AICTE has amended the 2012 regulations and allowed engineering colleges and polytechnics to facilitate courses other than technical programs. These colleges can now provide vocational courses, skill development courses and industrial training that come within the domain of other regulatory bodies as well.
Such courses will be available only with institutions that have an approved status and are in agreement with all the regulations set by the respective regulatory body that govern the course.
Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman of AICTE said that the decision has been taken in order to utilize the infrastructure which otherwise stays inert as a lot of seats remain vacant each year.
Sahasrabudhe also informed that the decision was taken after considering the request of the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship. It was repeatedly highlighted that the teaching and allied infrastructure at various institutions were wasted as the many of the seats remained vacant, added Sahasrabudhe.
It was also observed that 40% of the total seats (over 51,000 seats) in the government-run, aided and private unaided engineering colleges of Maharashtra remain vacant even after the fourth round of centralized admission process has been concluded. Many other states had similar stories.
Due to such huge vacancies, institutions are forced to shut down or close the department that has a huge number of vacancies. As a result, infrastructure and resources are wasted. In order to prevent this lack of utilization of the infrastructure and other resources, institutions were allowed to offer courses other than the technical courses that lie in the sphere of other regulatory bodies.
Such institutions will start providing training programs similar to industrial training institutes (ITIs) which are governed by the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT).
Likewise, skill development courses are governed by an autonomous body, the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) that is part of the ministry of skill development. It offers government certified courses, skill development studies and other related courses. Such bodies have their own set of regulations that the institutes have to follow in order to provide the above-mentioned courses.
Ravi Bhardwaj, an expert in education and legal matters, said that this move will help technical institutes to utilize their resources and infrastructural facilities. In addition to this, such institutes will also be able to provide multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary courses, hence enhancing the learning as well as the teaching environment.
He also said that polytechnic institutions will be able to bridge the skill gap by offering short term courses in vocational that will help students in developing their skill and enhance their chances of employability.