“Approval will not be given for starting new engineering colleges in the country from the year 2014-15”, says Member Secretary of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi, K.P. Isaac.

He told this to The Hindu after addressing delegates in a students' convention organised by Mahendra Institute of Technology here on Thursday.

He said that a decision in this connection was taken based on representations from various State governments that claimed that many seats in the existing engineering colleges remain vacant every year. “Applications to start new engineering colleges will be taken up for the approval process till the year 2013-14”, the Secretary said.

Observing that institutions came for approval after completing construction of the buildings, he added that decision for 2014-15 had been announced now to prevent construction for new engineering colleges. “However, this could change at the policy level based on the requirement at that point of time,” Mr. Isaac added.

According to him, this year more than 600 new engineering colleges across India have applied for AICTE approval, of which 108 are in Tamil Nadu. “They are undergoing the approval process and the first list of approved colleges will be published before March 31 while the second list before April 30, 2012.”

About the quality of teaching faculty that directly reflects on the quality of knowledge imparted to the students, he said that the AICTE had been taking strides to raise the quality and qualification of those faculties. “Two years ago, we raised the qualification of a lecturer handling undergraduate engineering classes to a minimum of post graduation in that stream,” he noted.

Mr. Isaac observed on the other hand the annual funding of the AICTE for teachings staff to take up research projects and complete their Ph.D. had been doubled to more than Rs. 400 crore from the financial year 2012-13 from Rs. 200 crore till this year. He was of the opinion that more research oriented faculties could produce more students with research standards.

Stating that the AICTE has shown avenues for higher education to the faculties, he felt that institutions should also come forward to fund their faculty to pursue research and enhance their knowledge base. “Institutions should either strive hard to recruit faculties of high standards or improve the quality of their faculties to stand tall in the years to come”, he concluded.

  • Many seats in the existing colleges remain vacant

  • Decision announced to prevent construction of buildings for new colleges