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Today Date : Wednesday, July 17, 2024

‘Do not allow engineering colleges to offer BBA/BCA courses’

‘Do not allow engineering colleges to offer BBA/BCA courses’

The Association of Self-Financing Arts, Science and Management  Colleges of Tamil Nadu has appealed to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to withdraw its recent notification allowing the introduction of programmes like BBA/BCA in all technical institutions and engineering colleges.
In a resolution adopted at an emergency general body meeting in Coimbatore, the association appealed to the AICTE to withdraw the notification in the draft handbook and also not allow non-technical courses in engineering colleges. 
AICTE, in a recent notification from its Approval Process Handbook  2024-25 to 2026-27, said that it had decided to introduce BBA, BCA, etc., in all technical institutions/engineering colleges from the academic year 2024-25. 
It further said that the existing arts and science colleges offering these courses, which are under the State universities, should get AICTE approval from the ensuing academic year. 
The AICTE has allowed engineering colleges to offer BBA and BCA programmes with a maximum intake of 600 students, resulting in a potential enrolment of over 324,000 students in Tamil Nadu alone. 
This move, the association said, could lead to a  significant decrease in admissions for arts and science colleges, potentially causing job losses for teachers and infrastructure closures. 
Currently,  919 arts and science colleges in Tamil Nadu have an intake of 60 students each for BBA and BCA programmes, which are already recognised by the UGC and have been offered for around 35-40 years by State universities.
Admission to these programmes is based on university eligibility criteria and State reservation policies, with a limited intake of 50-60 students per college.
The association apprehended that the decision of the AICTE to remove the admission limit for programmes offered by arts and science colleges, particularly in rural areas serving disadvantaged students, could lead to their closure in the long run. 
This move, it felt, disregarded the strict requirements for teacher appointments in arts and science colleges. 
The AICTE's approach of requiring additional approval for these colleges would cause confusion and operational disruption. 
The three-year timeline given to top engineering colleges to create infrastructure for new programmes was unfair to successful arts and science colleges. 
The association pointed out that the shift could negatively affect the gross enrolment ratio in science, engineering and technology courses as computer science, engineering and IT programmes were already popular in engineering colleges. Engineering colleges, it said, 
should focus on higher education in their respective domains, allowing arts and science colleges to offer undergraduate courses to prepare students for service industries.
The proposed action to take over the approval process for BBA and  BBA (IT) courses from UGC and State universities would lead to the loss of the multi and interdisciplinary approach recommended by the State Education  Policy currently followed by arts and science colleges.  
Engineering institutions lacked the expertise to provide this approach and most arts and science institutions already followed outcome-based education with a  syllabus at par with engineering 
colleges. 
The association felt that this move of AICTE infringed on the rights of State universities, resulting in a  revenue loss for them, as colleges starting these programmes from 2024-25 would have to pay AICTE and affiliating universities, increasing the management burden.
“It is unclear why AICTE is infringing on the rights of the Higher  Education Department of State governments,” the association wondered in a press release issued by its secretary, 
T. Sethupati.
The association has also submitted a representation to the State Department of Higher Education to stop implementing the new regulations.   It suggested the formation of a committee to study the challenges posed by these decisions and take appropriate action.