UGC all set to take over technical education council

Supreme Court had stripped powers of AICTE

UGC all set to take over technical education council

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has drafted regulations to take over the charge of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to regulate technical colleges affiliated to varsities across the country, about eight months after a Supreme Court verdict stripped the council off its powers.

The draft UGC (Approval of Colleges offering Technical Education by Universities) Regulations, 2013, seeks to exercise its powers on “all colleges” offering technical education, seeking approval or already approved or affiliated to varsities established “under a Central Act, a Provincial Act or a State Act.”

Under the proposed regulations, an autonomous college would mean an institution, to which autonomy was granted by the statutes of an affiliating university. A deemed university would mean an institution declared to be so under UGC Act, 1956.If the regulation gets its final shape in its present form, the technical institutes will come under the jurisdiction of the UGC on all matters including approval of technical colleges and their courses which were earlier taken care of by the AICTE.

The UGC regulations come at a time when a debate over a proposal to give back regulatory powers to the AICTE either by an ordinance or a amendment law has not concluded in the Human Resource Development Ministry.

According to sources, a section of senior officials in the ministry are not in favour of giving the AICTE its powers back even as the council was learnt to be making efforts to find the legal remedy to regain its powers. "Let's see what happens. The UGC had to formulate regulations in view of the apex court orders," a senior ministry offcial said. 

Stripping the AICTE of its powers to regulate technical colleges in April this year, the apex court held that colleges affiliated to a university did not come under the purview of the definition of "technical institution" under the AICTE Act. The judgement had noted that such powers were vested with the UGC.

With technical institutes in the country virtually standing unregulated, the UGC has begun taking feed back from all the stakeholders on its draft regulations to give it a final shape so that “existing technical including engineering colleges” affiliated to universities in the country “do not dilute standards of technical education imparted by them.”

Ministry officials say that the UGC has formulated the draft regulations also because a large number of applications for approval of new institutes or courses have been pending following the apex court’s verdict.The regulations propose various actions including penal action against technical colleges affiliated by universities across the country on cases of violation of any of its provisions.

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