AICTE allows firms with Rs 100 cr turnover to start their own colleges

Aiming to bridge the gap between technical educational institutes and the expectations of those who employ their graduates, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has decided to allow industries and businesses with Rs 100 crore turnover to set up technical institutions of their own.

Such institutions will be allowed to admit double the number of students allowed at regular institutions, and would be able to start a single branch or theme institute of their choice, according to the AICTE's notification inviting applications to start new institutes for the 2013-14 academic year.

"We often hear that students graduating from technical institutes are not industry-ready or employable. Hence, we want to bring in the best practices of industry and want them to participate in the higher and technical education sector," AICTE chairman S S Mantha told The Indian Express. "Accordingly, a private limited or public limited company or industry, with a turnover of Rs 100 crore in the last three years, will now be eligible to apply to start a new institute."

Such institutions can teach any technical discipline, including engineering, pharmacy, architecture and town planning, applied arts and crafts, and hotel management and catering technology. They can offer undergraduate or postgraduate or diploma courses.

"This is a paradigm shift in the higher and technical education sector in India where a regulatory body is reaching out actively to industry," said a former UGC chairman, who did not want to be identified. "Until now, industries did not apply to AICTE to start an educational institute, probably because norms were not spelled out or because academia was lethargic in its attitude to reach out to them."

Separately, AICTE has also eased norms to help students wanting to pursue a masters degree in computer applications (MCA). "Students who have completed their undergraduate education in any discipline can apply for MCA. But we have introduced a new rule in which students who have done their bachelors in any computer related subject like B.Sc IT/BCA/computer science, will get lateral or direct entry to second year of MCA," said Mantha.

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