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Private colleges lose seats

New Delhi, June 6: Screws have been tightened on self-financing private engineering and management institutes with a government-appointed watchdog deciding to abolish as many as 38,000 seats across the country this year.

The All India Council for Technical Education wielded the broom as part of its efforts to weed out institutes that have been mushrooming without the necessary faculty or other resources.

As many as 25,335 seats have been taken off engineering colleges found lacking in facilities, an official release said.

The intake of students in post-graduate business management courses will be reduced by 3,016 students this year. In computer applications, the seats have been brought down by 8,229 while pharmacy seats have been cut by 1,521.

Faculty ' both in terms of quality and quantity ' is the biggest problem that the AICTE, which has been mandated to ensure maintenance of standards in technical education, came across during its inspections. Lack of academic leadership on account of the absence of qualified principals and poor remuneration of teachers are the other common constraints.

“Seven out of 1,346 colleges of engineering, 18 out of 1,007 institutes in management, 65 out of 1,051 colleges in MCA and eight out of 445 colleges in pharmacy cannot admit students unless they rectify the faculty deficiencies by July 7,” the council said.

The reduction could be proportionately restored if the institutes were able to recruit more teachers before the deadline.

“We don’t want to shut the institutions all at once because it will affect the students,” an official of the human resource ministry said.

“The decision affects only self-financing private institutions which have been mushrooming all over the country,” he added.

Every year, the AICTE carries out an annual inspection. However, the latest round was the first time the council had gone in for a holistic approach that took several parameters into account.

The objective behind the reduction of seats is to squeeze out the institutes that have not been conforming to the prescribed norms.

During the inspection, it was found that some faculty members had only six months of experience and several institutions had the same teachers for different streams like pharmacy and engineering. Some had no laboratory.

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