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AICTE nod to ‘Vedic board’ without syllabus scan

Technical education regulator issues circular to technical universities and approved institutions

Basant Kumar Mohanty New Delhi Published 06.10.22, 02:06 AM
All India Council for Technical Education

All India Council for Technical Education File Photo

Technical-education regulator AICTE’s recent directive to colleges to accept the Class X and XII certificates issued by a new “Vedic board” comes without a scrutiny of the syllabuses to assess whether these meet the requirements for admission to engineering courses, government sources said.

The website of the government-run institution that has set up the Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Veda Sanskrit Shiksha Board shows that its Class XII students study one combined science and social science paper.

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However, one of the AICTE's eligibility criteria for BTech admission requires candidates to have passed their 10+2 examination with distinct papers on science subjects, choosing from physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, biotechnology, electronics, graphics engineering and the like.

“The competencies possessed by students seeking admission to engineering programmes must be thoroughly assessed. It’s very difficult for the higher education system to make up for knowledge deficiencies (carried over from school),” Onkar Singh, former vice-chancellor of the Madan Mohan Malaviya University of Technology, Gorakhpur, said.

The AICTE had issued a circular to technical universities and approved institutions asking them to treat the Veda Bhushan and Veda Vibhushan certificates of the Maharshi Sandipani Board as equivalent to the Class X and Class XII certificates of other recognised boards.

Two education ministry officials separately confirmed to The Telegraph that before issuing the circular, the AICTE did not study the Veda Bhushan and Veda Vibhushan syllabuses. Both tried to play down the development.

“The AICTE has not conducted any study of the syllabus of the (Maharshi Sandipani Board),” one of them said.

But he added that the regulator had “circulated the decision for public awareness” about the recent government recognition for the board.

“Colleges admit students on the basis of their own selection norms. They will see whether the students fulfil their expectations,” the other official said.

“However, a college cannot deny admission saying the student had qualified (merely) with a Veda Vibhushan certificate.”

The website of the Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Ved Vidya Pratisthan, which has set up the Maharshi Sandipani Board, shows that the Veda Bibhushan syllabus has three papers of 100 marks each on the Vedas and one paper each in English, Sanskrit, social sciences & science, and mathematics. The Veda Bhushan has a similar syllabus.

The Maharshi Sandipani Board and the Bharatiya Shiksha Board of Patanjali Yogapeetha had in August received “equivalence” for their certificates from the government-designated body, Association of Indian Universities (AIU), bringing them on a par with other school boards.

The Union education communicated the decision to all the states, higher education regulator University Grants Commission, and the AICTE.

The AICTE circular issued last week told the colleges: “You are, therefore requested to consider Veda Bhushan & Veda Vibhushan certifications awarded to candidates by MSRVVP equivalent to 10th Standard & 12th Standard certificates respectively for the academic purposes.”

A former vice-chancellor of a state university said the AICTE should have examined the Veda Vibhushan syllabus thoroughly.

“Many engineering colleges face up to 70 per cent seat vacancies; they may lure these students,” he said.

An email sent to AICTE chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar on Wednesday asking why the regulator has endorsed the Veda Vibhushan for BTech admissions without scrutiny has remained unanswered.

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