THE ALL India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has amended its regulations to arm itself with powers to act against technical institutions with low admission rates.
Earlier this year, the AICTE had announced that institutions with more than 70 per cent vacancy over the past five years would be asked to wind up. The council, however, did not have legal powers to take punitive action in such cases.
“It was important that we amend the regulations, because tomorrow if we decide to proceed against any institution, those affected may challenge the decision in court on the ground that we have no powers to do so,” AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe told The Indian Express.
The council has inserted a new provision to its ‘Grant of Approvals for Technical Institution Regulations’ that states, “For institutions having courses with meagre admission consistently, appropriate action as specified in the Approval Process Handbook shall be initiated with the approval of the Council.” The change was notified in the gazette on Wednesday.
Sahasrabudhe also said that after the AICTE’s announcement, institutions with poor admissions have appealed that they be given two years to improve their numbers. “We are looking into these requests. We haven’t taken a final call yet,” he added.
Last year, there were 37 lakh seats available across all 10,063 AICTE-approved institutions offering technical courses such as management, architecture, engineering, hotel management, MCA and pharmacy. Of these, only 19 lakh seats found takers — translating to 48 per cent vacancy.
The tweaked regulations lay down clear punishment for institutions that do not have the prescribed faculty-student ratio and do not adhere to government payscales and qualifications for teachers. The AICTE now has powers to reduce intake of such institutions, withdraw the council’s recognition to a few courses or to the institute altogether, among other measures.
In addition to the above change, the AICTE has also included new punitive measures against foreign universities which are found guilty of violating Council’s norms for collaboration with Indian institutions. Such foreign universities risk a three-year ban on their India operations, discontinuation of repatriation of funds and withdrawal of work visa granted to its employees.