Apex court allows pvt colleges to offer MBA, MCA sans AICTE nod

Aesha Datta New Delhi | Updated on April 27, 2013

In a major decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that private colleges need not seek approval from the All India Council for Technical Education to conduct courses in computer application and management at the postgraduate level. However, AICTE Chairman S.S. Mantha said the Council would file a review petition against this order early next week.

“Our Act (AICTE Act) says which disciplines are covered. Suddenly, one can’t say that it isn’t correct,” Mantha said.

The matter came up before the apex court in 2004 after the Madras High Court had ruled in favour of AICTE.

The Association of Management of Private Colleges and a few other private colleges in Tamil Nadu had filed the case on the grounds that MBA is not a technical course and should not be governed by the AICTE. They further argued that both MBA and MCA were brought under the purview of the AICTE after some amendments in 2000 without being placed before the Parliament as is the normal process.

Unregulated system

Mantha said the changes may not have gone through Parliament but were done in “good faith.”

“One should see the larger problem. Unregulated systems and unfair trade practices will start proliferating if this happens (if these courses do not require AICTE’s approval),” Mantha said, adding that thousands of students are likely to suffer the consequences.

Mantha said there are about 4,000 management institutions and 1,600 institutions running MCA programmes in the country.

However, some private colleges running MBA courses feel that an independent body, on the lines of the Medical Council of India, should control management education in the country, instead of being governed by a body, which they say, is essentially meant for technical education.

The head of a leading private management institution, who requested anonymity, said that the AICTE had earlier impinged on the autonomy of private management colleges and that it was difficult for them to function efficiently under its stringent rules.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the AICTE can play an advisory role and prescribe standards of education by sending notes to the University Grants Commission for colleges affiliated to Universities. But colleges will not need AICTE approval to run these courses.

Published on April 27, 2013

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