On the Supreme Court order, AICTE started admission for working professionals in engineering colleges. The last date is October 30. The irony is that it seems that the exercise failed miserably due to a lack of interest by both the students and engineering colleges. Also, it seems that the programme is implemented half-heartedly.
Mr. Rajiv Kumar, member secretary said earlier IEI ran such courses through AMIE exams. His exact words were - "Previously, most working professionals appeared for the Associate Member of the Institution of Engineers (AMIE) certification exam conducted by the Institution of Engineers (India). These certifications were government-approved and were equivalent to either an Engineering diploma or degree."
So why this program is hijacked from IEI which was running great? Perhaps AICTE wanted to have complete control over technical education overestimated its resources and underestimated IEIs.
AICTE is behaving like that lion which sits on the grass, it neither eats it nor lets others eat it. They are not interested in this programme for working professionals and thus are making no serious efforts to make it successful. Nor they are allowing IEI, the stalwart in this field since 1920, to proceed with this programme. This is how a bureaucratic system works in our country.
Let us now discuss the flaws in this AICTE-driven programme.
1. High fee. AICTE claims that the fee would be low considering the financial constraints of working professionals. But, in reality, the fee is almost the same as that of a regular student. For example, in Graphic Era (Dehradun, Uttarakhand) the fee is ₹ 1.10 lac per year. The fee is more or less the same in other engineering colleges.
2. Less Number of colleges per district. As per AICTE, four colleges are permitted per district. But, as per the list released by AICTE, there are zero to a maximum of two engineering colleges offering courses for working professionals. For example, in Bihar, Punjab, HP and Tripura - there are only one college in these state! In Gujarat, J&K, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Assam - there are only two colleges in these state!
3. Odd availability of branches. The allotment of branches is hilarious. Instead of focusing on core branches, stress is laid on AI/CS which too in the areas where a lot of civil/mechanical/electrical engineers are engaged in government/private jobs! This is beyond anyone's comprehension. Moreover, as per AICTE notification, each engineering college can opt for a maximum of three engineering branches @ 30 seats per branch. But, oddly, courses in only one or two branches are being offered. If a branch of choice is not available in a district then what options are available for working professionals?
4. Long distances. Most of the colleges are available at long distances. In some cases, an overnight journey would cover such a long distance! How would a working engineer carry on with his studies in such an odd setup? Surely, AICTE must have a valid answer to this puzzle.
5. Ignorance prevailed in engineering college about this course. Most of the engineering colleges listed in the list provided by AICTE are apathetic or ignorant of this programme. Their pet answer is that they have not received any letter from AICTE in this regard. How strange! You had shown interest in this programme and thus gave a nod to this programme and now you are showing ignorance! This is the height of stupidity.
6. 50 km radius condition for Government employees. A Government employee can do B Tech from a college which is situated within a 50 km radius. For the latest B Tech programme introduced by AICTE for working professionals, this condition should be lifted due to its ODL nature. An ODL programme can go beyond boundaries.
What is the solution?
The best solution would be a collaboration between AICTE and The Institution of Engineers (India) to start a feasible programme for working professionals in India. This would use expertise of both reputed institutions and hence would run flawlessly and immense success.
Contact, Feedback and comments
You may contact AICTE at phone numbers Ph: 011-26131576, 78, 80 and 011-29581000 to know about this programme. You can visit https://www.aicte-india.org for further details.
You may send email stating your difficulties to member secretary Mr. Rajiv Kumar at his email id email@example.com.