The Supreme Court has sought a response from the Union government and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) on a plea to bring all institutions and colleges, even if affiliated to a University, and running MBA and other management courses under its regulatory regime.
Notably, the SC in case of ‘Bharathidasan University Vs AICTE’ (2010) held that the University does not come within the purview of technical institutions and thus cannot be regulated by the AICTE. Subsequently, in the case of ‘Association of Management of Private Colleges Vs AICTE’ (2013), the SC ruled that even colleges affiliated to a University are outside the regulatory regime, and further said that the MBA course is not a part of technical education.
Afterward, in case of ‘Orissa Technical Colleges Association Vs AICTE’ (2016), the top court permitted the AICTE to continue regulating technical institutions, imparting management and MBA courses till further orders. But this matter got dismissed due to non-prosecution, leaving the institutions, whether affiliated to a University or not, on its own terms without any regulatory regime.
On Friday, a bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant issued notice to the Centre and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) after hearing senior advocate Dushyant Dave and advocate Devashish Bharuka on a writ petition filed by Education Promotion Society of India, a registered group of 1354 educational institutions.
The court put the matter for consideration on February 17 as Dave contended at present institutions of Universities, running management courses were completely unregulated and there was an urgent need to bring them under regulation to avoid commercialisation of education.
The petitioner contended role of AICTE cannot be treated as an advisory one for educational institutions and colleges, affiliated to a University. “Though any technical educational institution offering any course is required to have prior approval of the AICTE, however, University, governed by the UGC Act, has been excluded from the very definition of the technical institution,” it said.
The organisation also pointed out it cannot be denied as per the AICTE Act and the UGC Act, the technical education regulatory body has no power or jurisdiction over the universities. However, to apply the University test on the colleges affiliated to it would substantially dilute the provisions of the AICTE Act.