Nagpur News: SS Mantha, Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), spoke of a Lokpal- like Ombudsman for universities across the country, during a workshop on e-governance and online approval process at Guru Nanak Bhavan on Tuesday. The workshop was held to update Principals and Directors of Institutions about the online approval system and procedures begun by AICTE recently.
“A notification from the Supreme Court in this regard is expected in another ten to fifteen days”, Mantha told the gathering, which consisted of Principals, Directors, Professors and students. He further explained the reasons behind this decision, “Several PILs were filed recently, complaining about late admissions, few working days, non- implementation of the semester system and the like. Institutions will now have to see that the academic calendar is followed strictly, and semesters begin on the 1st of August and January”. However, he refrained from naming any particular University.
The Ombudsman will be made a mandatory requirement for every university from the academic year 2013- 14. “If the University states that it does not have an ombudsman, it will be treated as a deficiency. Approval to the University might be reconsidered,” said Mantha, stressing the same for the Redressal Community which will be made mandatory for each separated institution from next year as well. The Redressal Community would be answerable to the Ombudsman, and neither expansion nor extension of approval may be given to the college or institution which has not constituted one.
Mantha also discussed the introduction of a new vocational programme, which he urged all universities present to implement. “Around twenty million students appear for Class XII exams in the country every year. Roughly 50% of them pass. Considering the 50% who fail, and a similar number who fail Class X as well as others who don’t pursue higher studies because of economic and other reasons, at least 2.25 crore students miss out on higher education every year” stated Mantha.
The vocational degree (B. Voc) is aimed at such students, and will combine an Educational Component from the Institute with a Skill Component i.e. training by an Industry- associated trainer, on MoU basis. Twelve different specialisations like Automobile, Tourism, IT, Entertainment, Communication, Paramedical and others are being worked upon for this degree. The choice of specialisation offered will differ from institution to institution. The first four levels can be offered by schools at Class IX, X, XI and XII levels. Students who have passed these can then migrate to formal education, and vice versa. There will be a total of seven levels.
RTM (Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj) Nagpur University Pro Vice- Chancellor Mahesh Kumar Yenkie aprreciated the efforts of AICTE, while AICTE Regional Officer Dr. Shukla delivered the vote of thanks.