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UGC, AICTE Clash over Regulatory Power

A tow of war is on between the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) over the Supreme Court order that approval of AICTE is not requisite to find authorization and run MBA courses by private institutions since it does not go down under the description of technical education. The SC had also told AICTE's responsibility vis-a-vis universities was "only advisory, recommendatory and one of providing direction and has no authority empowering it to issue or inflict any sanctions by itself". As an alternative, the apex court had said regulatory function was with UGC or the university. To fill the vacuity, UGC has written to all universities with affiliating colleges that no new courses should be approved by them. UGC also said it would not endorse any new course. A senior UGC official said, "This has been made to fill up the vacuum. AICTE had previously finished the procedure for 2013-14 by the time the SC order came. For 2014-15, new process would be announced soon." However, AICTE officials told that UGC's letter to universities should not have been sent. "It will guide to mystification. UGC is conscious that HRD ministry is preparing a decree to undo the SC order," an AICTE official said. UGC officials said its letter was now to make it apparent that some narrow mechanism was in place. Meanwhile, ministry sources said efforts were in progress to make sure HRD ministry's decree was taken up by the Cabinet this week. The decree redefines 'technical institution' and includes "colleges, preserved or admitted to the privileges of university, affiliated colleges, constituent colleges, autonomous colleges, colleges recognized by any university, department of private or deemed universities". The SC had said only MCA knock out under the meaning of technical education. Since the SC had pointed out that adjustments in regulations of AICTE Act were not placed before Parliament, the regulation says provisions of AICTE Act shall have effect in spite of any court order and any other law for the time being.

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