Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday launched a new portal for online registration of technical institutions.

Launching the portal for the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) here, Mr. Sibal said the initiative was part of AICTE’s efforts to bring about transparency, accountability, efficiency and swiftness in the decision-making process. “The portal will facilitate a citizen-friendly, interactive mode with a responsive public grievance redressal mechanism.”

The AICTE will also issue a unique identification number (ID) to institutes and faculty members of AICTE-approved institutions, a mechanism that will help check the trend of certain faculties working in multiple institutions.

The AICTE will also put in place a mechanism to help students lodge grievances against the institutes.

To be functional on January 10, existing institutions have been given a month to feed their details into the system.

“Self-disclosure regime”

“The portal will act as a single window system for processing applications of institutions for approval. We are putting in place a new system under which, the inspection- raj regime of the AICTE will be over. We are moving to a regime of self-disclosure, in which institutions will disclose their facilities, faculty and courses. Each student can directly interact with us through the portal if he has any problem about the institute,” Mr. Sibal told journalists.

New institutes will have to submit their applications and provide documents online, following which they will be given an ID number.

The Minister also announced relaxation in land requirement norms for setting up of new institutes. The present norms stipulates three and five acres of land as requirements for setting up a new institute in a mega and a metro city respectively. This will be relaxed to 2.5 and four acres respectively.

The National Board of Accreditation (NBA), which gives accreditation to technical education courses, will be made an independent body. This is being done as the NBA wants to be a member of the Washington Accord, a grouping of 12 countries for recognition of each other’s engineering education.

The AICTE has also decided to increase the initial slab on the intake for engineering and management institutions. Now, new engineering institutions can give admission to a maximum of 300 students, while management institutes can take 120 students against the earlier limit of 240 and 60 respectively.