Computerisation Can Reduce Corruption

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) keeps thousands of technical educational organisations of this country under vigilance. Some time ago many allegations about corruption were made against the AICTE. Serious allegations were also made against its methodologies.  Chauthi Duniya journalists Shashi Shekhar and Alok Mishra discussed these issues with the Chairman of AICTE, Professor S.S. Mantha. Here are some highlights of the  discussion.

AICTE has to keep 12,000 different educational institutions/ organisations under vigilance. To do so effectively, what type of mechanism are you using?

There are so many organisations, more than 23 lakhs students, the system is very big. So somewhere there will be discrepancies, but we are trying to proof read everything. Actually the entire system which is responsible for keeping an eye on the organisations is based on ‘Self Disclosure’. This means that we take an affidavit related to every information/ activity of colleges. If any wrong information is found later then we initiate appropriate proceedings. But for this, it is necessary that complaints should reach us. In addition to this we send inspection teams from time to time, in which professors from Government colleges are being involved. This team monitors the colleges and then gives the reports to us.
How does the AICTE proceed after receiving any complaints against any educational organisations?

We definitely initiate appropriate proceedings. This year we have closed 12 engineering colleges, five P.G. colleges and 101 management colleges.
Fake colleges are a very big problem. There are many colleges which are running without affiliation and are also looting the students. What is AICTE doing about this issue?

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Yes we have received such complaints. We have also come to know that there are a few colleges which are running without affiliation. Whenever we receive complaints about such colleges we issue a ‘show cause’ notice. Then we make a list of such colleges and put their name on the ‘disapproved list,’ so that the students are forewarned about such colleges.
The educational organisations which are affiliated through AICTE are bounded to provide 5 per cent seats to penurious students. To what extent is this implemented?

We are keeping an eye on the matter. According to our figures, till now 1.5 lakhs students have benefited.
A big complaint against the Government colleges which are affiliated through AICTE is that they do not provide salaries to their staff according to the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission.

This is not so in the case of Government colleges, but we have received such complaints against many private colleges. By the way, colleges in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan do provide salaries according to the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission. We also want that the organisations which are affiliated through AICTE should pay the salaries according to the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission. We have initiated proceedings on this issue. In many places where we have received a complaint, we have not permitted an increase in seats. Until handsome salaries are not be provided, until then from where you will get qualitative education and teachers.
You have held your position for the last three years. During this period what are the achievements of AICTE and what else requires to be done?

One of our biggest achievement was ‘e-Governance.’ Today a 90 per cent description of any college is available on our website. You can get any detail about any college just by a ‘click.’ Whether its about affiliation or any other information, you can check it out on our website. Likewise, in order to make AICTE fully computerised, we have developed a process based/rules based system. Today all the work is done through computers. Thereby, corruption has been brought under substantial control. But still, about 30 per cent work on process driven activities remains to be done. There are also some other areas where correction is still required. For inspection we still have to send a team. If technology could be applied in this case also then things might have been far better. I am trying to make everything computerised, so that more control can be kept on corruption.

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