'AICTE responsible for superfluous engineering seats'

After MiD DAY brought to light the fact that as many as 12,275 engineering seats are lying vacant at the 114 engineering colleges affiliated to the University of Pune (UoP) at the end of the admission process for the academic year 2012-13, the government has finally woken up from its slumber.

Higher and Technical Educational Minister Rajesh Tope

Higher and Technical Educational Minister Rajesh Tope yesterday put the blame on the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for the situation. He said that despite the state government’s directive to now allow any new engineering college to come up in the state, the AICTE is generously approving new institutions.

The October 15 MiD DAY report exposed that a dozen new engineering colleges were sanctioned this year, and the unchecked grant of affiliations had led to a surplus of the seats. “Now the engineering education has reached a saturation point, as thousands of seats are lying vacant from the past few years. Hence, I have sent a letter to HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, and have even spoken to the AICTE director on this issue,” cleared Tope.

MiD DAY’s report on Oct 15

When asked if AICTE is violation the state governments directives, Tope said, “AICTE has the authority to give permission to new engineering colleges, and there’s hardly anything that the state government can do. That’s the reason we have prepared a perspective plan for new technical education institutes, and according to plan only regions having deficit of engineering colleges will get permission to establish a college. We expect the AICTE to should in order to avoid such saturation.”

However, AICTE officials claimed that they haven’t received the plan yet. Reacting to this, Tope said, “The plan is ready and we’ll immediately check if it has been sent to AICTE or not.”

Governing body for vocational education
The state government will soon form Maharashtra Vocational Education Council (MVEC). The council will regulate and standardise vocational education institutes in the state.  “We are expecting the cabinet to give its final approval on Wednesday,” said Tope. Once MVEC gets established, all vocational education institutes in the state will have to register with the council. “The proposed council will be permanent body and may even have the authority of establishing vocational universities,” Tope said. 

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