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One-year Moratorium on New Engineering Colleges

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided not to allow any new engineering college to start in the academic year engg2014-15 and has also barred institutes from increasing intake in existing courses.

This has come as a shocker for students as there is no clarity about the fee structure and seat sharing between private engineering colleges and the state government for students selected through the forthcoming Common Entrance Test (CET) 2014.

The UGC issued an official circular on April 4 and directed all technical universities to communicate the same to their affiliated colleges.

The circular states: “UGC has decided to have a one-year moratorium on affiliation of fresh colleges providing technical  education by universities and approval to increase in the intake of students in technical colleges.”

Though the UGC has not clearly cited any reasons for taking such a decision, the circular states: “In view of the pattern of enrollment in colleges providing technical education, vis-a-vis the approved intake capacity over the last couple of years, it has been decided to have a one-year moratorium on affiliating new colleges and enhancement of existing intake.”

However, this decision by the UGC has received negative comments from principals of engineering colleges in the state. They said this decision by the UGC will affect aspirants of professional courses badly.

Dr M S Shivakumar, principal of Atria Institute of Technology, said: “The decision will surely affect students. Even if there is demand, colleges or universities cannot admit students as the increase of intake is frozen.”

Shivakumar also pointed that there is no clarity over opening of new courses. “The circular just speaks about the intake and new colleges and there is no mention or clarity over opening of new courses,” he said.

As per the information available from Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), there are already 14 applications to setup new engineering colleges across the state for the academic year 2014-15 and of that seven are architecture institutes.

Reacting to the UGC circular, VTU Vice-chancellor Dr H Maheshappa said: “I cannot comment on this as I am also part of the UGC being a vice-chancellor. We have forwarded the communication to all colleges affiliated to VTU and asked them to maintain the status-quo.”

As per the information available from VTU, there are some courses which witness less admissions, but there are some courses which really need enhancement in intake.

Speaking to Express, another principal of a reputed engineering colleges in the state said: “Courses like Electronics and Communication, Computer Science, Mechanical and Civil Engineering will always be in demand and a majority of colleges seek enhancement of intake in these courses.”

This year as many as 1,73,829 candidates appeared for second year Pre-University examinations in science Courses.

Institutes to Take Legal Recourse

Questioning the decision taken by UGC, some of the technical institutions have decided to approach  the court.

A management representative from an institute in Hubli, which had applied to open a new college in Jamakhandi, said: “We had applied in 2013-14 itself, but due to some reasons we did not get the clearance. This time we have kept even the buildings ready and invested crores on it.  The UGC must communicate such matters at least an year before. We are discussing about appealing this decision in a court.”

VTU committee visiting colleges

Meanwhile, the VTU had started Local Inquiry Committee (LIC) visits in February itself and completed inspections in Belgaum and Gulbarga regions. Speaking to Express, VTU VC Dr H Maheshappa said: “As the moratorium on enhancement of intake and setting up of new colleges is issued, we have asked LIC committees just to look at renewal of affiliation.” Currently, the LIC is visiting colleges in the Mysore region.

Date: April 8th, 2014

Source: The New Indian Express