Tuesday, December 31, 2013

UGC: New technical education norms not for diploma courses

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and University Grants Commission (UGC) on Monday said the new regulations being drafted for technical educations institutions will affect only affiliated colleges and those offering graduate degrees. A senior official said, "Draft regulations will leave out institutions offering all diploma courses."

Clarification has come in the wake of reports that a large number of management institutions are planning to go to the Supreme Court (SC) against the proposed UGC regulations. Their plea is that regulation by UGC will delay the admission process that is already in motion.

The UGC had come into the picture after the Supreme Court (SC) earlier this year said approval of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is not required for obtaining permission and running MBA course by private institutions since it does not fall under the definition of technical education. The SC had also said AICTE's role vis-a-vis universities is "only advisory, recommendatory and one of providing guidance and has no authority empowering it to issue or enforce any sanctions by itself." Instead, the apex court had said regulatory function is with the UGC or the university.

Ministry sources said, "Management institutions have not understood the Supreme Court judgement. It does not impact diploma courses by non-affiliated institutions. Regulations have not been finalized yet. It will take some more time." MHRD's effort to amend the AICTE Act to circumvent the SC order has not happened so far and is unlikely to take place in the remaining few months of UPA-II government. 


Meanwhile, in order to implement SC judgment, UGC got into the act. Earlier, it wrote to universities with affiliating colleges that no new courses should be approved by them. The Commission had said it would also not approve any new course. A senior UGC official said, "Regulations have to be in place before the 2014-15 admission session begins. AICTE had already finished the process for 2013-14 by the time SC order came." But AICTE officials are still hopeful that regulatory function will be restored either through amendment or ordinance.

Source: The Times of India, December 31, 2013

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