More seats in engg, B-schools

Decision absurd for colleges in southern states, says COMED-K
Last Updated 07 January 2010, 19:14 IST

In line with the Central government’s decision, a new engineering college will now be able to admit 300 students instead of 240, which is now the case, and a business management school could double its intake capacity from 60 to 120.

Briefing newspersons here on Thursday to showcase a series of reforms in the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said the government would also allow management institutions to provide 25 per cent flexibility in allocating seats for different post-graduate diploma courses in management as a part of steps to address the ever-changing requirement of manpower.

AICTE is the the apex body for technical and management education in the country.
Sibal’s annoucement comes at a time when states like Karnataka, once the Mecca of engineering studies, have reported that there were no takers for over 8,000 engineering seats in some of the colleges.

Private engineering college managements in Bangalore termed the Centre’s decision absurd for colleges in the southern states. COMED-K executive secretary S Kumar said the decision was relevant for states in northern India which have fewer engineering colleges. “To have a blanket rule for the country will have comical connotations and situations in the southern states,” he said.

Woeful disparity
Professor Doreswamy, of the PES Group of Institutions, said that in the southern states and Maharashtra there was actually a case for decreasing the intake.
“Already there is a woeful teacher-student ratio in the South. This will only make matters more complex and the Centre should reconsider the decision and take into account the geographical distribution of colleges,” he said.

Pointing out that the new institutions would have to seek approval online, Sibal said existing colleges will require registering themselves again with AICTE within a month after submitting all documents online.

The on-line registration method, which would start from August 10, would ensure transparency and accountability not just of the institutions but also of AICTE which has been dogged with corruption-related controversies.

The rationale behind the online registration process would involve every institute be given a unique identification number after proper inspection of all facilities they offer to admitted students.

ID cards
AICTE would also issue identification numbers (IDs) to faculty members of all approved colleges, a mechanism that would help check the trend of some professors working for multiple institutions.

While bio-metric impressions of each faculty member would be taken to track his/her movements, AICTE would also put in place a mechanism to help students lodge grievances against the institutes.

Another reform the Centre will initiate is to ask AICTE not to allow running any course other than MBA and MCA in the distant learning mode. “We are putting in place a new system under which the inspection raj regime in AICTE will be over. We are moving to a regime of self disclosure in which the institutions will disclose their facilities, faculty and courses,” Sibal said.

Announcing relaxation in land requirement norms, the Minister said the present norm stipulated three and five acres of land as a requirement for setting up new institutions in mega and metro cities, respectively. As part of the reform process, this regulation has been fixed at 2.5 and four acres, respectively.

The Centre would also make the National Board of Accreditation, the body which gives accreditation to technical courses, independent of the AICTE, the minister announced.

(Published 07 January 2010, 19:14 IST)

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