New Delhi: Over 60 students of the Institution of  Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (IETE) protested outside HRD Minister Smriti Irani’s residence Tuesday against the ministry’s  decision to de-recognise the B. Tech degree awarded by the institute.

The ministry in its notification of December 2012 withdrew recognition to the degree courses offered by the institute.

However, the HRD minister later clarified that the students who had enrolled with the IETE by May 5, 2013, would not be affected by the decision.

“Ours is a very old institute and it helps poor students get degrees. The notification was issued when Kapil Sibal was the HRD minister. With this decision the future of these children is at stake,” I.M. Kapoor, chairman of IETE Delhi centre, told IANS.

IETE has 59 centers/sub-centers in India and three abroad and conducts  degree and diploma examinations in electronics and telecommunication engineering, computer science, information technology and other engineering streams.

“The ministry had said that the courses run by IETE do not have All  India Council for Technical Education’s (AICTE) approval. Our institute  was set up in 1953 after which the AICTE was made a statutory body, it  therefore was not authorised to recognise our course. We are in a  deadlock now,” added Kapoor.

Some of the students have also been on a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar  in central Delhi since July 29 and on Tuesday took their protest to the  minister’s residence in south Delhi.

The students want the HRD ministry to rescind its decision to save the future of over 30,000 students.

“The ministry should give the institute some time to get the necessary approval. They should take back their decision because it is about the future of such students who cannot afford private universities,” Manish Sharma, who is in the final year of the degree course told IANS.

A few students tried to break the barricades outside Irani’s residence but were taken away by the police.

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