A new academic year is set to start but students aspiring to pursue technical courses like diploma are a confused lot after regulatory body AICTE recently ordered reduction of intake in some colleges.
Following an inspection, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had last month recommended cutting intake in 35 colleges offering diploma and engineering courses in the state.
Director of Technical Education Department H U Talwar has written to AICTE seeking a relaxation of norms. “The AICTE’s scrutiny committee is very particular about the norms. We admit there are some lapses, but nothing that affects the quality of education or curriculum,” he told DH.
It was speculated that several governments and aided polytechnics would lose 50% of the seats due to the violation of AICTE guidelines. The department had expressed concern that enforcing the direction would amount to the denial of seats to thousands of poor students in the academic year 2019-20. Talwar said 50 to 60-year-old government polytechnics can’t be forced to meet AICTE standards overnight.
“The disqualification was done for frivolous reasons like the rooms being marginally smaller than AICTE norms, lack of canteens and parking lots. These are necessary but do not warrant disqualification,” he told DH.
He said the Higher Education Department has also written to AICTE and hopes the issue will be solved soon.
A senior official from the Higher Education Department said, “Even IIT Dharwad doesn’t have a permanent building. The AICTE has written to us seeking space in a government college for the establishment of IIIT in Raichur. We have told them to impose strict norms on new colleges, but not on old institutions. The recent direction will benefit private institutions only.”
Meanwhile, Talwar said they will challenge the directions in court if the AICTE doesn’t resolve the issue.
“I can’t afford to study in private colleges. Reducing the number of seats will hurt students like me. The government should give an undertaking and seek relaxation,” said Yogaraj N, a Class X student.