Universities Grants Commission clips AICTE wings; engineering, professional colleges out of its purview

Monday, 9 December 2013 - 9:03am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The apex body for higher education in the country, the Universities Grants Commission (UGC) has come up with draft regulations, authorising universities to bring all professional / engineering colleges under their ambit.

This comes after the Supreme Court ruled in April this year that colleges affiliated to universities do not come under the purview of the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE).

Prior to this judgment, one had to seek a nod from the AICTE to set up such colleges which offer courses like engineering, pharmacy, management, computer applications and hotel management to name a few. This was in addition to seeking affiliation from a university.

Once implemented, the UGC’s draft regulations will force universities to ensure standards of existing professional colleges and will also oust AICTE from the “technical education” scene, thus ending its role as “regulator” since 1945.

The draft regulation — titled ‘UGC-Approval of Colleges offering Technical Education by Universities Regulations, 2013’ —was sent to universities across the country on December 3.

This move aims to end a six-month deadlock over technical education in the country. A UGC official said that thousands of applications, seeking the AICTE’s approval besides inquiries against hundreds of engineering institutes over irregularities have been gathering dust since April.

A professor of the University of Mumbai said that the court’s decision was seen as a “setback” to technical education. “It was this council which kept a tab on infrastructure and other norms at upcoming colleges, something universities never bothered to do before granting affiliation to the colleges,” said this professor.

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