Chennai: Educationists and academicians have slammed the move of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to allow engineering colleges to run arts and science courses in parallel on the same campus.
AICTE's chairman Anil D Sahasrabudhe's comment that engineering colleges would be allowed to start B.Sc. or BA courses on their premises in view of a huge vacancy in engineering seats has sparked a row.
He further said a separate approval is needed for arts and science courses from concerned universities and state higher education directorates.
In the approval handbook for 2019-20, the council said that it would not insist on separate boundary walls for institutions in the same campus by the same trust or society or company provided that the land and built-up area norms are fulfilled.
“It would further deteriorate engineering education. The dual mode courses in the same campus will lead to misuse of resources and confusion,” said E.Balagurusamy, former Vice-Chancellor, Anna University.
He further said the AICTE's concern should be on improving the quality of engineering education.
“The move will only allow the engineering colleges to make money and will not improve the quality of engineering education,” Mr. Balagurusamy said. He urged the council to roll back its decision.
Some professors accused the AICTE of talking in the language of private engineering colleges.
“Unless the focus is in engineering, an engineering institution cannot flourish. Engineering deserves a special calibre and mindset, and so do arts and science courses,” said I. Arul Aram, president of Tamil Nadu Federation of University Faculty Associations (TANFUFA) and president of Anna University Teachers' Association.
“To fill the coffers of engineering colleges, we should not stoop too low to change the very engineering identity of the colleges. Engineering colleges should remain engineering colleges,” he added.
Many professors argued that it was the poor quality of engineers produced by engineering colleges that is one of the main reasons for engineers being
unemployed leading to poor enrolment.
K.M. Karthik, president of Private Educational Institutions Employees Association said the AICTE has powers only to regulate technical education.
“The move would affect the faculty members in engineering colleges and the fee for arts and science courses might go up,” he warned....