With the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) no longer controlling technical institutions in the country following a Supreme Court order and the Central government and University Grants Commission yet to come out with a clear cut policy, existing engineering colleges and new engineering colleges are in a fix about where to apply for the necessary permission to run their institutions in the coming academic year.
While prior permission is required to start a new institution, existing colleges need to get approval from the authority concerned for extension of approval, increase in intake, starting of additional courses.
Last year, the AICTE started its approval process on November 30, received applications from new and existing institutions till December 31 and the entire approval process was completed by March 31, as per the academic calendar fixed by the Supreme Court in December 2012.
“The order granting or refusing approval should be passed by April 10 of the relevant year. The appeal should be filed within one week and the Appellate Committee should decide on it by April 30 and the university should grant/decline approval/affiliation by May 15. Last date for admitting student is July 30 and academic session should commence from August 1,” the SC order said.
AICTE Southern Region chairman R Rudramoorthy said, “This year, AICTE is not doing anything. The UGC has released a draft regulation on its website. But there is no clarity on who will control technical institutions. Only the Ministry of Human Resource Development can take the decision.”
Due to the present uncertainty, permission for new colleges, for starting additional courses and for increase in intake in existing colleges will be affected, said T D Eswaramoorthy, joint secretary of the Association of Management of Coimbatore Anna University Affiliated Colleges.
“AICTE officials say this year the power will be given to universities through the UGC and next year onwards it will be back with AICTE. Even MHRD Minister Pallam Raju last week said AICTE’s power would be reinstated. So we are confused,” he said.
“The Central government should take a decision immediately and pass a government order allowing
universities to control technical education institutions. We cannot leave deemed universities and private colleges without any control,” he said.
The association’s president K Paramasivam hoped that the Centre and UGC would take a final decision soon and put an end to the present crisis. AICTE and Anna University officials were not available for comment.