Maharashtra cagey about AICTE approval for technical courses; say State-Gov Recognition will suffice

Many educational institutions and states like Maharashtra are questioning All India Council for Technical Education’s (AICTE) methodology of approving educational programmes.

The state government has told the Bombay high court in a submission that most private institutions offering technical programmes in the state have direct or indirect government approval, even when they do not have AICTE approval, according to media reports.

While filing a the submission in the court, the Maharastra government also said that some of the institutions are run by the industry and offer courses in areas such as retail management and aviation management where there is an increased demand for trained people.

It said that AICTE and the educational institutions having their approval are lagging behind in meeting the emerging needs of industry.

According to AICTE, any programme in technical education, including engineering & technology, management, computer applications, architecture, pharmacy, hotel management, and applied arts, offered by institutions either on their own or in collaboration with a foreign university or institution, needs its approval.

AICTE put up a list of 169 AICTE unapproved institutions on its website in March. These institutes offer courses in the field of technical education and 124 others that were conducting technical education programmes in collaboration with foreign universities without AICTE approval.

Of the 169 institutions offering courses without AICTE’s approval, 84 are in Maharashtra.

According to an expert committee appointed by the state government, 49 of the 84 have some approval from or affiliation with a state-approved university or the state’s technical education board itself.

The expert committee’s report makes it clear that Maharashtra does not consider it necessary for these institutions to seek AICTE’s approval.

It finds only 14 of the 84 colleges ‘unauthorized’ and recommends that they be closed down. It has identified another three colleges against which ‘criminal action’ needs to be initiated.