"Till now, tution fee waiver scheme operated by AICTE allowed providing up to 10 per cent supernumerary seats that are given to students of economically backward category.
"It was the discretion on the part of the institution to apply for such a scheme. Now these seats are made mandatory for every institute up to five per cent," HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said today.
Unveiling the revised AICTE norms here today, he said the technical institutes can from now on can increase the intake capacity per programme from 40 to 60 seats.
Opening up the doors to the corporate sector, he said companies can also set up technical institutes provided they set up entities registered as a non-profit entity under section 25 of the Company's Act to run such institutes.
No joint venture will, however, apply to this, he said, adding the scheme would only be allowed in 241 districts where at present no AICTE approved institute exist.
"If corporate sector wants to offer AICTE programmes, they can do so after setting up a section 25 company without a joint venture, and thereafter seek approval from AICTE for the programmes," he said.
At present, only trusts and cooperative societies are allowed to run technical institutes.
Further, corporates can set up campuses through PPP or through build-operate-transfer mode under agreement with public sector.
Further relaxing norms, he said in rural sector, only 10 acre will be required to set up an engineering institute while in urban sector only 2.5 acre.
He said the measures are aimed at easing the pressure on the education sector and providing relief to the students in matters of admission.
"These are all incentives given for expansion of the education sector because the demand is huge and supply is less and the problems of fees etc. So when the sector expands and meets demands, the pressure on the system will be much less. It will be easier for students," he said.
Significantly, Sibal also said that as per the new AICTE norms, stand alone PG programme can be offered by institutes as against the existing norm where PG courses are allowed in campuses where under graduate programme exist.
He said B.Sc students can seek lateral entry to a second year degree programme provided they have passed Mathematics at XII or at B.Sc level besides engineering graphics and engineering mechanics along with second year subjects.