The draft regulations on approval of colleges offering technical courses has unreasonable conditions, the educationists said

Heads of deemed and private universities, under the banner of the Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI), condemned the new regulations issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) recently concerning engineering colleges. In May this year, after a Supreme Court order rendered AICTE (the regulatory body that governed all technical institutes) defunct, UGC was given charge of all technical institutions in the country.

The new regulatory body recently issued a draft regarding approval of colleges offering technical education and has sought feedback from vice-chancellors. The feedback is to be submitted by the end of this month.

“Universities and colleges were not consulted by UGC when it was framing the draft. No action was taken over the last seven months and suddenly, there is a lot of haste,” said G. Viswanathan, President, EPSI, at a meeting here on Friday. The new regulations included some unreasonable conditions, said members of the group. “For instance, they say they will close the institute or course if the library has fewer books than recommended or inadequate facilities,” said Dr. Viswanathan.

He said institutes with poor facilities will anyway not be able to face competition and fade away, and that the government should intervene to improvise quality education, not burden it with regulations. “There are many government institutes and even IITs with no facilities. Why are there no rules to regulate them,” he asked.

Educational institutions that have been running for more than 10 years should be granted autonomy, and not subjected to the mandatory yearly reviews. “For each committee that comes to review the courses, an institute spends over Rs. 5 lakh,” Dr. Viswanathan said. More accreditation bodies than regulatory bodies would do good as parents and students can choose the institute depending on professional reviews, he added.

A. Gnanam, former vice-chancellor, University of Madras, said educational institutions were suffering from over-regulation and under-funding. “Even to close a course, an institute has to pay at least Rs. 1 lakh,” he pointed out.