Changing its decision of April 25 last year, the Supreme Court has allowed All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to have regulatory control over technical educational institutions in the country for the 2014-15 academic year. The latest interim order came on a petition of the Odisha Technical Colleges’ Association (OTCA) on April 17, OTCA president Biswajit Mohanty said here on Sunday.
The SC last year had said colleges affiliated to any university do not come under AICTE purview, thereby shrinking AICTE role in regulating technical institutions. After the April 25 SC order, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had decided to take over control on technical education in the country and had framed guidelines for universities.
Allowing AICTE to have regulatory control over all such technical institutions again, a bench of Justice R M Lodha and Justice Kurian Joseph said on April 17, “AICTE shall now proceed in accordance with the approval process handbook for the 2014-15 academic year in so far as members of the petitioner association and all colleges and institutions situated similarly to the members of the petitioners’ association.”
The apex court also asked AICTE to issue necessary orders in this regard within 10 days, copy of the court order reveals.
Welcoming the latest court verdict, the OTCA president said AICTE control over technical institutions is necessary to ensure quality in technical education.
“UGC being an agency to offer grants, it had no technical expertise to ensure norms in technical institutions. That is why UGC delegated such a role to universities, which will dilute the quality of technical institutions in the country,” Mohanty told TOI.
OTCA, which has 62 member colleges in the state, had prayed to vest regulatory control on AICTE on the same logic.
The colleges were particularly apprehensive about their future without AICTE. In the UGC system, regulatory powers would have ultimately come to state universities, resulting in increased state government meddling in their affairs. The Odisha government, for example, had asked UGC to ensure that only Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) be allowed to affiliate any technical institution in Odisha.
The government had also requested UGC to ensure that no objection certificate from the state government would be made necessary before opening a new technical college, change of location, closure of a college and conversion of women’s technical college into co-ed college etc. (TOI)