SOME ENGINEERING COLLEGES ON A SHAKY GROUND

As per the recent reports, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is likely to shut nearly 800 engineering colleges across the country from the next academic year. The decision is believed to have been taken owing to a low rate of admissions and poor infrastructure.

Afterobserving the colleges, AICTE has asked the respective authorities to submit areport by mid-September. The colleges with below 30 per cent admission in thelast five years will be bound to either close down or merge with another nearbycollege.

The AllIndia Council of Technical Education(AICTE) is toying with the idea of mergingtwo colleges  which are in the vicinityof each other or even accepting proposals of buyouts, to resolve the lingeringissue of  vacant seats  in technical colleges. It is also reportedthat some of the 800 colleges in the country, which are facing closure forhaving poor  enrolment,have requested theCouncil to defer the decision on shutdown for two years or to allow 'mergers'.The Council is currently seeking advice on the legal implications of suchmergers  and buyouts. 

The problemhas been plaguing technical institutes for almost a decade. To promoteemployability and to allow only the good institutes to function, the governmenthas decided to shut down the non-performing ones. "On receiving news ofthe closure, the colleges have put forth two suggestions. One is to considerthe enrolment data for last three years and defer the decision for the next twoyears and then reconsider it based on the enrolment data. Second, thesecolleges will request the Council to permit mergers or allow buyouts by othertrusts," said Anil Sahastrabuddhe, chairman, AICTE.

 "Basedon their suggestions we are considering pros and cons of such an arrangement.We have to discuss the plan not only with such private colleges but also takelegal counsel given their background and likely complications in sharingfacilities, revenues, etc," added Sahastrabuddhe. 

 The Council plans to review all the inspectionreports of these 800 colleges, give them an opportunity of hearing. If thereare enough sources of revenue other than the fees and the college is able tomaintain the faculty-student ratio and also pay the faculty according to thenorms, the Council will not shut them. Sahastrabuddhe said, "But if thequality is suffering and students are not employable despite paying high fees,there is no point in allowing the colleges to run."

By- SHIVASHANKAR.M.RA0


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