Thursday, April 06, 2006

Deemed Universities vs AICTE

Tamil Nadu is the haven for private, self-financed engineering colleges. There are over 275 of them.

The demand for engineering seats was so high at a certain point in time in the 1990s, engineering colleges were sprouting all over the place. Students went to these colleges even though the quality of education was abysmal, because all that mattered to them was their degree certificate. These colleges demanded exorbitant bribe - called it capitation fee, donation and various other names - and used at least part of the proceeds to build up their infrastructure.

While a few of these colleges were run by good people, most who jumped into this field were dirty politicians and rowdies. A lot of them grabbed poramboke land and built colleges there. (Recently one such college built by ex-TN minister AC Shanmugam was bulldozed as it was found to impede water flow in Cooum River.) Over time, thatched huts became grandiose buildings. I have visted a few of these colleges and the buildings at least are impressive. The faculty are, however, mostly pathetic.

These colleges were affiliated to various universities in the state. Entrance into the colleges was controlled by entrance examination run by Department of Technical Education (DOTE). Then the colleges were shifted to the administration of Anna University (AU) - a university dedicated to managing the Engineering colleges in the state. AU also started handling the entrance examination.

All engineering colleges in the coutry had to satisfy AICTE norms on infrastructure, teaching faculty etc. and had to get prior permission for starting a course and enrolling a certain number of students. This was a major problem for most of the private engineering colleges.

One day, the private engineering colleges discovered a concept called Deemed Universities. Exactly what a deemed university is and under what conditions UGC will grant deemed university status to a college is unclear. But these engineering colleges figured that they could escape AICTE norms (or so they thought), if they obtained deemed university status. They started approaching UGC and started getting deemed status. Quoting from Satya's blog
Between 1956 and 1990, in 35 years, only 29 institutions were granted the deemed university status. In the last 15 years, 63 institutions were declared deemed universities and particularly in the last 5 years, 36 institutions excluding RECs have been notified as deemed universities.
When in 2003, AICTE tried contacting these engineering colleges turned deemed universities for some information, the DUs refused giving out information and went to court and obtained a stay. AICTE took several months and then eventually vacated the stay in October 2005, and followed that up with a further notice to these DUs.

One of the deemed university - Vinayaka Mission based in Salem - went to Chennai High Court again. Looking at the observations of the High Court Bench, this DU must be a big fraud. The bench observed:
Citing the "blatant" and "glaring example" of Vinayaka Mission Research Foundation's management of its Arupadaiveedu Institute of Technology, the Bench said the interpretation by the deemed universities that the AICTE should be kept out completely could lead to such a situation.
AICTE explained to the Court that while they agree that UGC controls the DUs, it still has the rights to investigate whether the engineering colleges have sufficient infrastructure to enrol the students for specific courses. DUs claim AICTE has no such locus standi and only UGC can verify this. UGC is so short-staffed, and probably doesn't care much about this issue. That is quite convenient for the DUs.

With AICTE officials making some public comments about unapproved courses and institutions, students who were enrolled in several DUs started getting jittery. Trouble broke out in SRM DU in Chennai when some students in the college felt that they may not get AICTE approved degrees. Whether there is any truth in this or not, the college administration did not handle the problem properly. This resulted in the students causing a mini riot; police were called in and arrests ensued. The problem spread out to Sathyabama DU and a few other DUs in the state.

Tamil Nadu Government did not get involved in clearing this mess. AICTE and UGC officials did not talk to each other (it appears). Finally the students took it upon themselves and went to court. There were a bunch of writ petitions and PILs in Chennai High Court. UGC, AICTE, students as well as a bunch of DUs are pleading their cases, and the case continues.

I have been tracking this in my Tamil blog, but may not do the same here. I may summarise what is going on once in a while here.


  1. Although, legally speaking, no technical institution is outside the AICTE's purview, it is only by convention that the Council does not exercise its statutory powers on institutions such as IITs and IIMs. If Law is same for everyone, why are there exceptions? Now read the following and decide.

    As per latest news, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has been facing a severe shortage of faculty.

    Twenty-four departments in IIT-D are short-staffed. "There are 72 vacant positions for professors, associate professors, and assistant professors," according to Assistant Director(administration) DP Kothari.

  2. Although legaly speaking every institution is under AICTE purview, AICTE has used discretion not to include IITs and IIMs which are institutions of the government, by the government and for the government. What a discrimination in a Law abiding Nation!! With the RESERVATION issue picking up for IITs and IIMs, they might as well be renamed as RIIT and RIIM.

    What did this government do to Sarath Babu who studied at BITS Pilani and then later at IIMA and has started a Food Catering unit of his own. He did not get admission by reservation.

    What is the great AICTE all about? If the deemed universities offering BE Computer Science change the nomenclature of the degree from BE Computer Science to MSC Computer Science by a move of their respective senates, AICTE can go hang or stand in a corner and suck thumb.

    Its a joke that you have AICTE standards if you run BE Computer Science but you need not bother about AICTE standards if your University deemed or otherwise is running MSc Computer Science.

    I think the lawyers and judges handling this case of Deemed Universities versus AICTE need some quick education on the realities.

  3. There is a Dhyaneswar Vidyapeeth in Pune going about awarding degrees and what has UGC or AICTE done about it. Today many universities and colleges are offering MSc Computer Science for which AICTE has no say. Are standards to be maintained only if its BE or BTech Computer Science and no need for standards if the degree is named MSc? Society is obsessed with talking of standards only in Technical and Medical Education. Does not Science Arts curriculum require Standards to be maintained. After all let people realize that Society does not run only with Engineers, doctors and Pharmacists and requires all fields of knowledge. Let us talk of standards in education and not confine to only technical education.

  4. IIMB will have a Singapore Shanty 4700 Sqft, 3 hour working day and just one faculty to conduct world class Management Education. I wonder if the above meets so called AICTE specifications. On the contrary ISB which has world class facilities at Hyderabad has been questioned by AICTE about maintaining standards. Its time the AICTE joke is called off. AICTE you stand exposed in your standards.

  5. The UGC and the AICTE “have no idea how to maintain standards”, says former IIT Madras director PV Indiresan. “Their culture is bureaucratic; they think that national accreditation will do. Even a simple observation of the number of responsible assessors needed to monitor 17,000 odd colleges will show that centralised accreditation is not the answer.”

    In a recent survey in Businessworld, 64 per cent of the recruiters surveyed said AICTE accreditation is not important. One of the top business schools in India — the Indian School of Business (ISB) — does not have AICTE accreditation.

  6. The Madras High Court, in an interim direction relating to the regulatory jurisdiction of the AICTE and the UGC over deemed universities, has instructed the former to issue a public notice advising students to attend classes.

    Reserving its final order, a bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Prabha Sridevan said the AICTE in its advertisement should mention that students must return to their colleges, since failure to attend classes would result in their losing an academic year.

    It must be published in English and Indian language newspapers, the judges said.

    The bench indicated that orders would be pronounced in the third week of May and observed that all deemed universities must take prior permission from the UGC before starting new courses.

    The AICTE could be part of the inspection team mandated to visit deemed universities, the judges added.

  7. Dear 'camelpost' alias 'Partha sarathy' (

    You have been posting repetitively all over the blogosphere, going on and on and on and on about the virtues of BITS Pilani of which you are an alumnus.

    You seem to have taken the ranking game (played by the media to sell more magazines) seriously, and you are upset that BITS is not coming on top of the rankings.

    To vent your anger, you go around bad-mouthing IITs, NITs and all other colleges that are ranked above BITS (before you start abusing us, we would like to say that we are ourselves BITS alumni).

    BITS and BITSians have great respect for IITs and NITs, and in spite of all the rivalry, we greatly admire IITs and IITians. Your view is not shared by most BITSians, and we are shocked by your arrogance and lack of humility.

    Please STOP posting your useless comments and go and see a psycho-therapist.

  8. show me one place where I have bad mouthed IITs or NITs

  9. All that I drove was the arbit acts of AICTE and how it was affecting deemed universities. If in that process the good things about BITS had emerged, it only amounted to conclude that it is possible for a deemed university to achieve excellence despite the watch dog rather the barking dog aicte. People like you who are proud alumns from bITS Pilani are better ambassadors fo BITS Pilani.

  10. even in the case of Dataquest or India Today, I only questioned the credibility of the survey parameters rather than who was listed 123. When all IITs have admission by JEE how on earth India Today survey is giving different values for admission criteria to different IITS? No phenomenon is a phenomenon unless it is an observed phenomenon. In its long existence for several decades, BITS Pilani has been observed by enough pundits nationally as well as internationally and concluded as a GREAT phenomenon. If Dataquest and Coffee table magazines like India Today do not have the correct vision, they are most welcome to contact the Optometrists outputted by BITS Pilani.

  11. i am a student of vmrf du-avit . i want you to clarify about my institution as well as the court decision

  12. sir,i hav done my degree from francis..i had backlogs in d final yr...and since i want 2 do mba from a regular coll and since our coll re exams r after 6 months..iam writing my final yr only as a lateral entry from vinayaka mission from city academy( my decision corr n whether i will b eligible 4 jobs in hyd..(both state,central and private...plz mail me soon...sir

  13. AICTE cannot take action against Deemed Universities: HC
    The Madras High Court today ruled that the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has the authority to inspect deemed universities but any action against them could be only taken by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

    A Division Bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Prabha Sridevan made the observation while quashing a public notice issued by the AICTE in February last, warning of stringent legal action against Deemed Universities which conducted new courses and programmes, without its prior approval.

    Disposing of petitions filed by about 20 deemed universities in Tamil Nadu, the judges pointed out that according to a UGC communication, "the AICTE may visit the university department or constituent college and send its final report to the the UGC for final approval".

    Noting that the AICTE team conducting any inspection of deemed universities had the representation of the UGC, the bench said if the UGC did not depute such a member within a reasonable time, the AICTE could proceed to conduct the inspection and forward its report to the UGC for action.

    Referring to the notices sent by the AICTE and the UGC calling for information regarding the courses offered and those introduced after being declared Deemed Universities and whether UGC approval had been taken, the bench directed all universities to respond to the notices within four weeks if they had not done so.

  14. what camelpost was saying all along about AICTE and deemed universities, courts took time to tell the same

  15. GOOD, SITE, actually I am one educational consultant, and a Lion club member, a retired headmaster, and issued a booklet free of cost, asking the readers to go through the website and with a disclaimer that it was just a compilation of websites to check if it is approved or not, that spread fire in SRM and Jappiers, I printed the book let in the year 2003 June.
    from your flog it is clear that AICTE do not poke its head into DUs . Can these people go for Postgraduate degree controled by Aicte approved colleges may be detailed here in
    LION MJF S.Nagamoney MA, MEd
    Retired Headmaster,
    cell No 9443152288

  16. "Deemed to be university" is another interesting term for giving freedom to fake universities by UGC and AICTE.It is not clear how long any university will be Deemed to be university.

  17. what about cranfield university of U.K

  18. if a deemed to be university is not AICTE approved then will there be problems with job related bharath university of TN a good place to go for engg.

  19. Whether a BE Automobile Engg degree from Hindustan University (known by the name Hindustan Institute of Technology & Science) will be considered for Central / State govt jobs?

  20. deemed universities are 90% fraud .They doesn't take care of educational system and help poor students.I would say that even few deemed universities have good infrastructure but they are not helping student they collect 1000 rs as application fees and 200000 as one year fee.
    so govt should save the battered educational system
    by framing new law that should ensure eduacationa t affordable cost.

  21. Vinayaka mission is one of the most fradulent institutions in the country and need to be throughly probed by CBI and Economic Offences divisions of Government of India. It has the dubious distinction of having study centres in Kashmir and giving degrees at a cost.

  22. Sir I wanna ask Karntaka state open university is AICTE approved or not. I wanna jon MTech from distance education

  23. I want to know that whethet BITS, Pilani is AICTE approved or not....?

    And if it is not approved........den does it has any affect on d degree it gives....

  24. Tell me about The so called fraud ICFAI of Hyderabad starting a Deemed to be university and starting technical education from 2010 onwards. How much truth is there in their name and claim.They call it IFHE (i.e ICFAI foundation for higher education). Have they come out of the mess they were in during last couple of years ? if not how they are taking this step to deceive some more students ? help me

  25. what difficulties can be faced by students of deemed universities like sastra?

  26. All the successful students from Deemed Universities are awarded degree as specified under section 22f of UGC act. And eligible for higher education in other university and jobs in central and state government.

    And as per law AICTE is not mandatory for colleges having status of deemed/statutory/central university or IITs and IIMs.
    AICTE is only mandatory for affiliated colleges and nor for universities itself!!

    However all universities are open For verification by AICTE. And if found not working well AICTE can submit their report to UGC and MHRD to take action.

    In other words UGC recognized universities are by default recognized by AICTE.

    Both AICTE and UGC are Apex body of Government of India.MHRD

    Follow th process to check your university in AICTE website
    2. Click on 'Education'
    3 Chick on 'Institutions of National Importance'