Five government engineering colleges of Punjab have been sent notice from AICTE for allegedly hiring ineligible principals. These colleges include few of the eminent engineering institutions of the state.
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) was established through the AICTE Act 1987 with the objective to develop technical education system across the country. The Council’s main objectives include promotion of quality in technical education, planning and co-ordinated development of technical education and forming norms and standards.
Five months back, AICTE made some changes in the administrative rules of technical institutions through its official gazette notification dated January 6, 2016. New rule amended the academic background requirements for principal posts in technical institutions. AICTE sent the notice to 5 institutes located in Punjab, namely, Baba Hira Singh Bhattal Institute of Engineering and Technology (Sangrur), Beant College of Engineering & Technology (Gurdaspur) Malout Institute of Management and Information Technology (Mukatsar), Giani Zail Singh Campus College of Engineering and Technology (Bathinda) and Shaheed Bhagat Singh State Technical Campus (Firozpur).
AICTE has mentioned in its notice that if the framed rules are not followed, their approval would stand terminated. Following the rules, Punjab Technical University (PTU) also issued official notification mentioning that the university would grant affiliation for academic year 2016-17 only to those following the AICTE norms.
Some of the institutes’ principals (Heads) have replied to the AICTE over the notice that they possess the required qualification to bear the post, attaching the required documents. While some claimed that they were appointed to the post before the notification, hence they should not be excluded from their post.
Amidst all this hustle, one thing that needs to be answered is the fate of students who wish to pursue engineering courses in the state. If these institutes loose their approval, some thousand seats across various disciplines of engineering courses would be reduced, adding tough competition on other institutes’ seats.
As per the rules, a Principal (head) in government engineering colleges is appointed by a board in consultation with State and Central government, however, in this case, Principal Secretary of Technical Education, MP Singh dismissed the showcause notice and washed hands off the controversy. He said, “These notices are concerned with the colleges. We are not connected with it.”