The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has decided to allow engineering colleges run arts and science courses in parallelly on the same campus.
Confirming the decision, AICTE chairman Anil D Sahasrabudhe told Express, “If other programmes are to be run, the requirement of each programme should be available separately except playground, parking, canteen, etc.” In Tamil Nadu, engineering colleges come under the control of Anna University, whereas arts and science colleges are covered by arts and science universities like University of Madras, Bharathiar University, Madurai Kamaraj University, etc.
When asked if engineering colleges will be allowed to get affiliation for arts and science colleges from other arts and science universities, he said, “It depends on having independent facilities for each of the programmes separately.”
Welcoming this decision, a chairman of a private engineering college said that it would help utilise the resources that now remain idle given the poor patronage for engineering courses. The classrooms built for such courses can now be used for arts and science programmes.
Engineering colleges equipped with faculty members for physics, chemistry, and mathematics, and also laboratories for these subjects; these can be used effectively, the chairman suggested. He also recalled how engineering colleges were allowed to run courses like BSc and MSc in Computer Science and Information Technology till the year 2002.
However, the chairman opined that starting the courses for the academic year 2019-20 would be impossible. The last date to apply to the Directorate of Collegiate Education for permission for these arts and science courses ended on December 31. Colleges could ask for the deadline to be extended, the chairman suggested. Meanwhile, Association of Self Financing Arts, Science and Management Colleges of Tamil Nadu president Ajeet Kumar Lal Mohan opined that the AICTE did not have the power to allow engineering colleges to run arts and science courses. The management would need a GO from the Tamil Nadu government. Besides, common land cannot be used for running engineering and arts courses, he claimed.