The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) should be in a position to identify premium institutions, the Madras High Court noted, quashing an order denying extension of approval for 2013-14 for Shanmugha Polytechnic College, an associate of the Sastra University at Thanjavur.

Justice K.K.Sasidharan made the observation while allowing a petition from the polytechnic college, administered by Vee.See.Bee Trust, which challenged an order of AICTE of August 26 this year denying extension of approval for the academic session 2013-14 on certain grounds including that “fees charged, reservation and admission policy are not uploaded in the institute’s website.”

“The failure on the part of the AICTE to identify well-equipped institutions and its treatment of all the institutions, both good and average alike, notwithstanding the excellent performance of a few institutions, made a relatively good institution of technical education run by a charitable society and part of Sastra University, to approach this court time and again.”

The polytechnic college was established in 1984. It was one of the oldest technical educations in the State. It shared facilities with Sastra University.

Senior counsel, G.Rajagopalan, submitted that articles written by those who were administering the polytechnic college were not liked by the AICTE authorities. That was the sole reason for initiating various proceedings.

Mr.Justice Sasidharan said the AICTE’s reasons for denying approval were far from convincing. The council seemed to be aggrieved due to the initiation of multiple proceedings by the college. In any case, reasons given in the impugned order would not be sufficient to deny extension of approval to an institution of long standing.

There was no dispute that there were ill-equipped institutions offering various engineering courses. “Those institutions are still surviving with the help of authorities, who are expected to ensure the availability of institutional and infrastructural facilities to run engineering institutions. All the institutions should not be painted with the very same brush. An apex body like the AICTE should be in a position to identify premium institutions and give them encouragement.

The Judge said the AICTE had been rejecting the college’s application on certain flimsy grounds. The expert team had already recommended extension of approval for 2013-14. Even then the AICTE refused approval.

The court directed the council to issue extension of approval s expeditiously.