AICTE Approves Proposals of 89 New Engineering Colleges, Launches UG Courses in Semi-Conductors
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has given its approval to 89 engineering colleges across the country. This decision comes after the council lifted the moratorium on the creation of new technical education institutions in March. Additionally, for the first time, the AICTE has also sanctioned 80 other institutions, mostly privately run, to offer undergraduate courses in VLSI (semi-conductors) design, logistics, and advanced communication technology. These areas are the center's three major focus points.
This initiative marks the first introduction of three new undergraduate courses. The majority of these courses fall under electronics engineering, with institutions interested in running courses in these specialized areas being granted approval. While the government initially announced the launch of two such courses in February, it is now that colleges will begin offering degree programs in these core electronics disciplines.
Professor Rajive Kumar, the member secretary of AICTE, emphasized the significance of this move in boosting domestic chip design manufacturing by producing professionals and creating a talent pool in these fields. The government has been pushing for the development of large-scale semi-conductor industries, necessitating the cultivation of human resources.
To ensure the success of these courses, the council has partnered with two major chip design firms to aid in the development of faculty. The central government's three focus areas have been logistics, semi-conductors (VLSI), and the advancement of communication technology, including 5G.
Alongside the approval of new institutions, some existing engineering colleges have been shut down due to a significant number of vacant seats. However, with a positive trend observed in admissions to core engineering subjects like civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, and electronics, the AICTE decided to lift the moratorium. The approval process for 2023-24 allows interested non-profit societies, trusts, or companies to establish engineering and technology institutions with a requirement to offer at least three core engineering courses. Preference is given to those colleges offering multi-disciplinary courses in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
A committee established in 2018 to propose reforms in engineering education recommended short-term and medium-term plans for these colleges, as a considerable number of seats were left vacant. It was decided that no new engineering colleges should be allowed to open from 2020, and the situation would be reviewed every two years. However, the moratorium was lifted this year due to the increasing interest in core subjects.
In conclusion, the AICTE's recent decisions aim to foster growth in technical education by allowing new institutions and introducing specialized undergraduate courses in crucial technology areas.