Published On: Fri, Apr 15th, 2011

500 technical colleges may face closure over violations

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The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is reviewing technical education institutions across the country. Many of these colleges have been found violating norms of land to cheating students. AICTE has been raiding institutions after a review of complaints by parents and students, and a scrutiny of documents submitted by the colleges to the apex technical education regulator.

“At least 500 technical education colleges have already been raided in the last few months across India,” disclosed an official.

The surprise checks are conducted by two educational experts and an architect. They verify several credentials such as land transfer and ownership, building plans, infrastructure, quality of education and faculty among other things.

M.K. Hada, member secretary, AICTE, confirmed the development and said the drive was aimed at “cleaning up the system and bringing transparency in the technical education space.”

The ministry official said the concerned authorities have already prepared a report based on the “surprise raids” and are hearing what the erring institutes have to say. “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 21 experts and officials from the technical education field, will decide on how many should be sent closure notices, the official added.

The names of therring institutes will be made public once the procedure is completed informed officials from AICTE and the ministry.

The ministry official says of the 500 colleges, a majority of them are teaching engineering and management courses. States such as Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu lead in the number of colleges being examined.

An estimated 50,000 students are enrolled in the 500 colleges under scanner, according to the ministry official. Once an institute faces closure, the concerned state government will be responsible for shifting the students to another institute, the official said.

Such scrutiny is critical for maintaining standards, said J. Veeraraghavan, a former education secretary.

“Powerful people are running professional colleges. (They) are making money and AICTE must come down hard on them,” he said. “I believe AICTE 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, Veeraraghavan added.

AICTE has also taken transparency measures like e-application and e-approval system 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.

[Source: Livemint]