Institutions in the state can function without the approval of the highest accreditation agency for technical education in the country, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), or so it seems. While AICTE last week issued a list of 43 colleges which are functioning without accreditation from it, the state government has failed to issue showcause notices to even one of these institutions. The colleges will thus continue to function, as of now, enjoying their autonomous status while conducting examinations and making placements, releasing results and even granting degrees without approval from AICTE.

Although four of these institutions - Indian School of Business (ISB), Badruka Institute of Foreign Trade, Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) and CYGMAX Institute of Management Studies (part of ICFAI university, Tripura) - which have been running their management courses since the past one decade in the city have refused to be too worried about their lack of AICTE disapproval, about 12 others have contacted the state's technical education department stating that they had already applied for accreditation in an attempt to have the legal proceedings against them stalled for a while.

Officials in the state's technical education department said that since these colleges lacked AICTE approval, they should refrain from taking in new entrants. However, since most of these institutions are autonomous bodies which do not negotiate with the state's technical education wing, no action can be initiated against them. Observers said that with successful placements at the top institutes, students were hardly going to keep away from these institutions. "Each year, we have been boasting of 100% placements and our student strength has not reduced," said an official at the Badruka Institute of Foreign Trade.

IIPM and CYGMAX, too, have been announcing good placements over the past few years. "While AICTE can stop the institutions from functioning, the fact that they have good industry tie-ups cannot be ignored. These institutions have been providing good placements to their students. Some of them have even been in touch with AICTE to update us about the quality of education being provided by them," said an AICTE official.

However, Osmania University, under whose purview come 15 blacklisted institutes from that list, on Monday issued notices to these asking them to stop functioning without accreditation. "The colleges have to take approval first and then approach the university for its nod; They will not be allowed to function otherwise," said Pratap Reddy, director, academics and planning, OU.

Officials pointed out that some of the blacklisted institutions have not been attracting students since the past few years. "Their fee structure is high and the quality of education poor. Some of them might even shut shop in the coming academic year," said an official from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU). AICTE, on Monday, put up a new notice asking institutions lacking approval to apply to it for the same.

Source: Times of India