The All India Council for Technical Education's (AICTE) new norm regarding admission for engineering and pharmacy courses from next academic year is facing opposition from self-financed institutions (SFIs) in the state.And the reason is apparent. According to the norm, colleges can give admission only to those students who score 50% and above in class XII. Earlier, the cutoff was 35%.PK Ruiwala, president of self-financed Pharmacy Colleges Management Association, Gujarat, told TOI that the move will badly hamper the education of many students.
"Last year, as many as 2,500 seats were vacant, even without this rule. So, it is not difficult to gauge what will happen if the new norm is implemented. If the admission process takes place according to new rules, nearly 50 colleges will face closure," he said.Experts said, earlier there were around 2,000 seats in engineering colleges in the state, but in last three years, the state has added another 5,500 seats. The number of engineering institutes in the state is now 93.Colleges also fear that students may again start going to other states to pursue engineering and pharmacy courses.
"In states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka the norms are such that the total marks scored in both theoretical and practical exams are considered for merit,"said CL Patel, president of Federation of Self-Financed Institutes, Gujarat. "If a student gets an aggregate of 50%, he/she can get admission. The same rule should be followed in Gujarat. However, the merit in last four years has shown a declining trend which has forced colleges to give admissions on other quota," he added. Meanwhile, some believe the norm will maintain quality and ensure that students who get admission in the course are deserving. Nirma University's vice-chancellor NV Vasani said that AICTE is the central regulatory body and its decision should be adhered to by the state.
"The merit should be realistic and practical. As observed in engineering courses, it has come down to 35% from the earlier 55% due to overall merit over the years," he said. Speakout: Will the decision of AICTE to raise merit improve standards in professional colleges?