Varsity affiliated colleges need not take AICTE approval to run MBA, MCA

AICTE role only advisory and guidance, rules Supreme Court,

Colleges affiliated to a university are not obliged to take separate permission from the All-India Council for Technical Education to conduct MBA/MCA courses, the Supreme Court has held.

“The AICTE Act does not intend [the council] to be an authority either superior or to supervise or control universities and thereby superimpose itself upon them merely for the reason that it is laying down certain teaching standards in technical education or programmes formulated in any of the department of units,” said a Bench of Justices B.S. Chauhan and V. Gopala Gowda.

Writing the judgment, Justice Gowda said: “The role of AICTE vis-à-vis universities is only advisory, recommendatory and one of providing guidance and [it] has no authority… to issue or enforce any sanction by itself.”

The Bench said it was the University Grants Commission which had been given the power to regulate universities in relation to granting sanction/approval, maintaining educational standards and overseeing the fee structure including admissions to various courses offered by them, their institutions, constituent colleges, units and affiliated colleges.

The Bench, while holding that MCA was ‘technical education’, made it clear that for proper conduct of the course and regulation the role of AICTE must be advisory and a note should be given to the UGC for implementation. However, MBA was not a technical course and AICTE approval was not required for conducting it.

‘Law vitiated’

The appellant Association of Management of Private Colleges contended that the words ‘MBA and MCA’ were inserted in the Regulations and that non-placement of the amended Regulations in Parliament vitiated the law.

The Bench said: “The position of law is well settled that if the statute prescribes a particular procedure to do an act in a particular way, that act must be done in that manner. Not placing the amended Regulations on the floor of the Houses of Parliament as required under Section 24 of the AICTE Act vitiates the amended Regulations in law.” Hence AICTE approval was not required for conducting MBA/MCA by colleges affiliated to a university.

The Association was aggrieved over a Madras High Court judgment that the AICTE Act and Regulations were enforceable on colleges affiliated to universities. The Supreme Court allowed the appeal against this verdict.

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