During the 2020-21 academic years, almost 180 professional colleges, including engineering institutes and business schools, are closed. The number is highest than past nine years, according to the All India Technical Education Council (AICTE) data. In addition to the closure of 179 institutes, at least 134 institutes did not seek approval this year because large numbers of seats remain vacant for last five years, hence it is not convenient to continue in this scenario.
Additionally, at least 44 institutes were unable to obtain approval or their approvals were withdrawn due to disciplinary action by the technical education regulator.
The word progressive closure means one institute cannot get new students for first year but all other students who studied there will continue and they will get their valid mark sheet and degrees.
In the academic year 2020-21, a total of 1.09 lakh of AICTE-approved seats in pharmacy and architecture institutions were decreased.
“According to the recent Supreme Court ruling, for the operation of existing Architecture and Pharmacy Universities, the approval of only ‘Architecture Council’ and ‘Indian Pharmacy Council’, respectively, will be mandatory from academic year 2020 -2021 “ said a senior AICTE official.
“As a result, AICTE approval has been made non-mandatory. As a result, many of these universities have withdrawn their AICTE membership and approval, resulting in a massive reduction in seats. Indeed, pharmacy and architecture positions have now been taken over by their respective regulatory bodies” he added.
According to the official statistics, more than 69,000 places in 762 schools have been reduced due to the reduction in the admission or closure of a particular course or division.
The approval process for the year 2020-2021 was a considerable departure from previous years in several respects. Due to the imposition and subsequent extensions of the blockade, the approval process was delayed. It began in May and was completed in late June.
“In addition, the rigorous scrutiny that was physically performed at various regional offices was done through an online process. This involved the use of online video conferencing for stakeholders to connect, verification of campus infrastructure and facilities virtually and the burden of digitally signed documents.
Although the new Administration and the Institutes of Polytechnic Engineering have added seats, the number of seats approved by AICTE has been reduced”, said the official.
AICTE approved 164 new institutions, while 1,300 institutions sought approval for increasing the intake by a total of 1,40,000 seats. AICTE regulates at least 9,691 technical institutes, including engineering and business schools.The educational institutions are closed down from mid-March due to the ongoing pandemic across the country.