Now, universities will have to sit for performance tests

In a bid to maintain the standards of universities imparting technical education, the technical departments of universities will soon have to go through a performance appraisal by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

The council has come up with a performance appraisal system for departments of engineering, technology, MBA, MCA, pharmacy, architecture, hotel management and catering technology in order to enforce accountability of such institutions and ascertain the financial needs of an institution on the basis of its standards of teaching, examination and research.

"Many such institutions offer post-graduate programmes for which we give grants and they need to be regulated. Hence, we have come up with parameters to regulate their performance," said SS Mantha, AICTE chairman.

 The mandatory inspection and appraisal process will be rolled out from this year and would be based on factors such as class size, built-up area, land, infrastructure facilities, faculty, director and faculty-student ratio. The universities will also have to submit a mandatory online information on the AICTE website on technical programmes and courses being run after seeking the approval of the concerned authority before commencement of the programme.

 The performance appraisal applications will then be evaluated by a three-member scrutiny committee using an automated selection process provided on the AICTE website.

 At present, there are 40 central universities and 289 state universities in the country. Professional courses account for 19% of the total higher education enrolment. The move assumes significance as going by the number of new institutes sanctioned by the council, professional courses such as architecture, pharmacy, hotel management and computer applications have lost popularity in the past few years. 

Moreover, there has been a drop in the number of applications from various states to set up new engineering colleges. In fact, last year AICTE decided not to approve new engineering colleges from the 2013-14 academic year due to a growing number of vacant BE/BTech seats in existing colleges.

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