Proposals for 43 engineering colleges approved

Aug 17, 2022 04:10 AM IST

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) said that among these proposals, 26 were from state governments.

New Delhi: The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has approved at least 43 proposals for setting up new engineering colleges across the country, including one by a Central university in Puducherry, this year, officials said on Tuesday.

The AICTE regulates nearly 11,000 colleges imparting technical education across the country.(HT photo)
The AICTE regulates nearly 11,000 colleges imparting technical education across the country.(HT photo)

Last year, the BVR Reddy committee — set up by the technical education regulator to explore ways to overhaul engineering education — had recommended a moratorium on the creation of more engineering colleges in the country till 2024.

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AICTE chairperson Anil Sahasrabudhe told HT that this year’s clearances were in line with the exceptions recommended by the Reddy committee — aspirational districts having no engineering colleges, philanthropic organisations existing for more than 25 years and running other educational institutes with NIRF rankings within 100; and any industry with a minimum annual turnover of 5,000 crore.

According to AICTE data, 43 proposals for setting up new engineering colleges have been approved for the year 2022-23. Of these, 26 proposals are from state governments.

“No institution that does not fall under the exceptions made by the Reddy committee has been given approval this year. In fact, the major chunk of them are from state governments for starting a college in aspirational districts having no engineering colleges so far or to offer highly skill-based courses such as Artificial Intelligence and Data Science,” said Sahasrabudhe.

Among the cleared proposals, five are from private bodies. “The permission to start new private colleges has been granted only on the basis of two parameters. Firstly, to the proposals by philanthropic or educational foundations fulfilling the Reddy committee guidelines, and secondly, to those who proposed to start such colleges in aspirational districts,” Sahasrabudhe said.

Besides, the proposal of a central university, Pondicherry University, has also been approved. Also, seven proposals of state universities and their constituent colleges, two deemed universities, and a state private university, have also received AICTE nod, among others.

With this, the number of engineering seats this year is also set to increase, officials said. Last year, engineering colleges in India recorded a 10-year-low in the number of seats being offered.

Meanwhile, the AICTE has also approved 80 new management and four architecture and planning institutes.

In its recommendations issued in 2019, the Reddy committee had advised the government to put a moratorium on granting approvals to new engineering colleges for two years, starting 2020. The committee observed that the combined capacity utilisation in engineering colleges during 2017-18 at the undergraduate and postgraduate level was at 49.8%.

Following a fresh review in December 2021, the committee had suggested to the education ministry to extend the moratorium till 2024. The recommendation was accepted by the government earlier this year.

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    Fareeha Iftikhar is a Special Correspondent with the national political bureau of the Hindustan Times. She tracks the education ministry, and covers the beat at the national level for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different policy matters.

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