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 Punjab pvt varsities running diploma courses

From Our Correspondent
By hook or crook, Punjab private universities are out to make money -- and they have gone to the extent of running and affiliating polytechnic courses without approval by the state's Technical Education Department.

The malaise is so deep that even a reputed institution like Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology couldn't resist the temptation to earn a fast buck and launched Thapar Polytechnic College, Patiala.    

Seeing the situation going out of hand the Punjab State Board of Technical Education (PSBTE) is asking the private universities to seek its clearance for running polytechnic colleges. The universities have opposed the move. Over 2,000 students are enrolled in such colleges.

According to a senior official the issue cropped up after the Punjab State Board of Technical Education withdrew the NOC issued to Thapar Polytechnic College, Patiala, saying the courses requiring entry at the post-matric level require its approval.

The college, however, said that it was affiliated to the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology. The department cited the UGC’s Minimum Standard of Instructions for the Grant of First Degree (through formal education) Regulations, 2003.

After the PSBTE stand was vindicated by the Affiliation and Accreditation Committee, the college management has approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Dr JS Dhaliwal, president, Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association (PUTIA), said as per the Punjab Private University Act, there was a provision for running certificate and diploma courses. The issue was the outcome of confusion between the Higher Education Department and the Technical Education Board. “The latter is raising the issue which is not in its domain,” he claimed.

SS Sekhwan, Chairman, PSBTE, said: “On the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, we gave a hearing to Thapar Polytechnic College. The university can give approval for courses offered after Class XII. We are writing to all the universities.”


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