Friday, February 01, 2008

Reviewing AICTE

This, from the Economic Times, is interesting:

As the watchdog for technical education, AICTE has been deeply criticised for its ‘unfair’ practices in the past. While AICTE is known to have approved institutions with dubious antecedents, it has not recognised some of India’s premier institutes like Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, and SP Jain, Mumbai.

Taking charge of the situation, the standing committee on the ministry has invited suggestions from organisations and individuals alike on the functioning of AICTE.

In a newspaper advertisement dated January 24, the committee has invited suggestions, views and comments from interested organisations, institutions and individuals on “different aspects relating to the working of AICTE, particularly the positive impact and problem areas”. The applicants have been asked to suggest procedures for recognition of new technical institutions and improvement processes.

Not surprisingly, the Economic Times has highlighted AICTE's failures in regulating management institutions. But it's clear that the organization has botched its other major responsibility even more: regulating engineering colleges. The result has been equally horrendous: a lot of people getting poor education, and being blamed for their unemployable status.

Just one more general observation: It's not clear why such a review has to happen only when there's a hue and cry over some specific failure or the other. A periodic review should be built into the very statute which created AICTE (and other such regulatory bodies).