The Madras High Court on Wednesday granted interim stay of the operation of the revised approval procedure of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in respect of existing approved self-financing technical institutions.

Justice K. Venkataraman passed the order on petitions filed by the Consortium of Self-Financing Professional Arts and Science Colleges in Tamil Nadu, Association of Management of Coimbatore Anna University Affiliated Colleges and Srinivasa Institute of Engineering and Technology, Parivakkam, Poonamallee.

In its petition filed through counsel R. Natarajan, the consortium, represented by its secretary, P. Selvaraj, stated that the association members received a letter from the AICTE dated February 1 that the council had revised its procedure for granting of extension of approval for technical institutions.

All institutions were required to upload information about themselves on the AICTE Web portal. Institutions applying for extension of approval should submit two copies of the compliance report by February 28 and mandatory disclosure in the format by that date.

The petitioner submitted that the revised procedure did not appear to be an amendment to the regulations or a fresh set of regulations framed by the council. Such a procedure had not been published in the gazette to make it effective.

It was impossible to comply with the new conditions within the time frame stipulated. The proceedings, which covered only self-financing technical institutions to follow the revised procedure were clearly discriminatory and violated Article 14 of the Constitution.

Keywords: AICTEArticle 14

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