The Centre has decided to amend the All Indian Council of Technical Education (AICTE) Act to undo a Supreme Court ruling which had stripped the council of its powers to approve institutes offering technical courses. Union Higher Education Secretary Ashok Thakur said the AICTE Act would be amended to “basically restore the earlier powers of the AICTE.”
Affiliation of BE/BTech and other technical courses was in limbo for 2014-15 as confusion had reigned supreme following a Supreme Court verdict divesting the AICTE from governing these courses. Considering that amending the Act is a long drawn out proposal that would need the approval of the Parliament, an interim arrangement would be in place to set standards for technical institutions and universities would provide the affiliation, Thakur said. The institutions, according to him, must get themselves assessed by the National Board of Accreditation.
“The proposed amendments and the interim arrangements have received the Law Ministry’s approval,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Anna University in Chennai has decided to wait till January 10 for the UGC to finalise its draft regulations. “We will start receiving applications from engineering colleges for affiliation only after that,” a university official said.
According to UGC Vice Chairman H Devaraj, the commission at its meeting on January 10 would also finalise the mode for regulating distance education courses offered by universities across the country. This follows by the abolition of the Distance Education Council. The UGC has received suggestions and comments on draft regulation on Distance Education till January 3.