The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the regulatory body responsible for overseeing technical education in the country, has lifted the ban on the establishment of new engineering colleges. The council has lifted its ban three years after it was first introduced in view of the low enrolment in engineering and diploma courses. The decision comes in response to the increasing demand for technical education in India and the need to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.
As per the new approval handbook issued on Thursday, March 23, AICTE has also scrapped the minimum land requirement measures for starting a new college or running an existing one. During the release of its approval process handbook for 2023-24, the council stated that “the moratorium clauses have been relaxed” and any interested non-profit society/company/trust can now establish institutions in India in engineering and technology. “The moratorium has been lifted. The move will boost core engineering courses, including civil, mechanical, electrical, and electronic,” AICTE member secretary Rajive Kumar said.
New candidates will have to register for at least “three core engineering courses”. In line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the council via the handbook informed that preference will be given to those colleges or institutions that will offer courses in multi-disciplinary areas in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
AICTE has also relaxed norms for the collaboration of engineering colleges with foreign institutes. It is to be noted that there is no change in the eligibility criteria for candidates seeking admission to engineering courses this year.
AICTE constituted a committee in 2018 which was headed by BVR Mohan Reddy, chairman of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad. The committee was set up to overhaul engineering education in India and to recommend short- and medium-term future plans. The panel of experts was set up after the council saw that seats were lying vacant in several engineering colleges.
The following year, the committee asked the government to put a moratorium on granting approvals to new engineering colleges for two years, which began in 2020, and “review” the creation of new capacity after every two years. Last year, the ministry of education informed the centre that at least 33 per cent of the sanctioned seats in engineering colleges across India remained vacant in the academic year 2021-22.
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