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AICTE approval must for deemed varsities
NEW DELHI : All deemed universities in the country must seek approval from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to run engineering and allied courses.
December 3, 2017 Following the recent direction of the Supreme Court, the UGC has issued fresh guidelines to all deemed-to-be universities asking them to abide by AICTE norms for technical and engineering education.

Hyderabad: Deemed universities cannot conduct admissions without the approval of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). They will have to seek permission to commence or continue engineering courses. An order issued by the Supreme Court to this effect is expected to impact universities across the country.

Experts say that students and parents should be careful while applying for admission to engineering courses at deemed universities; they should ensure that the universities have the approval of the AICTE.

Dr Srini Bhupalam, the vice-president of the All India Federation of Self-Financing Technical Institutions, says, “This order by the Supreme Court makes matters crystal clear. No technical education can be imparted without the approval of the AICTE. Some deemed universities have not applied to the AICTE for approval so far.”

Dr Bhupalam added that the SC’s decision is in the best interests of students and parents. “I hope the AICTE releases a list of deemed universities that have applied but have not been approved. Any student or parent thinking of enrolling at deemed universities must be extra cautious this year and make sure that AICTE approval has been accorded,” he said.

Professor G. Venkat Reddy, an expert in the field of education, said, “The order is a good one. All institutes should seek AICTE approval. Deemed universities start marketing their courses in the month of December every year. They conduct admissions much before other university. Deemed universities grab the best students and charge them exorbitant fees for admission to engineering courses.”

Professor C.H. Sanjay, the founder-director of the Hyderabad Campus, says, “The SC’s order does not apply to the GITAM Deemed Universities, as we fall under Category-1 of the autonomy list. This means that we can conduct our own entrance tests.”

It was felt that deemed universities used to take their own decision on matters like increasing seats or starting a new course as there was no regulating authority.

All these years, such universities had been reporting to the University Grants Commission (UGC). Earlier, the Supreme Court held that the engineering degrees obtained through correspondence courses from deemed universities in the past 16 years were invalid.
Here's what the Chairman of AICTE said:

"It has been noted that some deemed-to-be universities, which are offering technical, engineering, architecture and pharmacy courses, are not following AICTE rules." Dr Anil Sahasrabudhe told Indian Express.
What does the decision say?

Such universities have to apply to their regulatory body even for increasing seats or starting a new course or the degrees they offer will be suspended

Degrees offered by deemed to be universities for technical and engineering courses through distance mode stands suspended

Such universities are not allowed to offer technical or engineering course through distance mode according to AICTE and UGC norms

In Karnataka, there are over five deemed-to-be universities which are offering technical courses. They include Sri Siddartha Academy for Higher Education, Tumakuru; KLE Institute, Belagavi; JSS Institute, Mysuru and Manipal Institute, Manipal.

AICTE set to release model exam format
The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has set the ball rolling for the provision of a model examination format to technical education institutions to test the students’ understanding of concepts and skills, as part of a slew of reforms finalised recently by the technical education regulator.

“The final exams being conducted by the institutions shall test the understanding of the concepts and the skill — rather than the subject knowledge,” says a recent resolution of the AICTE. “A model exam format would be prepared and shared with the institutions and the technical universities for suitable adoption. This aspect would be reviewed at the time of approval.”

Curricula will also be revised annually, the AICTE has resolved.

“Every affiliating technical university shall constitute subject-wise industry consultation committee (ICC) with the mandate of examining the existing curriculum and for making suitable changes in the curriculum every year. This process shall be completed in the month of December each year for the courses to be offered in the coming academic year. Each institution, while applying for approval, shall certify completion of this process, which will be mandatory,” the resolution says.

Refresher course

Teachers in technical institutions will also be required to undergo an annual online refresher course to ensure better quality in teaching. Heads of institutions will also have to undergo leadership training.

“Every teacher shall mandatorily undergo an annual refresher course delivered through SWAYAM portal, encapsulating all the major advances in the field of their study. Online courses would also be prepared and delivered through the SWAYAM platform for improving the pedagogical techniques of the teachers. The participation in the courses by at least 50% of the faculty would be a mandatory condition for approval of the institution,” the resolution says.

“Similarly, there should be leadership training to the heads of the institutions once in 2 years. These trainings would also be hosted through the SWAYAM platform.”

This apart, there will be compulsory student induction training to ensure the brushing up of fundamental concepts and required linguistic skills.

AICTE moves to revise syllabi
after a decade

By Sanjiv Dube
All India Council for Technical education (AICTE) has launched an exercise to revise the syllabi for Engineering studies in the country after nearly a decade.

The apex regulatory body for technical education has set up a committee of subject experts to review the existing syllabi, and recommend curricula changes in accordance with the needs of the industry.

This exercise will not affect the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) who have their own system for syllabus revision.

An AICTE official said on March 21 that the move is aimed at addressing concerns about the increasing unemployability amongst engineers.

The apex body has now issued regulations that mandate affiliated technical universities to revise their syllabi annually in consultation with industry players.

The institutions will have to set up subject-wise industry consultation committees (ICCs) every year, and then incorporate their recommendations into their engineering syllabi.

The AICTE has a model curriculum that is used by affiliated universities as a base for preparing their own syllabi. A committee of experts is all set to revise it for the first time in nine years, and the suggestions made in this regard will be submitted after the summer vacation – in time for the next academic session. The panel comprises subgroups of various subject experts, each headed by an IIT professor.

The move has largely been welcomed by the academics. An eminent professor Dr D N Reddy felt that the key cause for the unemployability of engineering passouts is that their skills are not in sync with industry requirements.

The move was spurred by feedback received by the Centre on the dismal state of engineering education in the country. Though India has 3,000-odd registered engineering institutes that produce seven lakh students annually, only 30-40% of them land jobs. The low-employability levels are attributed as much to the lack of requisite skills as the falling demand in the industry.

“The fields of engineering and technology undergo changes every day, and we need to keep up with their requirements. Students need to have skills required by the industry. Some of the institutes are still teaching decades-old syllabi and using obsolete teaching tools,” said a senior official from the human resource development (HRD) ministry.

“There has to be a constant dialogue between educational institutes and the industry. Each institution, while applying for approval, will have to mandatorily certify the completion of this process. If they fail to do so, action will be taken against them,” he added.

SC rejects review plea against AICTE verdict
NEW DELHI : On July 23, 2015 the Supreme Court judgement in Association of Management of Private Colleges vs All India Council for Technical Education and others. (Civil Appeal No. 1145 of 2004) got finality when a bench of Justices B S Chauhan and V Gopala Gowda, which had delivered the judgment, declined the review petition.

The judgement says that it is not mandatory for affiliated colleges of a university to take prior approval from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to run MBA and MCA courses.

A curative petition, however, can still be filed for reversal of the order.

“We have considered the averments in the review petitions. Having regard to the facts and issues involved, in our opinion, no case for review is made out. There is no error in the impugned order. Hence, the review petitions are dismissed,” the bench said in its brief order following in-chamber hearing.

The AICTE wanted a review of the verdict which was passed on a bunch of appeals filed by some affiliated colleges under Bharathidasan University and Manonmaniam Sundaranar University in Tamil Nadu.

The colleges had challenged an order passed by the Madras High Court, which according to them, wrongly interpreted the provisions of the AICTE Act, 1987, and held that even though the university was not required to take permission from the AICTE to run MCA and MBA courses, the affiliated colleges are required to do so.

“As per definition of ‘technical education’ under Section 2(g) of the AICTE Act and non production of any material by the AICTE to show that MBA course is a technical education, we hold that MBA course is not atechnical course within the definition of the AICTE Act,” the bench had said.

With regard to the MCA course, it had said: “The same is a technical education and therefore, it comes within the definition of technical education but for its proper conduct of courses and regulation the role of AICTE must be advisory and for the same, a note shall be given to the UGC for its implementation by it but not the AICTE.” The bench had further said the role of AICTE visà-vis universities is only advisory, recommendatory, and one of providing guidance and has no authority empowering it to issue or enforce any sanctions by itself.

The court had found merit in the arguments then advanced by the colleges that the AICTE regulation 2000, bringing MCA and MBA courses within its purview of the definition technical education, could not be given effect to since it had not been placed before the Parliament.

Distance edu : AICTE permits MBA, MCA
: The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has tightened the norms on offering technical education courses through a distance education mode.

In a circular sent to the state governments last week, the AICTE said that only MBA and MCA courses will be considered for recognition in the distance education mode if the respective institutes have the joint approval from the Distance Education Council (DEC), University Grants Commission (UGC) and the AICTE.

The AICTE has barred institutes from offering BE, B.Tech, Architecture, Town planning, Pharmacy, Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Applied Arts and Craft and post-graduate diploma in management courses through distance education mode.

“It is an AICTE policy not to recognise the qualifications acquired through distance mode at diploma, bachelor’s and master’s level in these fields. It now has a policy to consider only MBA and MCA through distance mode,” the circular notes.

The AICTE alerted students pursuing or aspiring to pursue technical education courses through distance education mode to check the approval by the joint committee of DEC, UGC and AICTE and made it clear that the MBA and MCA degrees acquired through the distance education mode without these approvals will not be considered for employment by the Centre and state governments.

Currently, several state universities including the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University-Hyderabad, are offering engineering courses through distance mode by setting up study centres in various districts.

SC orders FORE told to pay Rs 23 lakh to AICTE

NEW DELHI : On June 21 the Supreme Court upheld a penalty of Rs 23.10 crore imposed on FORE School of Management by the AICTE for admitting 42 students in excess to the sanctioned seats in 2016, reports PTI.

The order was made by a vacation bench of justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant who said that it is not setting aside the admission of the students because that action would be too harsh upon them and that they should not suffer for the totally illegal action of the institute.

The court said it has been noticed that the educational institutions admit students beyond the numbers permitted putting the future of the students at stake.

"Time and again, this court has noticed that the educational institutions admit students beyond the numbers permitted putting the future of the students at stake," it said.

"In the present case, we are not setting aside the admission of the students because that action would be too harsh upon the students who should not suffer for the totally illegal action of the petitioner institution."

The bench said that even if it assumes that the decision of the AICTE was not correct, the institution had no business to admit students beyond the number permitted by the AICTE.

It said even if the institution felt that the AICTE was delaying the matter or was not acting fairly, the proper course for the petitioner was to have approached this court and prayed for appropriate relief.

The petitioner, Foundation for Organizational Research and Education Fore School of Management is a registered educational institution running courses in management. It is situated in South Delhi area here.

The bench said that the AICTE which had many prescribed penalties had only imposed the financial penalty which is the first penalty prescribed.

It noted that the management institute was charging Rs 11 lakh from each student for the entire course and the AICTE, according to laid down norms, had imposed penalty five times of the amount charged from each student, which in the case for 42 students works out to be Rs 23.10 crore.

"The AICTE has no discretion to award a lesser penalty and, in fact, the petitioner has been let off lightly since only one penalty has been imposed whereas the AICTE could have imposed more than one penalty prescribed," the bench said.

It allowed the institute to adjust Rs 4 crore already deposited with the court in the penalty and directed balance amount of Rs 19.10 crore be deposited with the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) within eight weeks.

On March 15, 2016, the institute had applied to the AICTE, for extension of approval of existing seats and for increase in seats in certain courses.

The AICTE had on April 25, granted extension of approval for the existing seats in the existing courses but said nothing about approval to increase in seats.

On June 22, 2016, the AICTE rejected the request of the institute to increase the number of seats in certain courses it offers.

However, the management institute admitted students in access to the sanctioned seats despite having no permission for them.

It filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking to quash the June 22, 2016 decision of the AICTE refusing to accede to the request of increasing the number of seats saying that it be allowed to continue with increased seats for the academic year without jeopardizing the career of the students who had already been admitted.

The court had then asked the institute to deposit Rs 2 crores each on two occasions till its case is being adjudicated and allowed to AICTE to inspect the institute to ascertain whether there exists any deficiencies.

During the pendency of the petition in the apex court, the AICTE imposed a penalty of Rs 23.10 crore towards the excess admission of 42 students.

The institute in the apex court contended that inaction of the AICTE in not responding to the request for increase in seats was itself an arbitrary action and the reasons given for not permitting increase in the intake in the courses was totally illegal.

It had contended that when the apex court was seized of the matter the AICTE could not impose penalty which is highly excessive and arbitrary.

The AICTE on other hand contended that the penalty has been imposed strictly in accordance with the Approval Process Handbook (20162017) of the council.

U-turn by MHRD, engg entrance test put on hold

By Rajiv Shukla
Just 80 days after it told the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to hold a NEET-type all-India test for admission to undergraduate engineering and architecture courses, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) took a U-turn on April 28 and directed the AICTE to put the process on hold.

A senior official of the AICTE told this correspondent : “The common entrance test has been put on hold in view of differences with some states."

According to information available the move has been shelved  particularly because of West Bengal's dogged resistance and the delicate political relations with West Bengal.

“While some states have their own entrance tests, some take the Class-12 marks as the criterion for admission,” the AICTE official said referring to Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

“Till these differences are ironed out and the Centre and states brought on the same page, we have decided to put on hold a common entrance test”, he said.

The Central Board of Secondary Education conducts the Joint Entrance Examination-Mains for admission to engineering courses. A number of states conduct their own tests, while some colleges grant admission based on marks. Several private colleges also have their own entrance examinations.

The directive

It may be recalled that the AICTE had in mid February this year decided to hold an all-India test for admission to the undergraduate engineering and architecture courses from 2018 following a directive to it from the MHRD on February 10.

The directive from the MHRD had come after it had overruled objections from Bengal and Tamil Nadu and told the AICTE to go ahead with an all-India engineering admission exam to admit students to eight lakh B.Tech seats across 3,400 colleges in the country.  

The states were, however, given the leeway to admit students to their engineering colleges solely on the basis of the merit in the all-India exam or to give some weightage to their board marks too.

This would have been the third incarnation of the all-India engineering admission test the first being AIEEE and the second being the JEE (Mains).


The all-India engineering admission test was first introduced in 2002 when Dr Murli Manohar Joshi was the union HRD minister. Named All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), the Central Board of Secondary Education was made the nodal body to conduct the test. All private and government engineering colleges in the country were given option to pick students from the merit list of the exam, including the National Institutes of Technology (NITs). The AIEEE, the first avatar of the pan-India exam lasted 10 years and was superseded by what was called Joint Entrance Examination (Main) in 2013.

Under the JEE (Main), being conducted by the CBSE, the states are allowed to hold their own admission tests or to admit students on the basis of their board scores. The JEE (Main) has survived for five years.

Bengal, TN exceptions

About 90 engineering colleges in Bengal admit some 21,000 undergraduate students on the basis of their performance in the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination. Bengal government argued that its state-level exam was conducted very well and did not need to be replaced by a national-level test.

Similarly the undergraduate engineering students in Tamil Nadu are admitted on the basis of their Class XII board marks. The state's 533 undergraduate engineering colleges have 1.6 lakh seats. The Tamil Nadu government had contended that the state board's Class XII science syllabus was not on a par with that taught by the Central Board of Secondary Education.

Tamil Nadu also expressed apprehensions that its reservation volumes - different from the national quota break-up - could be affected if admissions were regulated by a national entrance exam.

AICTE head office gets it's home in Vasant Kunj

By Rajiv Shukla
Nearly 30 years after it was established
in 1988, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had a building of its own in south west corner of the national capital. It was inaugurated by Union Minister of State (HRD) Upendra Kushwaha in Vasant Kunj on Nelson Mandela Marg here on August 12.Prof S K Khanna snapped just after he left the AICTE

After its split from the UGC under the leadership of a suave and a magnificent manoeuvrist, Prof S K Khanna the AICTE opened its first office in a modest apartment in South Extension II in 1993. After a couple of years it moved to a more spacious building in IG Stadium near ITO.

The IG stadium abode that was promised to be temporary, stayed with the AICTE for over 20 years during which the apex regulatory body of the technical education in the country saw the maximum expansion and maximum lure. About seven years ago it had to shift to 7th Floor, Chanderlok Building Janpath, New Delhi-110 001.

It's new office on Nelson Mandela Marg has been designed and constructed by the DRDO. Spread over 5 acres with 37,500 sq.mt constructed area the office building has G+3 floors with three wings having a seating capacity of 300 employees and 17 conference rooms, an 800 capacity auditorium, a 20 room guest house and canteen for staff and officers. The built-up area is 19500 sqm and parking space of 18000 sqm making it a total built-up area of 37500 sqm in the premises.

A PIB press note said that henceforth the AICTE will work from the new Headquarters.

Inaugurating the office building Mr Upendra Kushwaha stressed the importance of AICTE in cultivating technology and technical education in the country.

Mr V.S Oberoi, Secretary (Higher Education) MHRD and Mr R. Subrahmanyam, Additional Secretary (Technical Education) also spoke on the occasion. Dr. S. Christopher, Secretary (R&D), Dept of Defence and DG, DRDO and Dr G. Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Advisor to Minister of Defence also graced the occasion. Dr Anil D Sahastrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE welcomed the guests.

Temporary relief to AICTE, SC restores powers

By Rajiv Shukla
: On April 17 a demoralised All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) was granted a temporary reprieve by a division bench of the Supreme Court here allowing it to retain its regulatory authority over technical education in the country for the academic year 2014-15.

The interim relief came on a SLP (SLP(C)No.7277/2014) filed by Orissa Technical Colleges Association which was taken up on April 17 by a division bench of the apex court comprising Justice R M Lodha and Justice Kurian Joseph.

In its interim order the bench allowed the AICTE to retain its domain over technical education in the country for the year 2014-15 in accordance with the norms laid down in the AICTE’s Approval Process Handbook.

In its order the bench said : “In the counter affidavit filed on behalf of respondent No.1,i.e., All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), it is stated that Approval Process Handbook (2013-14) is presently in force and the same has been extended and made applicable for the Academic Year 2014-15 as well.

AICTE shall now proceed in accordance with the Approval Process Handbook for the Academic Year 2014-15 insofar as the members of the petitioner Association and all colleges and institutions situated similarly to the members of the petitioner Association are concerned and necessary orders shall be issued by AICTE within ten days.

Prayer for interim relief is ordered accordingly.”

The interim relief came almost a year after the Supreme Court had, on April 25 2013, held that the AICTE did not have any control and supervision over affiliated colleges of their respective universities.

“The applicability of bringing the university as defined under clause 2 (f) of the UGC Act includes the institution deemed to be a university under Section 3 of the said Act and therefore, the affiliated colleges are excluded from the purview of technical institution definition of the AICTE Act,” the Bench held.

The ruling was given by Justices BS Chauhan and V Gopala Gowda who said while allowing the appeal in the Association of Management of Private Colleges vs All India Council for Technical Education and others. (Civil Appeal No. 1145 of 2004).

The case came as a second big blow after the Bharathidasan University & Ans vs AICTE & Ors case delivered on September 24, 2001. The landmark case had sliced off all universities and deemed universities from the ambit of the AICTE Act triggering off a rat race for the deemed university status in the country.

Business management no tech edu course : SC

From Rajiv Shukla
: Over two decades after the establishment of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) the Supreme Court on April 25 corrected a major flaw in AICTE's technical education definition -- it declared that the business management studies ought to be part of humanities.

“We hold that MBA course is not a technical course within the definition of the AICTE Act,” a Bench comprising Justices BS Chauhan and V Gopala Gowda ruled while allowing the appeal in the Association of Management of Private Colleges vs All India Council for Technical Education and others. (Civil Appeal No. 1145 of 2004)

The Apex Court struck down the amendment made to the AICTE Act in 2000 inserting words “MBA and MCA” before Architecture and Hotel Management courses as the amended regulations were not placed on the floor of the Houses of Parliament as required under Section 24 of the AICTE Act.

The appeal had argued that the AICTE Act being an enactment of Parliament could not be amended in year 2000 without being placed in the Parliament. This argument was accepted by the Court to knock off AICTE's jurisdiction.

“As per definition of ‘technical education’ under Section 2 (g) of the AICTE Act and non production of any material by the AICTE to show that MBA course is a technical education, we hold that MBA course is not a technical course within the definition of the AICTE Act,” the bench said.

However, Master of Computer Applications (MCA) fell under the technical education category, but for regulating the course, the role of AICTE must be advisory. “The relief sought for in the writ petitions is granted and there is no need to seek approval from the AICTE for MBA and MCA courses,” the Supreme Court held.

The court also ruled that the AICTE did not have any control and supervision over affiliated colleges of their respective universities. “The applicability of bringing the university as defined under clause 2 (f) of the UGC Act includes the institution deemed to be a university under Section 3 of the said Act and therefore, the affiliated colleges are excluded from the purview of technical institution definition of the AICTE Act,” the Bench held.

The bench held that though MCA was a technical course, the AICTE had no business to lay down standards as for this purpose the Parliament had already enacted the UGC Act. Moreover, the role of AICTE was advisory and could only impose uniform standards of education in affiliated members of a university by putting a note to the UGC, the bench said.

The case has come as a second big blow after the Bharathidasan University & Ans vs AICTE & Ors case delivered on September 24, 2001. The landmark case had sliced off all universities and deemed universities from the ambit of the AICTE Act triggering off a rat race for the deemed university status in the country.

Private, public companies can set up
technical colleges, Parliament told

NEW DELHI ; On November 27 the government told Parliament that all private and public limited companies with a turnover of over Rs 100 crore for the past three consecutive years will now be allowed to set up technical colleges.

In response to a related query on the subject, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor said that the decision had been taken by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in view of the lack of skills among the passouts who graduate from the engineering colleges.

A PIB press note said that the new rule would be applicable from next year. “The AICTE has allowed from 2013-14 private limited or public limited companies/industries having a turnover of at least Rs 100 crore per year for previous three years to establish new technical institutions in engineering and technology, pharmacy, architecture, town planning, hotel management and catering technology,” Tharoor said in a written reply.

There are several reports by industry based organizations commenting on the lack of adequate skills in the technical education imparted to the students and hence less employability. Therefore, AICTE has reviewed the curriculum and has come up with model curriculum to involve industry best practices. The model curriculum is available on the AICTE website.

AICTE has further proposed scheme of setting up of research park with the industry in certain good institutions where AICTE will fund up to one crore of a rupees along with matching grant from the industry. It is expected that the institute will provide about 350 to 500 Sq. Mtr. of area within the campus to the industry to set up research extension facility within the institute. This facility would provide the students to work on live projects and faculty to participate with the industry experts for the same whereas the industry also would benefit from the faculty expertise.

AICTE also promotes entrepreneurship development with the industry. Further AICTE funds industry institute partnership cell to be set up within the institutions. Further AICTE promotes innovation promotions within the institutes based on the requirement of the industry through its students of technical institutions and funds such projects.

Rajiv Shukla adds
The entry, initially has been allowed to benign companies defined under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 -- and in only 241 districts where currently no AICTE Institution exists -- giving profiteers a fair hint to wait and watch.

Besides, the corporates have been allowed to set up campuses through PPP or through build-operate-transfer mode under agreement with public sector.  Like all other companies, the educational institutions set up by the benign companies will be regulated by the ministry of corporate affairs.

Till now only registered Trusts and Societies were allowed to establish technical education institutions in the country -- this was to keep business coporates at bay.

The announcement of this crucial decision was made by the Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on behalf of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) on December 30, 2011.

“We will henceforth allow companies registered as non-profit entities under Section 25 of the Companies Act 1956 to establish technical institutions to allow good corporates to set up institutions. However, no joint venture can apply for this,” Sibal had announced.

Corporate houses have been demanding such a provision for a long time, saying it is much easier to function as a Section 25 company than as a trust or society.

Announcing a major relaxation in the AICTE norms the minister had declared that in rural sector, only 10 acre will be required to set up an engineering institute while in urban sector only 2.5 acre -- obviously indicating a vertical construction module for the technical education institutions.

The AICTE has also modified the approval norms under which institutes could offer stand-alone postgraduate programme. Under the existing norms PG courses were allowed only on campuses that offered undergraduate programmes. However now the AICTE has allowed stand-alone PG institutes as well.

Sibal said B.Sc students could seek lateral entry to a second-year B.Tech degree programme provided they had mathematics at Class XII or at the BSc level.

Tech courses through distance edu invalid: HC

From Our Correspondent
: On November 6 the Punjab and Haryana high court ruled that there is no specific power or function of the Distance Education Council (DEC) to impart technical education through the distance education mode.

The order came from a division bench comprising justice Hemant Gupta and justice Rajiv Narain Raina in Kartar Singh vs Union of India case while deciding a bunch of 148 petitions.

A public interest litigation on the matter was first filed by one Kartar Singh seeking directions to the authorities concerned to stop the illegal educational institutions imparting degrees in professional/technical courses through distance education and take action against the centres established beyond the territorial jurisdiction of such institutions.

In its 160-page detailed judgment, the bench said, “Though the court is sympathetic with the cause of students, but the larger public interest demands that the students who have not got formal technical education should not be considered eligible for appointment under the state.”

The bench mainly decided in respect of technical/professional courses imparted through the distance education mode by Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation, Salem in Tamil Nadu; IASE Gandhi Vidya Mandir, Sardar Shahar in Rajasthan; JRN Vidyapeeth, Udaipur, in Rajasthan, and Allahabad Agriculture Research Institute in Uttar Pradesh. “We hold that the approval granted by the Distance Education Council, dated August 29, 2007, to the institutes in question is illegal and unwarranted and beyond the scope of authority vested in it,” the bench said.

"We hold that the deemed to be universities have started courses in technical education in violation of the guidelines, instructions, circulars and regulations framed by the commission not only with starting such courses, but also in establishing study centres outside their territorial limits and in subjects for which they were not granted deemed-to-be-university status.
Therefore, degrees awarded by such deemed to be universities is an illegal act and such illegality cannot be removed or cured by the actions of either the commission or the Distance Education Council," it said.

“As a necessary consequence, degrees granted by such deemed-to-be universities are illegal and candidates can’t be deemed to be qualified in purported subjects in the absence of approval from the University Grants Commission,” the bench observed.

The Bench held that the approval granted by the Distance Education Council on August 29, 2007, to some institutes was illegal, unwarranted and beyond the scope of authority vested in it.

The Bench held that a deemed to be university was not on a par with a university incorporated by a Central or state statute. Both, however, are competent to award degrees.

Also, a deemed to be university "can start a study centre outside the headquarters in areas where there is a reasonable concentration of students. But such a centre cannot be established beyond the territorial limits represented at the time of grant of such status in the MoA, except with the permission of the University Grants Commission and the state
government, where such study centre is to be located," the Bench observed.

It also stated that the certificate/diploma course in multipurpose health was meant to be approved by the Indian Nursing Council, the State Nursing Council or the All-India Technical Council. “Since the course is not approved by the Commission or by any other statutory authority, the qualification/ diploma granted by a deemed-to-be university will not make such candidate eligible for appointment,” the bench said.

The bench also set aside an earlier judgment of a single-judge bench of the high court which had held that a degree in engineering obtained through distance education mode was a valid degree for the purpose of public appointments.

In case of the Associate Member of the Institution of Engineers (AMIE), the bench said, “Qualification of AMIE is relevant for the purposes of promotion and not for direct recruitment, as an associate member becomes eligible for membership only if he is engaged in the engineering profession.”

AICTE wakes up, plans BE-MBA composite course

From Our Correspondent
: Waking up late -- very late -- the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) announced on April 12 that it would launch an integrated programme from this academic session that will give engineers with management skills.

The five-and-a-half year long integrated management programme will also be available for those aspiring to hold a managerial position in the field of
architecture, pharmacy or hotel management.

Students will be admitted to the course through the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT). The basic qualification for appearing in the test will be 10+2.

It will be a flexible programme which will provide an undergraduate degree in 3 or 4 years followed by a Master’s degree in five years. Apart from this a five year dual degree management course will also commence from this academic session.

The AICTE move has come very late as more and more colleges are closing down their engineering and postgraduate management programme for want of students. "Had the integrated programme come five years ago, it would have clicked well", says an education expert.

“We will soon issue a notification in this regard,” officiating AICTE chairman S S Mantha said.

In the first four years of the programme, students will complete their course in the respective discipline opted by them. Thereafter, they would seamlessly proceed to undergo one and a half year duration management course.

“After completion of integrated course, those from engineering will get a degree in integrated engineering management programme, architecture a degree in integrated architect management programme, and likewise in the case of pharmacy and hotel management,” Mantha said.

Apart from this, the AICTE is also set to launch a dual degree five year duration management programme from this academic session. The basic qualification required for admission to the programme will be 10+2. The students will be admitted to the programme through an entrance test, date of which is yet to be decided by the AICTE.

“A student can take to a job after completing his three- year bachelor programme in management or he can continue one year of the masters programme,” Mantha said.


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