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Madras HC declares AICTE highest body

Written by: Staff
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Chennai, Apr 7 (UNI) Madras High Court today said the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) was the highest body, it had expertise and its role must be mandatory and not advisory.

When a batch of petitions filed by Deemed Universities and others, challenging AICTE directions and the latest Union Ministry of Human Resources Development notification came up for hearing, a Division Bench made the observation and posted further hearing to April 17.

After studying the notification, Chief Justice A P Shah and Ms Justice Prabha Sridevan said it read like a counter affidavit filed by the Ministry. It was wishful thinking. Nothing was going to emerge from it. 'You could have also included that the High Court cannot interfere as it is a policy matter,' the judges said.

The bench said it must be borne in mind all deemed universities (DU) were technical institutions and at least a part of their courses was recognised by AICTE. AICTE's jurisdiction and power could not be washed away after institutes became DUs, which might function in their own sphere under UGC control. They must continue to be under AICTE. Could they start technical or management education programme without UGC permission? Whenever such an application was filed and received by UGC, the latter must consider AICTE's input. If the AICTE decided to inspect at that stage, it must be permitted.

When the right to inspect was recognised, then its report should be made mandatory to make control more effective as it was necessary to have some check on institutions. If DUs continued to operate and admit students even after it was brought to the UGC's notice that even minimum standard was not being followed, it would affect students. UGC must act swiftly and at least restrain the DUs from admitting students. DUs, despite complete absence of infrastructure, if they continued to admit students, their career was ruined and they might lose one or two years. UGC must take appropriate steps and prevent admission of students, the bench added.

UNI XR AA RL HS1829

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