According to the data of AICTE (All India Council of Technical Education), almost 180 professional colleges that comprise B-schools and engineering institutes have become closed during 2020-21. This is considered the highest number of cessation of technical institutions in the previous 9 years.  

The scenario

Besides the closing of 179 institutes, nearly 134 institutes didn’t seek consent this year due to the fact that many seats are lying unfilled over the previous five years, thus, turning it impracticable for keeping the institutions up and running.

Nearly 44 institutes failed to get approval. Again, their approvals were withdrawn because of the technical education regulator’s disciplinary action.

Though 92 technical institutes were needed to close down during the academic session 2019-20, the figures happened to be 89 in 2018-19. In the academic year 2017-18, it was 134. In 2016-17 it was 163 and during the academic session 2015-16, it was 126. Again, in the year 2014-15, it was 77.

When it is a progressive closure then it means the institute can’t admit students for the 1st year during an academic year. Nonetheless, the present students would continue their studies until the finishing of their course. In this case, their degrees would be viewed as valid.

Academic year 2020-2021

During the academic year 2020-2021, the AICTE did approve 1.09 lakh seats and they were confined to architecture and pharmacy institutions.

According to a senior official of AICTE, the recent judgment of the Supreme Court has made it mandatory for the New Pharmacy and Architecture colleges to possess approval from the Pharmacy Council of India and the Council of Architecture. This is applicable from the 2020-21 academic year.

Due to this, the sanction of AICTE is considered non-mandatory. However, several colleges have also withdrawn their approval and affiliation from AICTE which resulted in a huge lessening of seats. So, the seats of architecture and pharmacy are getting dominated by their regulatory bodies only, he added.

The official statistics

Based on official statistics, 762 colleges have witnessed the lessening of more than 69,000 seats because of the decline of closure or intake of a specific division or course.

The sanction method for the academic year 2020-21 happened to be a considerable parting from the earlier years on many counts. Because of the imposition as well as succeeding extensions of lockdown, the process of approval got delayed. This was initiated during the month of May and got finished towards the ending of June. 

The new normal

According to an official, the serious scrutiny that was commended by different regional offices physically was conducted through an online method. It included the utilization of video conferencing online so that stakeholders can connect or verification of infrastructure can be done.

This is also helpful in uploading digitally signed papers or campus facilities virtually. Though new Polytechnic and Management Institutes have included some seats, there has been noticed a serious lessening in the seats that are AICTE approved. 

Moreover, the AICTE has sanctioned approval to 164 novice institutes for the academic season 2020-21 and it included nearly 39,000 seats. 

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