But the increase in the number is nothing to cheer about, say teachers.
This academic year, a total of 4,145 seats have been added to engineering programmes in Tamil Nadu, according to data provided by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
As many as 42 institutes have been given approval to increase the intake from 2,425 seats last year to 6,570 seats in UG courses, giving a fillip to engineering education. Overall, seats have been increased in 69 institutions, which include some diploma and post-graduate programmes.
Across various institutions, seats in pharmacy and management education have been increased, both at the UG and PG levels. For diploma programmes in management or pharmacy, no seats have been increased.
Likewise, there is no increase in the number of seats in architecture or in hotel management and catering technology programmes either. The increase in the number of seats is nothing to cheer about, say teachers.
“The periodic releases from the AICTE is not news. We want to know what procedures are in place to ensure quality of education, implement fee structure or in proper administration of colleges,” says K.M.Karthik, president, Private Educational Institutions Employees Association. The association has been seeking the court’s help to address its grievances.
No redressal mechanism
The Council’s criteria for evaluation of education is syllabus, infrastructure and student-staff ratio but it has no mechanism for either the students or teachers to register grievances, he says.
As of now grievances such as dispute in fee structure, holding of certificates must be addressed either to the Anna University or the Directorate of Technical Education.
Annually the Council approves over 10,000 institutions with an intake of 60 lakh students nationwide.
It has the responsibility to make transparent the faculty-student ratio, which will also bring down the fees for the students in the self-financing colleges, Mr. Karthik argues.
“The 2017 N.V. Balakrishnan committee’s recommendation is nullified by the reduction in staff numbers. Hence it is necessary to form a new committee and fix the reduced fee for students of engineering colleges. The faculty reduction is almost by 25% and the maximum fee fixed by the committee in 2017 was ₹ 50,000. By that calculation the fee to be paid by students will fall significantly,” Mr. Karthik points out.