About 200 engineering colleges apply for closure; AICTE to enforce NBA accreditation in future

About 200 engineering colleges apply for closure; AICTE to enforce NBA accreditation in future
Abhay Anand | Jun 26, 2018 - 4:58 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI, APRIL 12: As many as 200 engineering colleges across the country have applied for closure to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), roughly translating to nearly 80,000 less engineering seats in the coming academic session 2018-19.  

In some colleges, quite a few programmes have been withdrawn by their administration. The colleges have applied for closure as less than 20 percent  admissions happened in the past session, there were no takers for certain programmes, the colleges were struggling to to get good faculty, etc.

It is expected that there is going to be further reduction in number of engineering seats and is likely to go up to 3.1 lakhs in the next four years.

Spearheading a cleaning drive primary aimed at providing quality education through good institutes is the AICTE which has already issued guidelines to this effect. In addition, the onus is now being placed on accreditation and AICTE expects to ensure at least 50 percent accreditation from National Board of Accreditation (NBA) for the institutes by 2022 such that the standards improve from the current dismal figure of 10 percent.

A look at the enrolment statistics

Since 2012-13 onwards, many engineering colleges across the country have seen a significant decline in enrolment. The statistics have been put together below to give a clear picture of enrolment figures and dip in the same.

Total Capacity of Students and Enrolment
Years     2014-15    2015-16    2016-2018    2018-2019       
Capacity in lakhs     17.2 lakh     16.5 lakh     15.7 lakh     14.9 lakh        
Enrolment     8.8 lakh     8.6 lakh     7.9 lakh     -    

What is the way out for students in these institutes?

Colleges which have been asked to close or have opted to close will continue to function for the existing students. However they cannot admit new students. Their operations will cease to exist once the existing students complete their courses.

Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairperson, AICTE, elaborates, “AICTE is committed to protect the interests of the students who are currently studying in these institutes. He further said, “If there are less number of students in a particular college or institute than viable, they will be accommodated in the nearest institute that are in close proximity to the ones they are studying in. Any college that opts for closure will also have to get a no objection certificate both from the University and the state government. There will be no new admissions and already enrolled students will be allowed to graduate from these colleges”.

AICTE’s Accreditation Norms for the future

Prof Sahasrabudhe further emphasised, “Our vision is to go for 100 per cent accreditation of programmes by NBA for every institute. Since it cannot happen overnight, our aim is to ensure that at least 50 to 60 per cent of courses and colleges are accomplished by 2022.”

Any programmes not accredited will have to be removed as per the new norms. At present, only 15 per cent of the programmes have accreditation by NBA. In a bid to improve the quality of education, AICTE has decreed that most programmes will have to be accredited by NBA in the coming years.

Accreditation Parameters and Challenges
Elaborating on the time factor for enforcing the said accreditation, Prof. Sahasrabudhe mentioned the challenges that contributed to the given time frame. According to him, a minimum threshold requirement for accreditation has to be met by colleges for which they must be prepared with improvements in factors that mattered. For example at least 70 % faculty must be eligible for accreditation. Then the actual accreditation process is a time consuming one consisting of actual visits by the accrediting officials to physically check and ensure that it is all in place. To add to this, the institutes must have the requisite bandwidth to cope with the requisite inspections while ensuring that the relevant benchmarks are being met. “In all probability only 30 % of them might be accredited at the first shot. Since it is a long process we cannot jump start”, he said.

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