AICTE Issues New Guidelines: AICTE has issued new set of guidelines to the new technology institutes coming in the engineering and management domain. The new set of guidelines was released on 4th February 2020 and they are the benchmark as far as AICTE approval for technical institutions as well as renewal of permission to offer degrees or certificates is concerned for the academic year 2020-21.
Guidelines Regarding Naming of Institutes
Along with a set of new guidelines, the AICTE has also reiterated the warning to private engineering colleges and MBA institutes to avoid using misleading names that sound like premier institutes including IITs, NITs, IISc and IIMs. The guideline with regarding to usage of misleading names, which sound similar to premier technology and business schools like IITs and IIMs, has been in place since 2018; however, due to violation of the same by a number of private institutes, AICTE has had to reissue the warning.
The warning to technical institutes from refraining from adopting names similar to IITs, IIMs, NITs and IISc was issued to prevent students from getting confused. Furthermore, the guideline also requires institutes to write their full, unabbreviated name on their website and handbook.
No New Engineering / Pharmacy Colleges
The AICTE Guidelines issued on 4th February 2020 also address the question of excess of Engineering and Pharmacy Seats / Colleges in the country in comparison to their demand. Therefore, to address this problem, AICTE will not be granting approval to setting up of new engineering colleges in the country. Furthermore, engineering colleges are also banned from increasing the intake in existing courses, unless starting a course on emerging technologies. On similar lines, the council has also imposed a two year ban on setting up of Pharmacy Colleges as well for the same reason.
New Courses only in Emerging Areas
Another important guideline that has been introduced by the AICTE as far as technology institutes are concerned is about introduction of new courses and programmes. The new AICTE guidelines state that private colleges and institutes can introduce new programmes / courses only in the fields of emerging technologies such as Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and not in conventional fields. This guideline will come into force from the new academic session which starts in 2020-21.
Why such a Restrictive Guideline?
The key reason behind issuing such restrictive guideline is to address the problem of excess of engineering seats available in core engineering domains. Due to ample availability of seats, most of the seats that are increased by private institutes go vacant, despite engineering being one of the most popular career choices in India. Therefore, institutes starting new courses or programmes will be allowed to do so only in emerging fields.
What Qualifies as Emerging Technology
To make the domain or definition of emerging technologies completely clear and to remove any form or ambiguity; AICTE has clearly identified areas for it. These include Artificial Intelligence [AI], Internet of Things [IoT], blockchain [the technology behind Bitcoin, etc], robotics, quantum computing, data sciences, cybersecurity, 3D printing and design, and augmented reality/virtual Reality (AR/VR).