Apex court rejects review plea against AICTE verdict

MBA, MCA courses do not need prior approval from council

A Supreme Court verdict 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 has attained finality with the rejection of a plea seeking its review.

The apex court had ruled that the MBA course was not a technical one. Though the MCA was a technical course, the AICTE’s role could be advisory only, the court had added.

The apex court’s April verdict got a stamp of approval on Tuesday when a bench of Justices B S Chauhan and V Gopala Gowda, which had delivered the judgment, declined the review petition.

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, regulator for higher technical education, 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 a technical 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 vis-à-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.

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