Each State has been asked to prepare a State-level perspective plan that will map the educational and industrial profile for each district to enable the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to come up with a national-level perspective plan. According to AICTE chairman S.S. Mantha the Plan was to enable AICTE give approvals to number of seats, variety of courses and number of colleges in each State, after matching it with the industry profile, variety and number of job opportunities available there.

Speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of a college graduation day here on Saturday, Mr. Mantha said the idea was mooted in 2012 and all State governments had been asked to submit the Plan in such a manner that the national-level plan could be implemented for 2014-15.

“The University Development Council of each State-run university in a State will get data on number of students passing out in Standard X, Plus-One and Plus-Two and the number aspiring for engineering.

The disciplines that they are interested in / not interested in will be identified and accordingly number of colleges and the courses that will be offered / not offered will be decided accordingly.

The number of seats will be calculated on the basis of the number of jobs that the district the college is located in can generate,” Mr. Mantha said.

Explaining this in connection with a query on the increase in number of new colleges every year, he said new engineering colleges getting added on every year were not a threat to quality education. In fact these were needed to make up for the ones that were closing down for lack of improvements.

It was consolidation of the good and removal of the bad. The AICTE had approved 120-odd colleges for the country out of which 17 were in Tamil Nadu.

“Closures will continue because many colleges are not getting linked with industry to offer relevant education. Those who keep themselves updated and focus on industry-related improvements will not need to close down.

Enumerating various measures the AICTE was focussing on to improve the quality of higher education and faculty, Mr. Mantha said that to promote postgraduate education in a big way and give an impetus to doctoral studies, nearly 100 Quality Improvement Programme Centres had been identified in the country in the form of central research laboratories, industries, etc. Experts from these centres could be used as guides.

“The AICTE will provide scholarships ranging from Rs. 16,000 to Rs. 18,000 a month for four years for Ph.D. scholars,” Mr. Mantha said.