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Corporates allowed to start technical institutions

Aarti Dhar

AICTE nod for increase in seats

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday permitted companies registered as non-profit entities to establish technical institutions and reduced the land requirement for non-rural areas to 2.5 acres from the existing 3.5 acres, in addition to allowing vertical expansion barring engineering colleges.

In a move that could enhance the intake of students in technical colleges, including engineering, substantially, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has allowed an increase in the number of seats from 40-60 to provide for larger number of seats and optimisation of resources without having to set up new institutions in the area. Up to now, different programmes – one each – were allowed to be integrated into a single campus so that resources could be shared. Now, this facility has been extended to accommodate more than one college in same stream on a single campus.

All companies or corporate houses registered as non-profit entities under section 25 of the Company's Act, 1956 can set up technical institutions but no joint ventures would be allowed in such cases. As of now, only registered trusts and societies could set up educational institutions.

Public-private partnership will be permitted for setting up technical institutions or institutions can be established under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) system. These schemes will be allowed in 241 districts where currently no AICTE-approved institution exists, Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal told journalists here.

To make technical education more inclusive, the AICTE has made the tuition fee waiver scheme mandatory up to 5 per cent for all institutions as against 10 per cent earlier which was voluntary. Under the scheme, 10 per cent additional seats were meant for economically weaker sections where only tuition fee was waived.

Vertical expansion

However, the Floor Space Index and the Floor Area Ratio would be considered for vertical expansion. “The AICTE has been making a conscious effort to facilitate the stakeholders on establishing good technical institutions. In order that a planned and coordinated development is ensured in technical education, the AICTE will implement these relaxed norms from the coming academic year,” Mr. Sibal added.

New norms

The new norms also allow institutions to start stand-alone post graduate courses and granting Indian degrees in campuses of Indian institutions abroad subject to local laws. Overseas campus can be set up subject to local laws and clearance by the Indian side, Mr. Sibal explained.

All post graduate diploma courses will have to be of two-year duration except for executives where the duration has been fixed at 15 months. Any course less than 24 months will be treated as a certificate course. “Students of Class XII vocational or technical board of any State will be allowed lateral entry to Second Year diploma programme, while students of B.Sc. will be admitted to Second Year to a Degree programme,” the Minister said.

As part of social responsibility, the AICTE-approved institutions will also be permitted to conduct evening courses for skill development based on expertise areas possessed by the respective institutions. These institutions are expected to form clusters with other institutions in the neighbourhood and collaborate with the industries in the areas in running these skill-based programmes.

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