Millennium Post

‘Six-hour’ deadline for AICTE nod leaves DU colleges stumped

In a fresh twist to the stand-off between DU V-C and the HRD Ministry over the FYUP, many colleges were left dumbfounded over an order of AICTE asking them to submit an affidavit within “six hours” to get approval for its B Tech courses.

The deadline has been termed as “impractical” by many college principals, who could not manage to meet it.

B.Tech programmes in Computer Science, Electronics, Food Technology, Instrumentation Electronics and Polymer Science were launched as part of the Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP), which was last year scrapped following UGC intervention.

UGC had, however, directed DU to continue with these five B.Tech programmes but only for benefit of over 6,000 students admitted in the academic year 2013-2014.

The colleges were asked to seek approval from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the apex advisory body regulating technical education in the country.

With several deadlines passing over months, students had raised concerns over non-approval of the courses with HRD Minister Smriti Irani in February this year who, in turn, had directed the VC to do the needful.

Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh has stood his ground over the validity of FYUP to a showcause issued on him last month by the HRD Ministry.

A decision on Singh’s continuation as the V-C is likely soon.

Last week, about 27 colleges stuck in midst of this stand-off were taken for a “surprise” when they received a communication from AICTE to submit an affidavit promising to address the shortcomings of faculty and infrastructure within the next six months.

The affidavit came after review of these colleges to offer the B.Tech courses.

“The mail from AICTE was received after 9 PM on last?Thursday?and the deadline was given for six hours, which meant even before the opening time of the colleges next day.

“There were certain clauses in the affidavit which needed to be worked out, hence we chose not to submit it,” said a Principal on condition of anonymity, describing the deadline as “impractical”.

As a result, sources said, only about six colleges could submit the affidavit.

AICTE is understood to have refused giving further extension.

“Non-submission of affidavit by the stipulated time will be considered that your college is not interested and approval will not be granted to your institute,” the communication sent to the colleges by AICTE said.

“It requires an affidavit. We could not have submitted a wrong affidavit just for the sake of meeting the deadline.

“How did they expect us to meet it?” said another Principal. 

The development came against the backdrop of standoff between DU V-C Dinesh Singh and the HRD ministry over the FYUP.

The ministry had issued a showcause notice to Singh on March 17, seeking his reply on the FYUP issue, opening of B Tech courses without clearance from AICTE and allegations of diversion of funds to the tune of Rs 172 crore meant for OBC students to buy laptops.

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