The All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE) may have given a reprieve to existing and new engineering institutions by allowing them, among other things, permission to run evening engineering and polytechnic colleges. However, there are mixed reactions to the decision. Institutes with at least four years of standing in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and other union territories are expected to benefit from the move. AICTE has allowed the facility to institutes in these these states to correct regional and stream-wise imbalances degree- and diploma-level institutions. 'The permission for evening engineering and polytechnic classes in existing colleges would allow the best use of libraries, computer labs, classrooms, etc. The cost of education will also reduce,' said an AICTE source.
Welcoming the move, Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association President JS Dhaliwal said the permission will help his institute make the best use of infrastructure. However, not everyone in the academic community is elated. 'While this will allow best use of the existing equipment, there is concern about the availability of faculty. Faculty workload will increase and colleges will have to look to hire more faculty amid the reigning faculty crunch,' said a professor from one of the engineering institutions.