TImes of India update-
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has decided to allow engineering colleges to run arts or science degree courses on their premises in view of the steady decline in students opting for engineering courses.
AICTE chairman Anil D Sahasrabudhe told TOI, “Many engineering colleges are not able to fill up their seats every year. Hence, we have decided to let them start BSc or BA courses.”
He said while the playground and other such infrastructure could be common, the colleges must have other necessary infrastructure in place, including laboratories, to support the new courses. “Moreover, the AICTE approval to start such courses doesn’t mean the colleges don’t need other permissions such as consent from the affiliating university or directorate of higher education, among others,” Sahasrabudhe said.
The director of Vishwakarma Institute of Technology, R M Jalnekar, said he was yet to receive any circular in this regard. “We would be happy to include such courses,” he said, adding it would be nice to start a course in robotics where there was an element of arts.
B B Ahuja, the director of College of Engineering, Pune, said starting an arts or science course at a professional college would complement each other. “While we have a liberal learning course where engineering students can opt for subjects in music or literature, we do not have a formal course. With a proper arts or science department, the engineering students will benefit a lot,” he said.
Besides, the move will ensure individual course teachers, such as those of psychology or music, at engineering colleges get proper infrastructure for research work. “We have a psychology professor qualified to become a research guide, but she cannot do so as there is no arts or science department. With a formal department in place, her skills would be utilized,” Ahuja added.