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Worried over a significant number of seats at professional institutions remaining vacant each year, the department of higher and technical education will forward a five-year perspective plan to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The plan will detail the district-specific and branch-wise requirement of technical institutes in the state in the coming five years.
"The plan covers all institutes under technical education i.e. engineering, pharmacy, management, hotel management and catering and architecture. It will now be approved by the higher and technical education minister before it is forwarded to the AICTE," said Abhay Wagh, deputy secretary to the department, on Monday, 23rd April. Wagh said, "The focus is on ensuring appropriate industry linkages for institutes that will come up in the next five years, and meeting the employment needs of the skill sets to be rolled out by these institutes." The AICTE had asked all state governments to furnish such a perspective plan in the wake of growing concern over the large number of seats at professional institutions like engineering and management remaining vacant. Engineering institutions, in particular, have mushroomed in the state in the last few years though a large number of seats have no claimants by the end of the centralised admission process every year. Several state governments, including Maharashtra, had urged the AICTE to stop sanctioning new engineering colleges. However, the council has expressed its inability to suddenly stop granting permissions because of a two-year gestation period that goes into an academic organisation to make investments in new building and allied infrastructure before they approach the AICTE for sanctions. "We will review the sanctioning process for institutes that are to come up from 2014-15 instead of bringing the process to a sudden halt," AICTE chairman S. S. Mantha had said recently. Seeking perspective plans from the state governments forms a part of this exercise. Wagh said, "We have involved district collectors and the Maharashtra industrial development corporation to find out the presence of industry in each district; prevailing number of technical institutes; availability of seats; projected skill set requirement over the next few years etc. prior to finalising the perspective plan." Referring to the proposed Indian Science and Engineering Eligibility Test (ISEET), Wagh said that a multi-member committee, headed by the secretaries to the departments of higher and technical education and medical education and research, will be finalised by the end of May, the framework for the test, which the central government plans to introduce from 2013-14. "The panel will take a call on what should be the proportion of weightage for the ISEET and the std XII state board marks and the same will be posted on the government's official website for further public feedback. We will then convey our decision on the ISEET to the central government," he said.
Courtesy: Times of India
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