges will open in the next academic year in Karwar, Chamarajanagar and Madikeri, and will have a combined intake of 150 students. –  Courtesy

AICTE issues notices to 279 institutions running without approvals

Economic Times | By PTI | March 10, 2016 |

NEW DELHI: The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has issued notices to 279 institutions found to be running without statutory approvals, Rajya Sabha was told today.  In a written reply to a question, HRD Minister Smriti Irani said the notices have been issued to the institutions to close down programmes or fulfill the mandatory requirements and approach AICTE for approval. Responding to another question, Irani said there is no provision in AICTE Act for blacklisting higher education institutions. She, however, said in case norms are not followed action can be taken, including suspension of approval for supernumerary seats, no admission status in respective courses for one academic year, withdrawal of approval in the respective course, reduction in seats intake, withdrawal of approval of the institution and its closure. “121 such technical institutions have been closed during 2015-16,” she said.  In response to another question, the HRD minister said that as per an independent survey commissioned by it in 2014, 60.64 lakh children were out of school in the age group 6 to 13 years.-  Courtesy

AICTE Says 17 Tamilnadu Technical Colleges Applied for Closure

The New Indian Express |  By S Mannar Mannan |   05th March 2016 |

COIMBATORE: As many as 227 technical education institutions across the country have applied for closure, as against 415 applications for starting new institutions, according to Anil D Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). In both cases, there are 17 applications from Tamil Nadu.  The applications for closing down completely cite the poor demand from students for their courses. Also, a number of institutions have applied to stop offering courses that are not attracting students. Of the 227 applications the AICTE received for closure, 41 are from Telangana. This is the highest from any state. There are 1,289 applications for ending specific undergraduate and postgraduate  courses. While 107 of them are from Tamil Nadu, 302 are from Telangana, he added.

There are 60 per division in an undergraduate course and 18 in a postgraduate course. In the 2015-16 academic year, the AICTE allowed the closure of 121 technical institutions, including 12 from Tamil Nadu. It also allowed other institutions to stop offering 1,093 programmes, of which 130 were from Tamil Nadu. AICTE, the apex regulatory body for technical education in the country, had started accepting online applications to establish new institutions and for renewal of approvals on January 21. The last date to apply for new institutions ended on February 29. Existing institutions have time till Saturday to apply for renewal of approval, with a penalty. Meanwhile, academics said there could be applications to open institutions in major cities. – Courtesy

AICTE changes parameters of qualifications for appointment of teachers, activists unhappy

 Mid Day | By Pallavi Smart | 10 February 2016 |

To tackle the shortage of faculty in technical institutions, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is bringing changes in parameters of qualifications for appointment of teachers. While activists cry that it will dilute the educational standards, AICTE visions it to be a contemporary approach of striking a balance between tackling faculty shortage and giving multidisciplinary industry oriented approach to technical education. Colleges however are happy with the changes as it is making it convenient to fill positions. The AICTE released its approval process Handbook in the last week if January. Taking a review of several aspects of technical institutions, it brings reforms in certain aspects such as faculty appointments, land requirements, accreditations among all. Of these, faculty appointment reforms are experiencing much wrath from activists. These reforms include having 20% visiting faculty who may not have degrees but with industry experience, a candidate who is not masters in engineering but holds equivalent degree in relevant stream in a relevant subject can apply for teaching position.

Vaibhav Narawade, secretary for citizens’ forum for sanctity in education system, talking about the changes said, “It is a great disappointment. The new approval process handbook 2016 did not attempt to improve the approval process. On the contrary, AICTE reduced and relaxed some important statuary norms ignoring quality education, especially the industry experience clause will be exploited by institutions as the criterion on experience is not specified. This will further lead to reduction in teaching jobs with colleges relying more on visiting faculties, hampering the quality of education.”

Santosh Narayankhedkar, principal of MGM college of engineering, said, “The reforms are welcome. It will allow us strike a good balance of faculty. These new parameter are for visiting faculties coming from industry with huge experience. This will rather be very beneficial to students. More than 70% students go to work in the industry. This will be an opportunity for them to learn new technologies from industry experts.”

Suresh Ukrande, former dean of faculty of engineering at the Mumbai University, also appreciated the reforms. He said, “That colleges are facing shortage of faculty is a known phenomenon. The country is not producing as many PhD holders in technology as we require in academics as per the traditional norms. The reform will allow take advantage of industry experts who may not be holding these degrees but have ample experience to educate students.”

Chairman of AICTE Dr. A D Sahasrabuddhe, explaining the regulatory body’s stand, said, “The relaxation is allowed only for 20% of the faculty members. Colleges will have to fill 80% positions as per prescribed norms over the years. The new reforms will not only help colleges deal with faculty shortages, but will also help bridging gap between industry and academia which has been a raising concern.” Elaborating on the thought, Sahasrabuddhe questioned, “Wouldn’t it be more beneficial for an engineering student to know about latest technologies from an industry expert who will be able to present a real time picture in front of students?” He further said, “Anyways, our faculty members are not up to date with latest industry trends and requirements and then we complain about how our educational system is not able to produce graduates desired by industries.” Giving an expert view on the scenario, Dr. Arun Nigvekar, renowned educationist and former chairperson of University Grants Commission, said, “The reforms are not much about relaxations but bring in interdisciplinary approach to teaching with industry and other relevant subject experts. But, with such reforms, it is difficult to know if institutions are misusing the clauses. In that case, it will hamper the quality of education.” –  Courtesy

AICTE launches online dashboard on institutions and Grievance Application Form for Approval Process 2016-2017

The Hindu | Chennai | February 8, 2016 |  R. Sujatha |

The All India Council for Technical Education has created a dashboard on its website with easy access to some basic details about institutions under its purview across the country. Under the section ‘Statistics’ the data provides information about the number of institutions, their intake, the number of faculty and enrolment. According to the data, as of 2015-16 there are 10,329 institutions in government, aided, private and deemed institutions. The sectors include pharmacy, hotel management, engineering and technology, MCA, management, applied arts and crafts and architecture and planning. The data, a self-declaration by institutions, reveals that in Tamil Nadu 2,79,827 seats have remained vacant in the academic year. Though in a couple of months colleges would start the preliminaries for admission process, the data on intake and vacancies for the current year are not available.  An independent educational consultant Moorthy Selvakumaran says the Council has uploaded only basic information but this is only raw data. “It is useful to the students and public but there is no specific information about the quality of the institution. The online system of uploading the details will keep the Council competitive as the Ministry of Human Resource Development has proposed to rank institutions. The need of the hour is to update the website about the number of institutions that have sought National Board of Accreditation (NBA) accreditation,” he says.

Last year, the Council had made it mandatory for colleges to be accredited by the NBA. Yet, the details are missing, Mr. Moorthy points out. Also, the Council is silent on the details about colleges that had violated the rules and the action taken. The principal of a private engineering institution says the Council is still evolving. “Sometime ago even these data were not available. It is a step forward in transparency,” he adds. For institutions, however, the issue of concern is the revision of fee structure. The former Supreme Court Judge B.N. Srikrishna-led committee report on technical education had come up with a range of fee structure for private institutions. The report has been sent to the MHRD for approval. An academician, however, said the decision to hike the fees could be the discretion of the State government. –  The information, though useful, is only basic, says an educational consultant –  Courtesy

Grievance Application Form for AICTE Approval Process 2016-2017

Simple Steps to apply for AICTE Online Approval Process 2016-17

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

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