The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the regulatory body responsible for overseeing technical education in the country, has lifted the ban on the establishment of new engineering colleges.
In January 2019, in an unprecedented move the technical education regulator had decided to not approve new engineering colleges from the academic year 2020-21 and review the creation of new capacity every two years. However, there were a few exceptions to the ban.
Existing engineering institutes were allowed to start new programmes in new technologies or convert current capacity in traditional engineering branches to emerging new technology areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, robotics, quantum computing, data sciences, cyber security and 3D printing.
The council has lifted its ban three years after it was first introduced in view of the low enrolment in engineering and diploma courses.
The decision comes in response to the increasing demand for technical education in India and the need to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.
As per the new approval handbook issued on Thursday, March 23, AICTE has also scrapped the minimum land requirement measures for starting a new college or running an existing one.
During the release of its approval process handbook for 2023-24, the council stated that “the moratorium clauses have been relaxed” and any interested non-profit society/company/trust can now establish institutions in India in engineering and technology.
“The moratorium has been lifted. The move will boost core engineering courses, including civil, mechanical, electrical, and electronic,” AICTE member secretary Rajiv Kumar said.
New candidates will have to register for at least “three core engineering courses”. In line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the council via the handbook informed that preference will be given to those colleges or institutions that will offer courses in multi-disciplinary areas in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
AICTE has also relaxed norms for the collaboration of engineering colleges with foreign institutes.
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