Validity of Engineering by Postal Education.
Technical Education in India and Role of AICTE:
Technical education leading to the award of degrees in Engineering consists of imparting of lessons in theory as well as practicals. The practicals form the backbone of such education which is hands-on approach involving actual application of principles taught in theory under the watchful eyes of Demonstrators or Lecturers. Face to face imparting of knowledge in theory classes is to be reinforced in practical classes. The practicals, thus, constitute an integral part of the technical education system. If this established concept of imparting technical education as a qualitative norm is to be modified or altered and in a given case to be substituted by distance education learning, then as a concept the AICTE ought to have accepted it in clear terms. What parameters ought to be satisfied if the regular course of imparting technical education is in any way to be modified or altered, is for AICTE alone to decide. The decision must be specific and unequivocal and cannot be inferred merely because of absence of any Guidelines in the matter. No such decision was ever expressed by AICTE. On the other hand, it has always maintained that courses leading to degrees in Engineering cannot be undertaken through distance education mode. Whether that approach is correct or not is not the point in issue. For the present purposes, if according to AICTE such courses ought not to be taught in distance education mode, that is the final word and is binding – unless rectified in a manner known to law.
Deemed University’s Commercial Venture:
The concerned Deemed to be Universities had gone far beyond their limits and to say the least, had violated binding policy statements. Even when they did not have any experience in the concerned field and had no regular faculty or college in Engineering, they kept admitting students through distance education mode. When there was nothing at the core, the expansion was carried at the tertiary levels in brazen violation. The idea was not to achieve excellence in the field but the attempts appear to be guided by pure commercial angle. We therefore, direct the UGC to consider whether the Deemed to be University status enjoyed by the concerned institutions, namely, JRN, AAI, IASE and VMRF calls for any such withdrawal and conduct an inquiry in that behalf. If the concerned Deemed to be Universities fail to return the moneys to the concerned students as directed above, that factor shall also be taken into account while conducting such exercise.