AICTE nod likely for 14 colleges in State

G. Mahadevan
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S.S. Mantha says a letter alone will not stand court scrutiny.
S.S. Mantha says a letter alone will not stand court scrutiny.

At least 14 new engineering colleges in Kerala are likely to get the go-ahead from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to start operations in the academic year 2013-14.

The applications submitted by these colleges and the letter sent by the State government to the AICTE, asking that no new colleges be given permission to offer courses, would be taken up for consideration at a meeting of the council on February 14, the AICTE chairman S.S. Mantha told The Hindu here on Saturday.

It is more than a year since the AICTE wrote to all State governments asking them to submit a perspective plan on the engineering education sector. The AICTE wants each university in the country to conduct a study on the number and type of colleges under its jurisdiction and provide a clear picture on the “supply side” of engineering education. The State government should collate all this data and give a perspective plan to the AICTE. “So far only Maharashtra has given some data. We have to go into that. Many States have not responded. Kerala has given only a letter,” Dr. Mantha said. Since the Constitution guarantees the right to a vocation, it would be difficult for the AICTE to deny permission for a new college in a State without sufficient solid grounds, Dr. Mantha said.

He pointed out that more often than not the aggrieved applicant would petition the courts and get a favourable verdict. The council would need more than a letter from a State government to produce in court, he said.

The first of the courses in polytechnics across the country — under the National Vocational Education Quality Framework — would begin in the academic year 2013-14, Dr. Mantha said. A pilot vocational programme in automobiles and construction had been given to a university in Agra. Around 150 institutions in the country were expected to start offering the vocational programmes in the coming academic year, he said.

The MHRD has decided to set up and fund 200 community colleges inside polytechnics in the country. “We too are planning to set up community colleges inside our own polytechnics. These will be announced soon,” Dr. Mantha said.

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