All India Council for Technical Education is the apex body for regulation of technical courses in the country and now the council is in the process of drafting a regulation for distance learning engineering programs under the ‘Blended Learning’ category. The ratio proposed for theory and practical teaching is 60:40. The universities offering engineering programmes through distance learning mode will soon get affiliation from the statutory body as at present any engineering programme offered through distance learning mode is not approved by AICTE.
AICTE Chairman Anil Dattatraya Sahasrabudhe told that AICTE has already sent the proposed regulation to the Ministry of Human Resource and Development and they are just waiting for the approval from ministry. Once the ministry gives the nod, the official notification will be issued and recognition will be granted to offer courses from the ensuing session.
The universities will then be able to impart the theoretical knowledge for various courses through study material but the practical session will require regular attendance and practical training. Railways, had also expressed reservation in hiring candidates who had B.Tech degrees pursued under distance learning mode.
In the year 2013 Ministry of Human Resource and Development banned the universities and other higher-educational institutions from offering diploma, bachelors and postgraduate courses in engineering and technology through distance learning in perpetuity for equivalence in central government jobs after the concerns were raised over the quality of such programmes.
But the ministry raised the curtain from the ban in September this year saying all degrees, diplomas and certificates – including those in technical education – awarded through open and distance mode, stood automatically recognized for employment to central jobs, provided the courses have been approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
On the same occasion the 4th Edition of the survey report of industry linked technical institutes conducted by AICTE in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) was also released by AICTE Chairman. The survey is conducted by the two bodies to award best institutions in 24 categories. At present, 12,234 established and emerging institutes offering Engineering, Management, Pharmacy and Architecture programmes are recognized by AICTE. Thing to be noted is that none of the IITs and IIMs submitted their entries for the participation in awards. This year 1225 institutes have participated in race for the awards which are expected to be announced on December 2.