Technical education in India contributes a major share to the overall education system and plays a vital role in the social and economic development of our nation. In India, technical education is imparted at various levels such as: craftsmanship, diploma, degree, post-graduate and research in specialized fields, catering to various aspects of technological development and economic progress.
The beginning of formal Technical Education in India can be dated back to the mid 19th Century. The major policy initiatives in the pre-independence period included appointment of the Indian Universities Commission in 1902, issue of the Indian Education policy resolution in 1904 and the Governor General’s policy statement of 1913 stressing the importance of Technical Education, the establishment of IISc in Bangalore, Institute for Sugar, Textile and Leather Technology in Kanpur, N.C.E. in Bengal in 1905 and Industrial schools in several provinces. Significant developments include:
Constitution of the Technical Education Committee of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) of 1943; Preparation of the Sergeant Report of 1944; and Formation of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in 1945 by the Government of India.
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) was set-up in November 1945 as a national level Apex Advisory Body to conduct survey on the facilities on technical education and to promote development in the country in a coordinated and integrated manner. And to ensure the same, as stipulated in, the National Policy of Education (1986), AICTE be vested with statutory authority for planning, formulation and maintenance of norms and standards, quality assurance through accreditation, funding in priority areas, monitoring and evaluation, maintaining parity of certification and awards and ensuring coordinated and integrated development and management of technical education in the country.
The Government of India (Ministry of Human Resource Development) also constituted a National Working Group to look into the role of AICTE in the context of proliferation of technical institutions, maintenance of standards and other related matters. The Working Group recommended that AICTE be vested with the necessary statutory authority for making it more effective, which would consequently require restructuring and strengthening with necessary infrastructure and operating mechanisms.
Pursuant to the above recommendations of the National Working Group, the AICTE Bill was introduced in both the Houses of Parliament and passed as the AICTE Act No. 52 of 1987. The Act came into force w.e.f. March 28, 1988. The statutory All India Council for Technical Education was established on May 12, 1988 with a view to proper planning and coordinated development of technical education system throughout the country, the promotion of qualitative improvement of such education in relation to planned quantitative growth and the regulation and proper maintenance of norms and standards in the technical education system and for matters connected therewith.
The purview of AICTE (the Council) covers programmes of technical education including training and research in Engineering, Technology, Architecture, Town Planning, Management, Pharmacy, Applied Arts and Crafts, Hotel Management and Catering Technology etc. at different levels.
In accordance with the provisions of the AICTE Act (1987), for the first five years after its inception in 1988, the Minister for Human Resource Development, Government of India was the Chairman of the Council. The first full time Chairman was appointed on July 2, 1993 and the Council was re-constituted in March 1994 with a term of three years. The Executive Committee was re-constituted on July 7, 1994 and All India Boards of Studies and Advisory Boards were constituted in 1994-95. Regional Offices of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, located at Kolkata, Chennai, Kanpur and Mumbai were transferred to AICTE and the staff working at these offices were also deputed to the Council on foreign service terms w.e.f. October 1, 1995. These offices functioned as secretariats of Regional Committees in the four regions (East, South, North and West). Three new Regional Committees in southwest, central and northwest regions with their secretariats located at Bangalore, Bhopal and Chandigarh respectively were also established on July 27, 1994. One more Regional Committee in South-Central region with its Secretariat at Hyderabad was notified on March 8, 2007.
The AICTE has its Headquarters in New Delhi and is presently housed in a building having a covered area of 12187 sq. ft. located on 7th Floor, Chanderlok Building, Janpath, New Delhi. Two bureaus of the Council are housed in its own building having a covered area of 10630 sq. ft. at IV Floor, East Tower, NBCC Place, Pragati Vihar, New Delhi. The Government of India has allocated 5 acres land in the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, for constructing the administrative and other buildings of the Council
The AICTE comprises of eight Bureaus, namely:
1. Administration (Admin) Bureau
2. Academic (Acad) Bureau
3. Approval Bureau (APP)
4. Finance (Fin) Bureau
5. Planning and Co-ordination (PC) Bureau
6. Research Institute & Faculty Development (RIFD) Bureau
7. University Bureau (UB)
For each Bureau, Adviser/Director is the Bureau Head who is assisted by technical officers and other supporting staff.
In addition to the Bureaus there are 8 cells constituted for performing specific functions.
E- governance Cell
Internal Audit Cell
Public Grievance Cell
The multidiscipline technical officers and staff of the Council are on deputation or on contract from various Government Departments, University Grants Commission, academic institutions etc.
THE ALL INDIA COUNCIL FOR TECHNICAL EDUCATION ACT 1987 (No 52 OF 1987)
(As Passed by the Houses of Parliament)
An Act to provide for the establishment of an All India Council for Technical Education with a view to the proper planning and co-ordinated development of the technical education system throughout the country, the promotion of qualitative improvements of such education in relation to planned quantitative growth and the regulation and proper maintenance of norms and standards in the technical education system and for matters connected therewith.
Clause 10(1)- It shall be the duty of the Council to take all such steps as it may think fit for ensuring coordinated and integrated development of technical and management education and maintenance of standards and for the purposes of performing its functions under this Act, the Council may-
Clause 10(o)- Provide guidelines for admission of students to technical institutions and Universities imparting technical education;
Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) Cell has been constituted to coordinate all activities related to conduct of first national level test for admission in to all management programmes in AICTE approved institutions.
o Promotion of Quality in Technical Education.
o Planning and Co-ordinated Development of Technical Education System.
o Regulations and maintenance of Norms and Standards.
“To be a world class organization leading technological and socioeconomic development of the Country by enhancing the global competitiveness of technical manpower and by ensuring high quality technical education to all sections of the society.”
A true facilitator and an objective regulator
Transparent governance and accountable approach towards the society.
Planned and coordinated development of Technical Education in the Country by ensuring world-class standards of Institutions through accreditation.
Facilitating world-class Technical Education through:
Emphasis on developing high quality Institutions, academic excellence and innovative research and development programmes;
Networking of Institutions for optimum resource utilization;
Dissemination of knowledge;
Technology forecasting and global manpower planning;
Promoting industry-Institution interaction for developing new products, services, and patents;
Encouraging indigenous technology;
Focusing on non-formal education;
Providing affordable education to all.
Making Indian Technical Education globally acceptable.
To be a forward-looking organization that has an efficient, flexible and empowered manpower, sensitive to stakeholders’ expectations.
The AICTE was constituted in 1945 as an advisory body in all matters relating to technical education. Even though it had no statutory powers, it played a very important role in the development of technical education in the country. It had four regional committees with offices at Chennai, Mumbai, Kanpur and Calcutta. All the new schemes and proposals for starting new institutions/Programmes were approved by the corresponding Regional Committee and subsequently vetted by the Council.
There was large-scale expansion of technical education in the late fifties and early sixties and again in the eighties. While the expansion in the fifties was done with the approval of the AICTE and the Government of India, the expansion in the eighties was localised mostly in the four states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and was primarily in the self-financing sector without the approval of the AICTE and Government of India. It was in this period that the National Policy on Education-1986 made a specific mention of the need to make AICTE a statutory body and stated:
Even earlier, the Education Commission of 1964. popularly known as Kothari Commission after the name of its Chairman, made the following recommendation for the proper administration of technical education:
"To ensure the pursuit of the highest standards at the first degree and post-graduate levels, and to provide on adequate machinery with the national and professional concern with the future development at these levels, we have recommended the setting up of a UGC-type organisation, industry and concerned Ministries. This body should have a full-time chairman, and funds should be allotted to it on a block basis."
In view of the above, AICTE became a statutory body through an Act of Parliament 52, in 1987. The Council, i.e. AICTE was established with a view to the proper planning and co-ordinated development of the technical education system throughout the country, the promotion of qualitative improvement of such education in relation to planned quantitative growth and the regulation and proper maintenance of norms and standards in the technical education system for matters connected therewith. Technical education was defined as programmes of education, research and training in engineering, technology, architecture, town planning, management, pharmacy and applied arts and crafts and such other programmes or areas as the Central Government may, in consultation with the Council, by notification in the official Gazette, declare. The Act also laid down the powers, functions and structure of the AICTE.
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