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Fifty four engineering colleges, that had received clearance from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), are now facing the threat of demolition as they have been found to be operating without the necessary compliances. And it is the council that the state government is looking towards for an explanation as to how clearances were issued to colleges which did not fulfill the essential criteria. A flawless land use certificate is one of the preconditions for the AICTE to give approval to colleges. But the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) insists that none of these colleges have the required land use certificate. To add to it, their application for regularisation under the Building Penalisation Scheme (BPS), too, has been rejected.
All 54 colleges, which are to be demolished by the end of this month, are located in Ranga Reddy district. While their applications were rejected under the BPS scheme last year in May, they were served demolition notices on February 9th. The council, which was, till recently, reeling from allegations of high-level corruption, had gone for a surprise inspection drive in the academic years 2010-11 and 2011-12. It had inspected 105 colleges in the state during these surprise visits and given clean chits to 99 of them, including the ones now facing demolition. HMDA now, has widened the scope of the crack down and served fresh showcase notices on over 50 other colleges. Over 300 colleges in both Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy are now under scrutiny, it was learnt. The demolition notices have come at a time when the state government itself is questioning AICTE for giving permissions to colleges without considering the demand for seats. This year, 40 colleges have applied for approval to take students. The government has been requesting the AICTE top brass to be stringent in their approval process. But with the authorities turning a blind eye to such violations, the quality of technical education in the state is sure to remain poor, said an official from the higher education department. Technical education experts said that the fate of students studying in the colleges, which stand to be demolished, is now AICTE's responsibility. Before the demolition starts, the students will have to be accommodated in other colleges. When asked about the major flaw, AICTE officials in AP responded that colleges could have submitted fake documents to get approval. Only the state government can verify land use documents. AICTE officials do check the documents but they cannot always verify whether they are in order. We have already filed several cases against colleges for producing fake documents. If proven guilty of forging documents, they too will be penalized, said Dr. R.K. Gangal, director and regional officer, AICTE. Defending the council, he said that, for the last two years, the approval process has been more than sufficiently strict.
Courtesy: Times of India
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