Holding that All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) norms did not prohibit technical institutions from sharing of facilities of nearby institutions, the Madras High Court has directed the AICTE to consider the approval of courses offered by Shanmuga Polytechnic College, Thanjavur.

On August 16, 2010, the AICTE, Southern Region, passed an order declining to grant approval for its Diploma in Electronics and Communication Engineering on the ground that facilities were shared with an engineering college which is under SASTRA deemed university. The order was challenged the Shanmuga Polytechnic College.

G.Rajagopalan, senior counsel for the polytechnic, submitted that sharing facilities with technical institutes was permissible under the National Educational Policy as well as AICTE norms. He also argued that AICTE was not justified in directing the polytechnic to provide for separate facilities for the continuance of approval of diploma courses as it has been conducting polytechnic courses by sharing facilities with the SASTRA University, formerly known as Shanmugha College of Engineering.

Dismissing the order passed by the AICTE, the First Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice R.K.Agrawal and Justice N.Paul Vasanthakumar said: “The AICTE, being the approving authority, can very well inspect and ascertain as to whether the appellant is having infrastructural facilities for continuing the Diploma courses.”