The Telegraph
Thursday, November 23, 2017

Approval hope for DU tech students

New Delhi, April 14: Technical education regulator AICTE is considering recognising Delhi University's BTech programmes if the colleges agree to tie up with tech schools to use their labs and engage guest teachers with PhDs in engineering subjects, sources said.

Some 6,300 BTech students are now enrolled in 27 Delhi University colleges but their courses are not recognised.

Delhi University started the BTech courses along with a four-year undergraduate programme in 2013 without seeking approval, arguing it had the authority to design and offer courses.

Last year, higher education regulator UGC forced it to scrap the four-year undergraduate programme and said the BTech courses would be allowed just for one batch - the one already admitted in 2013 - and only if the AICTE approved the courses.

Later, the Union human resource development ministry intervened, asking the technical education regulator to recognise the courses to protect the students' career, sources said.

They added that the AICTE would take the final decision at a meeting slated for the last week of this month.

According to the regulator, these 27 colleges fall short of the norms relating to laboratory infrastructure and teacher qualification.

Although the colleges have adequate faculty strength, the teachers have PhDs in general science subjects such as physics, chemistry and mathematics and not in engineering subjects, as required.

Further, only some of these colleges, which used to offer BSc (Honours) courses in computer science and electronics earlier, have labs good enough for BTech courses.

The rest, which lack such labs, may have to tie up with nearby engineering colleges and use their labs, the sources said. Whatever the ministry pressure, they added, the AICTE could not ignore its own criteria.

On April 10, the regulator had asked these colleges to furnish affidavits by 3pm the same day, saying they would correct the deficiencies within six months. Just a few among the colleges have submitted the affidavit so far, while some others have sought more time.

A college principal said that one of the regulator's original conditions was that the colleges must commit to engaging teachers with PhDs in engineering subjects.

"That condition created a problem. If we engage new teachers, what would happen to the existing faculty?" the principal asked.

Sources said the AICTE might relax this criterion partially by allowing the colleges to engage guest faculty with doctorate degrees in engineering subjects.

But they stressed that even if approval was granted, it would relate to the single existing batch alone. Since last year, the colleges have reverted to admitting students under the old BSc courses, and will continue to do so even if the AICTE approval comes.

Of the 27 colleges, the principal said, some 20 are teaching a BTech course in computer science to the existing batch, about 15 in electronics, two in polymer science, and one in food processing technology.


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