AICTE allows Engineering colleges to run Arts, Science courses in same campus

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Jan 2019 10:27:29


Staff Reporter,

Now, Engineering colleges across country can run Humanities and Science courses in their campuses simultaneously. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has taken this major decision. Engineering colleges planning to run arts and science courses will have to make arrangements separately. The decision will help utilise the unused resources of the institution. Some colleges have already created additional capacity in terms of extra classrooms built for such courses, and same can now be used for running non-engineering courses.

Engineering colleges have faculty members for Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. In some colleges experts of these subjects have become Principal. The colleges have laboratories for these subjects; that could  be used to run traditional science courses.

However, the decision of AICTE has also raised questionmark about long term impact of such a decision on quality of core engineering courses taught in such institutions. Some experts also raised doubts about legality of the decision taken by AICTE permitting technical institutions to run Science and Humanities courses in the same campus. AICTE argued that it was very well within its mandate and that engineering colleges were allowed to run courses like BSc and MSc in Computer Science and Information Technology till 2002. If engineering colleges have to run arts and science courses then they are likely to get affiliated to other arts and science universities. For example, in Maharashtra technical institutions are getting affiliated to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University (BATU). In such cases would the engineering colleges have to get permission from traditional universities? So far there is no clarity over this issue and AICTE has not spelled out detailed modalities.

The change will not take place from the academic year 2019-20 as there are several complex issues needed to be addressed, says AICTE. AICTE has fixed last date as December 31. But colleges are planning to approach Apex body to extend the same.

Merger of engineering colleges
Dr Anil Sahastrabudhe, Chairman of AICTE had been to Nagpur at Shri Ramdeobaba College of Engineering and Management (RCOEM) last year. While talking to ‘The Hitavada’ he had said that cluster of colleges would be formed to reduce the seat vacancies in engineering institutions. Now, the regulatory body has taken a decision by which it has allowed engineering colleges’ merger if they are being run by the same trust within the range of 2 kms. In Nagpur region there are some colleges which can be merged to help each other.

No new engineering college from 2020

There will be no new engineering college from the year 2020, the AICTE has clarified. The idea was mooted by ex-Chairman of AICTE Prof S S Mantha. He had come up with the idea of preparing a  statistics of number of students opting various courses after  Class XII.  According to him, the statistics would have given idea of the number of students preferring technical courses. It was found that there was gradual decline in number of students opting for engineering. Based on that data now AICTE had recommended to Government not to set up new engineering college from 2020 to bring down number of vacant seats in existing colleges. Due to creation of extra capacity in engineering colleges, many colleges were finding it difficult to sustain and even pressurised the regulatory bodies to bring down qualifying criterion at entry level.