The Enigma

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

IE: Information Exploited

Sometimes, I cannot help but wonder how people can exploit a piece of information by interpreting in ways a normal mind cannot and should not. AICTE has advertised in many leading national dailies recently stating that all technical institutes offering a degree need to be approved by or affiliated to AICTE. (See the ad here)

This caused a lot of anxiety to the students of our institute DA-IICT, who were later pacified by the Director in an open address to students stating that AICTE did not speak anything about universities. If you are a university and affiliate some other colleges, you were expected to be affiliated or approved or whatever by AICTE. We are the former, but not the latter. We are an aoutonomous university and so we do not need any AICTE backing. All we need is an apprval from the UGC, which we already have. We need not go to the AICTE now. If this were a sweet little heaven we built for ourselves and did not bother to check around, it would have been questionable. But then, we have the Supreme Court stating that universities need not be approved by AICTE. (Read here)

So, all's hunky dory right! But then, bystanders do want their bite of the pie and out of nowhere enters the scene stupid Indian Express which runs an article in the Ahmedabad Edition stating that DA-IICT students would be in a lurch. (Read here) The article was so preposterous coming from the stables of so-called renowned national English daily. It had no facts to quantify its claims. It states that students would not be able to pursue higher studies in renowned institutes. But, the first batch of students who graduated from DA-IICT study in world renowned institutes ranging from University of Florida to M.Techs in IIT. Students have not had any problem, after the initial friction with the IIMs whom we eventually won, in MBA admissions also. The article also quotes that the students would not be able to make jobs properly. Then, how come students have been recruited and are working in companies ranging from Texas Instruments to Human Factors International to Infosys? Companies of varied profiles pick students from here and they are happy with us.

Of course, we dont need to advertise ourselves. But, the point in question is the integrity of a daily like Indian Express. They cook up stories like these to fill up pages. They exploit the information at their hands and sensationalise stuff to sell their crap. Now, they could as well say that there have been speculations that not having an AICTE approval could jeopardise DA-IICT. But, what is a responsible media? Is it not the one which provides facts and educates people the veracity of claims and speculations? Is it not the one which provides information so as to put an end to speculations and shed light on the true status? In that sense, Indian Express should have actually provided analysis about the advertisement of AICTE and citing the case of Supreme Court judgement in the Bhartidasan case, it should have concluded that there is no need to worry! But then, it gave in to peurile methods to rake in moolah and killed the spirit of true journalism. People rever journalists and newspapers as intelligent people who provide genuine information, but then people like this malign the divine profession. Can't help it! An old adage in my native language says 'When an elephant walks, dogs bark.' Its the high and mighty that raise above these plebeian things and do not budge from their ideals. We are one such!

Read on the same topic at: Bhavesh and Rahul Bhaskar


At April 06, 2006 12:10 AM, Blogger camelpost said...

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.

AICTE and Deemed University Case for Contra Proferentum Rule:

If in a legally enforceable agreement between two or more competent agencies any ambiguity arises, the interpretation should be against the party seeking to rely on it i.e. proferer or the person who drafted the document.

War clouds have gathered over the Madras High court in the sensational case between the Deemed universities and AICTE ( All India Council for Technical Education ) for which the final verdict is awaited.

The AICTE act 1987 states "To provide for establishment of an All India council for Technical Education with a view to the proper planning and co-ordinated development of the technical education system throughout the country, the promotion of qualitative improvement of such education in relation to planned quantitative growth and the regulation and proper maintenance of norms and standards in the technical education system and for matters connected therewith."

The above makes it obligatory that for proper planning and regulation of quantitative growth and coordinated development of Technical Education, AICTE act should have included that universities deemed or otherwise must be required to take its approval for offering technical education.

The Supreme Court of India Bench Judgement in September 2001 had clearly stated that the power to grant approval for starting new technical institutions and for introduction of new courses or programmes in consultation with the agencies concerned is covered by Section 10( k ) of AICTE Act which would not cover a university. It clearly emerges that AICTE nod is not obligatory for a university in this context.

If that be the case, then why is AICTE still claiming in its combined Regulations for Requirement of Grant of Approval which states that "No course or programme shall be introduced by any Technical Institution, University including a Deemed University or University Department or College" EXCEPT WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE COUNCIL.

However, AICTE claims that the other Sections of the AICTE Act 1987 such as Section 10( o ) and 11 empower the AICTE to prescribe guidelines for admissions and inspection of deemed universities.

Its clear that in the AICTE Act there is an ambiguity between the various Sections as one of them 10( k ) states that the term Technical Institution does not include University while AICTE claims that in other Sections the term Technical Institution includes University.

If AICTE Act is an agreement regarding mutual responsibilities between two or more parties, then it amounts to a Contract between the Law Enforcers ( AICTE ) and the Law Abiders ( Deemed Universities ).

Contra Proferentum is the Rule that is applied when interpreting a clause, in an action that says that, where ambiguity as to a terms meaning exists, it should be read against the party who wrote it. That is, the preferred interpretation will be the one that helps the party who drafted it the least. The reasoning behind this Rule is to encourage the drafter of the agreement to be as clear and explicit as possible and to take into account as many foreseeable situations as possible.

Clearly, the drafters of the AICTE Act have failed in this account and they must face the music of Contra Proferentum Rule and let the Deemed Universities retain their autonomy in birth as well as functioning. Whoever gave birth to Deemed University only should hold the right to ring the Death Bell for them and middle men of the AICTE kind should keep safe distance.

According to the Vice Chancellor of the Anna University Prof D Viswanathan, there are four lakh engineering graduates unemployed in Tamilnadu and the writing on the wall is clear that bulk of this number comes from the so called AICTE approved Institutions in Tamilnadu and not the Deemed Universities !!!!.

Is AICTE nod obligatory for deemed university?:

AICTE has been immature and in many ways unprofessional. It is time that it became a truly professional outfit for guiding the growth of technical education in the country or packup and vanish.

Although AICTE was vested with statutory powers by an Act of Indian Parliament in 1987 with the mandate to organise, plan and administer technical education in the country, Way back in September 2001, the Supreme Court of India had given a judgement that it is not obligatory for a university, created under an Act of a competent legislature, to seek and secure prior approval of the All India Council for Technical Education ( AICTE ) to start a department for imparting a course or programme in technical education or a technical institution as an adjunct to the university itself to conduct technical courses of its choice and selection.

The Supreme Court Bench which included Mr. Justice Doraiswamy Raju had set aside the verdict of the Madras High Court ( HC ) - which held that it was obligatory on the part of the appellant- Bharathidasan university to secure prior approval of the AICTE to commence the specified technical courses.

The Bench, on close analysis of the relevant provisions of the AICTE Act 1987, University Grants Commission Act, 1956, pointed out that the clear intention of the legislature ( in enacting the AICTE Act ) is not that all institutions whether university or otherwise ought to be treated as technical institutions covered by the ( AICTE ) Act.

The Bench had pointed out that if that was the intention, there was no difficulty for the legislature to have merely provided a definition of technical institution by not excluding university from the definition thereof and thereby avoided the necessity to use alongside both the words technical institutions and university in several provisions in the Act.

The Bench had also observed that the definition of technical institution excludes from its purview a university, and when by definition a university is excluded from a technical institution, to interpret that such a clause or such an expression wherever the expression technical institution occurs will include a university will be reading into the Act what is not provided therein.

The Bench had further added that the power to grant approval for starting new technical institutions and for introduction of new courses or programmes in consultation with the agencies concerned is covered by Section 10( k ) which would not cover a university but only a technical institution.

The Bench had noted that if Section 10 ( k ) of AICTE act does not cover a university but only a technical institution, a regulation cannot be framed in such a manner so as to apply the regulation framed in respect of technical institution to apply for universities when the Act maintains a complete dichotomy between a university and a technical institution.

AICTE has been sponsoring short term training programmes at SRM Deemed University and today AICTE says SRM degrees good for nothing!!. Probably there is no cooperation between the sponsorship cell of AICTE and Accreditation Cell of AICTE!!. Its time AICTE is accredited by someone competent.

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?

Madras HC moved againt Anna Varsity VC for holding sensitive post in AICTE:

Who says office of profit issue is concerned only with politicians. In the case of Anna University VC you know which one is office of profit. Remember that one of the solutions in the AICTE (All Included Commission for offering Technical Education)Vs Tamilnadu Deemed Universities is that these deemed universities loose their deemed status and get doomed meaning affiliated to Big Brother Anna University. Now, the Jig saw puzzle must be opening out to the public.
Make Hay when the sun shines.....

At April 09, 2006 8:41 AM, Blogger Smartalec said...

way to go, buddy! that's showing them! boy o boy! journalism sure has gone to the dogs these days!

At April 12, 2006 7:39 AM, Blogger camelpost said...

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.

At April 13, 2006 8:06 AM, Blogger camelpost said...

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.

At April 19, 2006 7:57 AM, Blogger camelpost said...

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.

At April 23, 2006 10:28 PM, Blogger camelpost said...

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.

At June 19, 2006 7:47 PM, Blogger camelpost said...

I found this poem of BR Natarajan BITS Pilani thought provoking: Hope you also like it.

Future Shock for India

Wisdomless Politicians
Meritless Admissions

Meaningless Curriculums
Substance less Examinations

Faculty less Departments
Student less Colleges

VC less Universities
Knowledgeless Society

Developmentless Nation
Into that hell of gloomdom

My Father,
Let my country go to Sleep
Let my country go to Sleep.....


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