Though there is very little time left for the current Lok Sabha, the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry is going ahead with its plans to move an amendment in Parliament to reverse the Supreme Court judgement curtailing the All India Council for Technical Education’s powers to approve MBA and MCA courses.

The draft Bill has already been cleared by Law Ministry, according to Higher Education Secretary Ashok Thakur. It seeks to restore the regulatory powers of the AICTE. The Supreme Court judgement had said that the “role of AICTE vis-à-vis universities is only advisory, recommendatory and one of providing guidance and has no authority empowering it to issue or enforce any sanctions by itself’’.

Earlier, the Ministry had planned the ordinance route to restore these powers to the AICTE. However, since the Ministry is not very optimistic of the amendment being cleared by the current Lok Sabha, it has put in place an interim arrangement as per which AICTE would set the standards for technical institutions and the University Grants Commission provide the affiliation. Plus the institutions would have to be assessed by the National Board of Accreditation.

The Ministry is also planning to promulgate separate ordinances to grant degree-giving powers to the Schools of Planning and Architecture in Bhopal and Vijayawada besides the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Kancheepuram. Since these are non-controversial legislations, the Ministry does not foresee any problem in getting them cleared.