Source: The Indian Express via India Newswatch
NEW DELHI: For the first time, the All India Council for Technical Education has decided to allow private corporate groups to start degree colleges in the 2013-14 academic year.
It has received applications from four corporate groups so far — Madras Cements from Tamil Nadu, Bharat Forge from Maharashtra, TechMahindra (Satyam Computers taken over by Mahindra & Mahindra) from Andhra Pradesh, and a company from Jharkhand.
“A total of four companies have applied in the first year. A decision will have to be taken soon,” confirmed AICTE chairman S S Mantha. “We want industries to participate in the process of delivering quality education. We genuinely feel that the industry should participate more than they are doing now. An initiative like this is a step in that direction. It will facilitate introduction of best practices of the industry,” he said.
So far, the industry was only involved in organising lectures and specific projects at AICTE-approved technical colleges. The AICTE’s decision to allow a private limited or public limited company or industry, with a turnover of Rs 100 crore each year for the past three years, to start an under-graduate, post-graduate or diploma institute, is aimed at addressing the corporate sector’s complaints that students graduating from technical institutes are not industry-ready or employable.
When contacted, A V Dharmakrishnan, chief executive officer, Madras Cements, said: “Madras Cements currently has schools across its factories in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. We also have a polytechnic institute from where we recruit. The only missing link is an engineering institute. We need a lot of manpower and we felt that this is the right time to start an engineering college as we already have the expertise. The construction of the college building has started and AICTE officials have inspected the site. We are expecting approval soon.”
The college, which will be named Ramco Institute of Technology, will offer programmes in core engineering disciplines like mechanical, civil, electrical, electronics and communication, and computer science, he said.
The AICTE will allow a company to start any branch of a discipline that suits its requirement. The institutes could offer technical disciplines like engineering and technology, pharmacy, architecture and town planning, applied arts and crafts and hotel management and catering technology (HMCT).
A senior academic from the IIT system said that while the response has not been huge, it is a good start. “More industries should definitely be part of the higher education system,” said the academic.