As admissions in the state dwindle, MP’s pvt engineering colleges want freedom to compete with best

Bhopal: Old guards in the higher and technical education departments in Madhya Pradesh have begun raising questions on the deteriorating standards of education in the state, wondering if the new government will take the necessary decisions. Engineering colleges in the state have been languishing in recession as the number of admissions in the state have dwindled to half over the past three years.

When asked what the new government should do, professor Manoj Mishra, vice-principal of a leading engineering college, said the government should try and restrict the roles of such regulatory authorities as the AICTE and UGC since they had lost their relevance.

Questions before the new minister

The new minister had some soul-searching to do and, for that, some questions must be asked, said a professor of computer science associated with a leading private engineering college in the state capital. Requesting anonymity, he asked why the government could not match the curriculum in private engineering colleges to those being followed at the Indian Institute of Technology, Indore (IIT, Indore). Whom is the government trying to benefit by ensuring that a majority of the students graduate in engineering without knowing anything about their trade?

Good colleges can compete with best

Anupam Chouksey, secretary, LNCT Group of colleges, said there was a discrepancy in the eligibility demanded by companies who turned up for campus recruitment and that governing the admission process. If the companies did not even touch those students who graduated from school with a score of less than 60%, why should they be even allowed admission into engineering colleges? “Why should colleges be forced to give admission to such students?” he asked.

A college which demanded a level playing field was not aiming at excellence in education, he emphasised. If a college had to compete with the best, it must be given the freedom to hire the best talents, give admission to the best students it could attract and offer courses which were in demand, Chouksey said. “Also, if there aren’t enough industries and companies in the state, how’ll the students get the opportunity to get trained on the job through internships?” he asked.

AICTE and UGC are promoting mediocrity

Dr VS Singh, a retired additional director of the higher education department, government of Madhya Pradesh, said the UGC and AICTE were promoting mediocrity in higher and technical education. It is time they made the colleges free to offer courses according to the requirements of the future instead of forcing them to teach what had lost relevance decades ago.

“A majority of the colleges affiliated to the AICTE and UGC have been reduced to merely degree distribution units, but what’ll happen now when those degrees are no longer in demand? Is the new minister listening and will he act?” he asked.

(Story by Ritesh Shukla)