Technical institutions across the country, including engineering, polytechnic, management and pharmacy colleges, have to apply for approval from the AICTE every year. The colleges have to upload the details on a portal, which will be verified by the apex body. The approval is mandatory for technical institutions to commence a new academic year.
When technical institutions sought approval for their courses for the academic year 2015-16, the AICTE found that 588 institutions did not satisfy the norms. “This is a routine process and every institution is expected to upload relevant documents and records while applying for approval. If documents pertaining to any norm are not available or not satisfactory, the application is rejected,” an AICTE official said.
When asked about the reasons, the official said most institutions did not satisfy the infrastructure norms or were short on faculty. “From 2011-12 to 2014-15, many institutions have applied for an increase in intake. We have found problems like shortage of faculty and lack of enough classrooms and laboratories in many of the colleges,” the official said.
Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 107 institutions being denied approval, followed by Maharashtra with 88. States like Haryana, an emerging engineering destination in the country, has 32 institutions that have been denied approval for the academic year 2015-16. Tamil Nadu, the state with the highest number of technical institutions in the country, has 31 institutions that have been denied approval.
Principal of one of the 31 colleges in Tamil Nadu that have been denied approval said, “The demand for the course was depleting, and last year we had applied to reduce the intake. This year we have asked the AICTE to scrap the department itself.”
While there are some top institutions on the list, experts say it is because one of their courses has been denied approval. “There are two good colleges on the list. In each, one course did not satisfy the norms, but they are among the top 20 institutions in the state,” said a professor of a private engineering college.
Educational consultant J P Gandhi said, “It is not only the college infrastructure and faculty shortage that matter. Performance of faculty, recruitment of fresh faculty, implementation of biometric attendance system for faculty and research activities are also considered. Some institutions think if they have the required number of teachers it is enough. But, AICTE now looks at yearly performance too.”
Experts say this is an indication of AICTE’s attempts to improve quality in engineering education. “This is good move from the AICTE. In January this year, they made a rule that colleges can apply for an increase in intake only in courses accredited by NBA. Now, a strict verification of documents shows their intent on maintaining quality,” said educational consultant Moorthy Selvakumar.
Source:The Times of India