UGC takes over reins of technical institutes

University Grants Commission's takeover of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is complete as far as degree-granting technical institutes are concerned. UGC has formally notified the regulations to be followed by technical institutes affiliated to universities.

UGC's regulations come in the wake of a Supreme Court order which negated AICTE's power to grant approval to technical colleges affiliated to universities. With new regulations in place, it is unlikely that AICTE's hope of getting its power restored through amendment of AICTE Act will be realized anytime soon. But AICTE can continue to regulate diploma-granting institutions.

"Chances of getting AICTE Act amended is remote. The next session of Parliament will be short and then there is general election," an HRD ministry official said.

As the amendment route was getting delayed, HRD ministry tried to circumvent the SC order by asking law ministry "if rules can be notified under section 25 of the UGC Act to authorize AICTE to accord approval to technical education institutions in the same manner as it did prior to the SC judgment". However, the law ministry shot down the proposal.

UGC regulation makes it mandatory for a college to first seek affiliation from the university before starting academic activities. A new college proposing to offer technical education can be created by introducing one or more programmes housed either in one or separate buildings.

The new college shall be granted affiliation when it is on one contiguous plot of land except for those in north-eastern and other hilly states where it can spread into three pieces of land, not far from one another, by more than one kilometer.

Apart from a host of regulations, technical institutes will have to keep 50% faculty from general shift for the evening shift. Each part-time course will be managed by 20% core staff i.e. minimum one associate professor and two assistant professors. Guest faculty should not be more than 30% to be sourced from neighbouring industries/R&D organizations/government technical colleges.
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