Private engineering colleges are gearing up to stymie a government decision to make them subject to surprise visits by a task force mandated to check if college infrastructure is up to scratch. The colleges are planning to convene a general body meeting of all private engineering college managements to work out their response to the government's move to cap the fee reimbursement scheme and bring in a uniform fee structure.
The proposal to open up the colleges to surprise checks is likely to figure strongly in the agenda.
"We will be subjected to multiple inspections in a year's time. These checks will be different from the inspections carried out by All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE). Task force checks will happen every three to six months,” said K V K Rao, chairman of the college lobby, the Consortium of Engineering and Private College Managements Association (CEPCMA).
He added that any provision penalizing colleges that fall short of the requirements would only add to their burden. He confirmed that the checks will be discussed.
Earlier this year, AICTE had barred 40 engineering colleges in the state from proceeding with admissions as they did not meet the norms laid down by the council.
“Like other institutions, engineering colleges too run with some deficiencies. It is unfair to target some private colleges,” said K V K Rao.
During the AICTE inspections this year, many engineering colleges were found to lack adequate classrooms and faculty. The CEPCMA challenged the AICTE decision in the Delhi High Court, saying the council committed many 'errors of misjudgement.' The state government's task force will be set up assist the Admissions and Fee Regulatory Committee (AFRC).
The colleges see a threat in this. Granting the AFRC teeth by vesting it with a task force is likely to make survival difficult for the more marginal engineering colleges, many of which operate with limited resources and infrastructure.