Good news for thousands of aspiring engineers who want to pursue Distance B.Tech & Engineering Programmes , but can’t do it owing to busy schedule or problems like exorbitant fees, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is in the process of approving Distance B.Tech & Engineering Programmes, i.e engineering programmes through distance learning by drafting a regulation for such courses in “blended learning” category.
While AICTE, the statutory regulator for technical courses in India, recognizes MBA and MCA programmes offered through distance learning, others courses such as BTech, MTech, pharmacy, hotel management and architecture were not given the same acknowledgement.
Retired DIG (Communication) with Border Security Force (BSF) Satyapal Gorowara, a resident of Civil Lines in the city, had also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union Human Resources Development (HRD) minister in this regard.
According to him, the proposed regulation has been sent by AICTE to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for its approval. An official notice will be issued when the MHRD granted its approval for the undergraduate engineering courses through distance learning. He credited Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (IETE), having centres in about 60 cities, for this success, clarifying that recognizing distance learning programmes was not in conflict with AICTE’s vision and mission.
The apex engineering body recognizes 12,234 institutions offering engineering, management, pharmacy, and architecture courses. Currently, it doesn’t recognize offered through distance learning mode.
In the past, the quality of these programmes had raised many job-relating concerns in companies and organizations. Due to this, MHRD withdrew its notification in 2013 of approving these courses in perpetuity for equivalence in central government jobs. Even Indian Railways expressed concerns in hiring candidates who completed BTech degrees through distance learning mode.
The ministry’s decision evoked sharp reactions from students, who even staged a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, and a few tried to break the barricades outside Irani’s residence. Even IETE opposed the denotification and derecognition of its professional courses by the MHRD.
Subsequently, the MHRD lifted ban in September last year saying all degrees, diplomas and certificates including those in technical education, awarded through open and distance mode, stood automatically recognized for employment, provided the courses have been approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC).