In an public advertisement, AICTE asked the technical institutions to write to them before December if they want close down.
The AICTE Official said, "The processing of applications will take about two months, after we will start the audit and review. Every year we get an increasing number of colleges that don't adhere to AUCTE norms of running an institute".
He added that among the rules being flouted by the colleges are requirements of infrastructure and faculty members. "In many colleges we find students who are awaiting their final year results teaching the junior classes".
AICTE officials say that it is only rarely that colleges approach the council seeking closure. "But we expect them to because it will make the system easier," said an official, adding that it would also give more time to the council to decide on the future of the students and faculty members enrolled with it. This will always prevent colleges on the verge of closure to hurriedly sell off the institution to other managements or lease to away to parties.
The some of the guidelines for setting up an engineering college are:
- Colleges can be run by registered trusts/societies/ companies that own land or have leased it for 30 years.
- 205 acres of land in urban areas and 10 acres in rural areas is necessary to begin the institution.
- Syllabus must be approved by the registrar of the affiliating university.
- At least Rs. 1 crore must be furnished as proof of operational expenses.
- Every classroom must have a minimum of 66 square metre of carpet space and every library must be of 400 square metre.
AICTE sent a show-cause notice to the Tamil Nadu state colleges, which has having the largest number of engineering and management institutions for violating the AICTE norms in June this year.. Around 324 higher education institutions that were issued notices across the country, 71 are from the state. Show-cause notices were issued based on two processes, reviewing the institution on receipt of complaints or PIL, and after surprise visits by AICTE officials.
This year, the council had approved the 20 engineering colleges, many of which have less that 50% of their seats filled. These new colleges had surrendered their 60% of seats to Tamil Nadu engineering admissions when counseling began. In 2011, 140 institutions were served show-cause notices after surprise inspections and 4 were debarred from admitting students.
The Principal near Ariyalur said, "Paying the deposit is not as much a problem as getting faculty and even students. We depend on lateral entry - students join after the academic counseling, but the number is only declining".
To attract students, a few colleges had offered students laptops, and some, the provision to pay fees in installments.
S. Kanakarajan, former principal said, "We allow lateral entry students to start payng after two years but now, we got only those who are not even eligible fro engineering. There is no money to invest in facilities because there are not enough students to pay fees".
AICTE officials point out that many colleges have been focusing on the infrastructure for the few courses that were in demand.