Law ministry refuses to restore AICTE's powers

Attempts to get All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) the powers to approve technical institutions and programmes suffered a fresh blow, as the HRD ministry’s proposal to that effect was rejected by the Law Ministry.

In the wake of a Supreme Court verdict stripping AICTE of its powers last year, the HRD ministry had sought the Law Ministry if the technical education body can continue to approve new institutions and programmes subject to ratification by the University Grants Commission of such applications.

“The Law Ministry, however, has rejected the proposal, saying it was not possible under the existing laws,” a source in the HRD Ministry said, adding that the ministry has further advised the HRD ministry to strengthen the UGC and enable it to regulate technical institutions and programmes more effectively.

A section of the AICTE officials feels that the HRD ministry can direct the UGC to allow the body to perform its regulatory role under section 25 of the UGC Act.

“The Law Ministry did not find the suggestion maintainable and rejected it,” Ministry sources said.

This has set the stage for creation of a new regulatory system for technical institutions.
The UGC is getting ready to assume the AICTE’s role as it is in the process of preparing a new set of regulations for technical institutions affiliated to universities.

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