Malfunctioning of 500 Technical colleges under threat of closure
New Delhi : The government could soon ask 500
management, engineering and other technical education colleges to close for varying
offences ranging from violating land rules to cheating students. The move has come
nearly one-and-a-half-years after the University Grants Commission.
The AICTE India’s apex technical education regulator has "blacklisted" 44 deemed
universities for failing quality and infrastructure parameters. The deemed university
issue is now pending in the Supreme Court.
According to a senior official in the ministry of human resource development, this
is an outcome of a review of the complaints of the parents and students, and of
the scrutiny of documents submitted by the colleges to the
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
M. K. Hada, member secretary, AICTE, said that
this exercise is aimed at "cleaning up the system and bringing transparency in the
technical education space".
The concerned authorities have already prepared a report based on the "surprise
raids" and are waiting for the verdicts of the erring institutes. "We believe in
fair play and hence have given a chance to these colleges to give their version.
At least 210 such colleges have already made their points by person to the AICTE."
After hearing the colleges, the expert panel, comprising of 21 experts and officials
from the technical education field, will decide on how many should be sent closure
notices and the names of the institutes would be made public after the completion
of the entire procedure.
Hada said at least 10 colleges has already been served the withdrawal-of-approval
notice. "This is a first-of-its-kind step by AICTE.
We want fair play for all - students, parents, educational institutes and the education
system. They are free to appeal again."
Two educational experts and an architect has verified several credentials including
land transfer and ownership, building plans, infrastructure, quality of education
and faculty among other things.
The ministry official says that among 500 colleges, a majority are teaching engineering
and management courses. States such as Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu lead in the
number of colleges being examined.
As per the ministry official, there are about 8,000 technical education institutions
in the country with at least two million students. Around 50,000 students are enrolled
in the 500 colleges under scanner and once an institute faces closure, it will be
the sole responsibility of the concerned state government to shift the students
to another institute.
"Powerful people are running professional colleges and are making money"
Veeraraghavan, former education secretary said. He further said "I believe
AICTE must come hard on them and should engage in constant inspection and work with
them with a focus on substance in curricula and teaching methods." The quality checks
should be conducted by permanent employees rather than temporary ones as is the
practice now and such scrutiny is critical for maintaining standards", added Veeraraghavan.
AICTE was cleaned up after some of its top officials were
arrested for corruption in 2009. After their removal, the ministry restructured
the council, which took several pro-active measures to streamline the technical
education sector in the country in the last 18 months. The most important of these
was the e-application and e-approval system adopted by AICTE since the last academic
session. It also asked all colleges for details of both physical and intellectual
infrastructure, including details of faculty and their qualifications.