One teacher per 15 students: AICTE’s rule for autonomous, deemed collegesUpdated: Feb 11, 2020 00:03 IST
With the aim of improving academic standards in engineering colleges, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has asked colleges to improve the ratio of teachers to students. According to the new rule, all deemed and autonomous colleges must have a student-faculty ratio of 15:1 from the academic year of 2020-21. Government colleges will continue to have a ratio of 20:1.
The new ratio is among several changes introduced in the Approval Handbook 2020-21, released by AICTE last week. Institutes have till March 5 to make the necessary changes to fulfil the new requirements.
While the required student-faculty ratio stood at 15:1 until 2018, the same was relaxed to 20:1 for all professional courses after several institutes complained against the rule, especially government-run institutes which must wait for approvals to hire teachers for months at a stretch. The ratio was changed to 20:1 for all institutes in 2018. The new rule affects only deemed and autonomous colleges, with the government colleges continuing with the 20:1 ratio.
With the student-faculty ration reset at 15:1 for deemed and autonomous colleges, these institutions will have to either hire more teachers or reduce the number of students.
“Professional courses need to focus more on quality research and while some institutes might have some limitations, deemed and autonomous colleges get a special status because we expect them to better the quality of education they impart,” said Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman, AICTE. “This move will help with more faculty [members] who could focus on research amidst students and lead to abundant mentors for the students,” he added.
The new student-faculty ratio is likely to lead to more jobs. “There is no dearth of qualified teachers so institutes should have no trouble finding appropriate faculty,” said Gopakumaran Thampi, principal of Thadomal Shahani Engineering College, Bandra.
AICTE has also imposed a deadline on the approval of courses by institutes, stating that technical institutes should have at least 60% of their courses accredited in the next three years in order to avoid repercussions. Any institute with over 70% vacancy in the last five years will face axing of their intake capacity by 50%. “These changes are necessary to maintain quality education in technical courses, which witnessed mushrooming in the last few years but declining interest in the courses due to falling quality,” said Sahasrabudhe.