A year after 15 engineering colleges in the state were denied permission to conduct admissions for their courses for violating rules on infrastructure, the apex body regulating engineering colleges in the country has begun investigating 16 colleges, including 12 from last year’s list.
Last week, the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) dispatched a team of experts to inspect the institutes. The colleges, which were banned from conducting admissions, had managed to get a Bombay high court stay on the ban. The latest investigations are being done after persistent complaints from activists.
According to sources, the team has inspected 12 colleges so far and plans to scrutinise the remaining ones in the coming days. Based on the findings and recommendations of the committee, AICTE may decide to stop admissions at these colleges or cancel their affiliations. The admissions are expected to start in three to four months.
A lot of colleges have claimed they do not have enough land to set up teaching facilities according to the rulebook. The AICTE, in the past three years, has been denying permissions for admissions to colleges after its committees have spotted discrepancies.
However, the institutes would manage to get a stay on the order by moving the HC. This year, the apex body has relaxed its norms. Instead of a 2.5-acre plot, institutes can set up their facilities over two plots of 1.5 and 1 acre each within the radius of 2-km in urban areas.
Activists claimed that the institutes were let off by the court because of collusion between them and the AICTE officials. In its report, the committee said, “The committee feels that in court matters wherein interim order/stay has been obtained by an institution, there should be a mechanism to properly monitor the case by AICTE Headquarters, so that the counter may be filed in time and such case may not go unattended.”
The colleges said that land requirements by AICTE in urban areas are impractical. One of the colleges, MH Saboo Siddik College of Engineering in Byculla, which figured on the investigators list, said that their college was established before AICTE was constituted.
“Even though we have enough built-up area, it’s not possible to meet the land requirements in the cities. In fact, AICTE has started reviewing some of their norms,” said Zaheer Kazi, president, Anjuman-i-Islam which manages the college.