Cabinet divided over powers of AICTE

Union Cabinet was divided over Bill to restore powers of All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) to approve institute offering technical courses and matter was referred to Group of Ministers.

PTI| Updated: Feb 06, 2014, 23:34 PM IST

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet was divided on Thursday over a Bill which seeks to restore the powers of All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) to approve institutes offering technical courses and the matter was referred to a Group of Ministers.

The AICTE Amendment Bill is being brought against the backdrop of a Supreme Court ruling which had stripped the body of its powers to approve institutes offering technical courses. It also ruled AICTE does not qualify to affiliate MBA and MCA programmes.

According to sources, the matter came up for discussion and there were differences on the Bill, following which the issue was referred to a GoM which will be constituted soon. They said several Ministers spoke on the issue.

The HRD Ministry`s proposal seeks to amend Section 2(h) of the Act and insertion of Section 24(A) in the Amendment Bill.

In its ruling in April last year, the SC had said colleges affiliated to a university do not come under the purview of the definition of "technical institution" as defined under Section 2 (h) in AICTE Act, 1987.
While the ruling had triggered a confusion about the fate of technical education especially of the management programmes, the ministry had also decided to bring an ordinance to undo the apex court ruling.
However, the proposal was dropped later as the ministry was unsure about it being carried through.

UGC, meanwhile, has prepared broader guidelines on the matter of affiliating the technical institutes as an interim arrangement till the AICTE (Amendment) Bill is passed by Parliament.

Under it, AICTE would set standards for technical institutes but universities would provide the affiliation. The institutes on their part would have to get themselves assessed by the National Board of Accreditation.