The revised approval process of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to improve transparency by asking colleges to upload biometric data of faculty, among other things, has run into rough weather with self-financing colleges.

AICTE recently introduced a new process for extending approval to existing colleges. Details, including the infrastructure and land facilities, faculty strength and qualifications and biometric data of the faculty, had to be uploaded to AICTE's website.

An official said this process had been recommended after the Central Bureau of Investigation had arrested senior AICTE officials in corruption-related cases.

Higher education officials welcomed the move saying this would improve transparency as one of the complaints raised by many students was that faculty members were “shared” between colleges sometimes. Officials also welcomed the decision to make the details available online so that people could access the data.

But the Consortium of Self-financing Professional Arts and Science Colleges in Tamil Nadu and the Association of Management of Coimbatore Anna University Affiliated Colleges filed a petition in the Madras High Court and obtained an interim stay stating that the deadline of February 28 could not be met as the process was not easy to complete.

AICTE had subsequently extended the deadline to March 15. A self-financing college official said the revised date was “reasonable.” The official said: “There were problems with the uploading of the details initially and we would have struggled to make it before the February 28 deadline. But it should be easy to do it before March 15 now.”

But the consortium members held a meeting on Saturday and there were indications that they might not immediately upload the required details. This might either lead to a scuttling of the transparency initiative or, if a further extension in deadline were to be granted, might result in delays in the admissions process, officials say.

Keywords: AICTEcollegeChennai

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