AICTE Restrained From Acting Against 'Deemed To Be Universities'

The Madras HC directed AICTE to not to take any punitive action against certain deemed-to-be universities in Tamil Nadu which have not responded to its notice seeking applications for approval of courses for 2018-19.

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AICTE Restrained From Acting Against 'Deemed To Be Universities'

Madras High Court restrains AICTE from acting against 'deemed to be varsities'

Chennai:  The Madras High Court yesterday directed All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the technical education regulator, to not to take any punitive action against certain deemed-to-be universities in Tamil Nadu which have not responded to its notice seeking applications for approval of courses for 2018-19. The petitioners prayed the court to declare as unconstitutional and ultra vires of the University Grants Commission Act the public notice issued by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) last year and as inapplicable to them.

According to Press Trust of India, Justice R Mahadevan passed the interim order effective for two weeks when a batch of petitions, including those from the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) and Veltech Deemed University, came up for hearing.

The petitioners contended that they were governed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and AICTE had no power to ask them to seek approval as new institutions.

Earlier, AICTE, in one of its notice invited applications for approval from all the existing and proposed technical institutions for conducting technical programmes/courses, including course of management for 2018-19 academic year.

The last date for submitting applications by new institutions was January 31.

The technical education regulator's notice stated that deemed-to-be universities seeking approval for the first time from the AICTE (in compliance with a Supreme Court order of November 3, 2017) should submit an application as a new technical institution.

The Supreme Court on November 3 last year said no deemed-to-be-university can run open and distant learning courses from the next academic year (2018-19) unless it is permitted to do so by the concerned authorities.

"We restrain all deemed-to-be-universities to carry on any courses in distance education mode from the Academic Session 2018-2019 onwards unless and until it is permissible to conduct such courses in distance education mode," a bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit ruled.

Read: After Distance Degrees Suspended, AICTE Begins Registration For Qualification Tests

The court said they could not start any course in distance education mode unless "specific permissions are granted by the concerned statutory/regulatory authorities in respect of each of those courses and unless the off-campus centres/ study centres are individually inspected and found adequate by the concerned statutory authorities".

"The approvals have to be course-specific," the Apex Court stressed then.

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(With Inputs from PTI)

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