CHENNAI: Avinash S Pant discusses with Adarsh Jain, the regulatory body’s plan to improve quality in technical education. Here are excerpts from the interview in Coimbatore.Over a spread of South Indian delicacies served on the traditional plantain leaf, the All India Council for Technical Education vice-chairman Avinash S Pant discusses with Adarsh Jain, the regulatory body’s plan to improve quality in technical education. Here are excerpts from the interview in Coimbatore.
It has been three months since the new chairman has taken over. How are things going with a new person at the helm?
Things have been going very smoothly. Decision making, implementation of schemes and enforcement of policies have become easier. The government has also been very supportive. We look forward to improving the technical education system in the country under the leadership of the Union minister Smriti Irani.
Recently, the AICTE chairman, Anil D Sahasrabudhe, had spoken about reducing the intake in engineering institutions. How is the AICTE planning to go about this?
Actually, the chairman’s statement on this issue was misinterpreted. While I do not want to say much, I will make it clear that the AICTE is not going to ask colleges to shut down courses. We are aware that close to 6 lakh seats are going vacant every year. This has been the trend for the past few years now. Over a period of time, the AICTE hopes to reduce the number of seats going vacant. To achieve this, we have decided to ease the closure process for institutions.
With the launch of the National Institutional Ranking Framework, what is the status for technical, management and architecture institutions?
We have already introduced a system for engineering and polytechnic institutes. It will take some time to come out with a comprehensive ranking system for institutions, as there are around 3,500 engineering colleges across the country. Simultaneously, we are working on framing a ranking system for pharmaceutical and architecture colleges too.
It is often said that management, architecture and pharmacy colleges should be under separate governing bodies. What’s your take on this?
As far as architecture and pharmacy colleges are concerned, they have separate councils for them. But, they fall under the AICTE which has been doing a great job in governing all technical institutions.
The AICTE review committee submitted its report in April. What are the policy decisions that are going to be taken?
We recently organized the stakeholder’s workshop where we had invited experts from across the country. We have asked them for their suggestions and expectations. Simultaneously, the government is studying the AICTE review committee report. It will take a while to arrive at the measures that need to be taken to improve the governance system.