Activists of Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena (MNVS) on Tuesday gheraoed Technical Education director Dr S K Mahajan,alleging that the directorate has not being doing enough to control the number of unapproved institutes in the state. They said the number of unapproved institutes had gone up from the previous year.
The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had,on March 26,released a list of institutes running unapproved courses. The list,available on its official website,names over 320 institutes across India and Maharashtra tops the list at 108 institutes. Last year,the council had listed 75 such institutes in the state.
The AICTE has been issuing public notices from time to time cautioning the students against taking admission in such unapproved technical institutions. However,at present there is no regulation either to safeguard students from joining such unapproved institutes or even take action against them.
As a statutory body,AICTE and DTE should have the powers to take action against such institutes. We have been following up the issue for the past few years . However,apart from releasing the list of unapproved institutes,the authorities have not being doing anything, MNVS leader Gajanan Kale said.
The MNVS activists gheraoed the director for over an hour. demanding that the DTE register criminal offences against such institutes.
These institutes lure students and exploit them. When the DTE has information about all such institutes,they should take action against them. We have asked the DTE to send a proposal to the state government about conducting a detailed investigation of the matter, MNVS activist Manoj Tekade said.
However,authorities maintain they are not authorised to take action against institutes running unapproved courses. A senior AICTE official said,All institutes figuring in the list run courses not approved by AICTE or the University Grants Commission (UGC). These institutions do not have any right to confer or grant degrees in these courses.
The UGC and AICTE are working towards spreading awareness about this issue. The official said,We have been advised by the HRD Ministry to launch an effective campaign against such institutions. The government is also looking into a legislative proposal to restrict such unfair practices. However,as of now,all we can do is to alert students.
However,an official from higher and technical education department, said it is the responsibility of AICTE and UGC to identify unapproved institutions. We get information on fake universities,illegal and unapproved technical and management colleges,etc and forward the data to AICTE,which is the competent authority. We have no authority to initiate any action against such institutions, he said.
Meanwhile,Mahajan assured the protesters that the DTE would conduct a detailed investigation. We will conduct a detailed investigation of all institutes named in the list and submit a report to the state government by April 30, he said.