Students in technical educational institutions across India will soon be able to get their grievances redressed through the university their institute is affiliated to, instead of trudging all the way to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) centres.
As per the recent Supreme Court order debarring the AICTE from regulating technical educational institutions, the government is finalising new norms that will empower universities to regulate around 10,000 institutes in the country.
Under the new regulations, all technical institutes need to be affiliated to UGC-recognised universities.
The regulations empower universities to grant recognition to the institutions based on the academic and infrastructure norms set up by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Based on the infrastructure, the university will allow the courses to be run and the intake in each course for an academic year. The university will also have powers to review the curriculum of the institutes and prescribe fees.
“We will shift from government regulation to self-regulation, wherein the institutions would have to declare in a public domain as to what they are offering,” said a senior government official, who did not want to be named.
“The universities will also look into the complaints against the institutes made by students or any other stakeholders.”
So far, students with complaints had to approach either the four regional AICTE centres or its headquarters in Delhi.
Once the new rules become operational from the next academic year (2014-15), technical institutions will not need to seek approval from the AICTE every year. Instead, they will have to get their infrastructure revalidated once in three years.
The UGC, which is formalising the new regulations, will not interact with individual institutes as the AICTE used to do. Instead, the universities will have to submit an affidavit to the commission on the number of institutes recognised, courses allowed and the intake of students.
If any action has to be taken against a malpractice, it would be routed through the university, officials said.
The government is also looking at providing central funds to well-performing private technical institutes through the universities in a bid to create centres of excellence in the private sector.
A scheme in this regard called Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan was recently approved by the Union cabinet.
The changes in regulations have taken place as the Supreme Court said only the UGC was empowered to regulate higher education institutions in India and not the AICTE.
The AICTE was set up in 1945 as a national-level advisory body. It was given statutory status in 1987 by an Act of Parliament for regulating and developing technical education in the country.