The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (Formerly known as West Bengal University of Technology) came into existence on August 5, 2000. It started functioning with the assumption of office of the first Vice Chancellor on January 15, 2001 as a sequel to the promulgation of the West Bengal University of Technology Act 2000; under the West Bengal Act XV of 2000 passed by the West Bengal Legislature and published in the Calcutta Gazette (Extraordinary) vide Publication dated july 20, 2000. The Act contemplates a General Council (GC), an Executive Council (EC), an Academic Council (AC), Finance Committee and an Advisory Council as its regulatry and advisory bodies. His Excellency, the Governor of the state of West Bengal would be the ex-officio Chancellor of the University.
Currently, the University is functioning through an Advisory Committee constituted by the Chancellor under the advice of the Government of West Bengal, as per necessary transitory provisions of the Act.
Funded at the initial stages of its formation by the Government of West Bengal, the MAKUT is set to become a Centre of Excellence in multidisciplinary science and technology areas of topical importance, in studies and research, in addition to providing adequate facilities for the pursuit of degree and advanced-level course in management, paramedical and other professional areas through its affiliated institutions. The University has been accorded the affiliating University status with its jurisdiction encompassing the entire state of West Bengal.
The AICTE was constituted in 1945 as an advisory body in all matters relating to technical education. Even though it had no statutory powers, it played a very important role in the development of technical education in the country. It had four regional committees with offices at Chennai, Mumbai, Kanpur and Calcutta. All the new schemes and proposals for starting new institutions/Programmes were approved by the corresponding Regional Committee and subsequently vetted by the Council.
There was large-scale expansion of technical education in the late fifties and early sixties and again in the eighties. While the expansion in the fifties was done with the approval of the AICTE and the Government of India, the expansion in the eighties was localised mostly in the four states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and was primarily in the self-financing sector without the approval of the AICTE and Government of India. It was in this period that the National Policy on Education-1986 made a specific mention of the need to make AICTE a statutory body and stated:
Even earlier, the Education Commission of 1964. popularly known as Kothari Commission after the name of its Chairman, made the following recommendation for the proper administration of technical education: "To ensure the pursuit of the highest standards at the first degree and post-graduate levels, and to provide on adequate machinery with the national and professional concern with the future development at these levels, we have recommended the setting up of a UGC-type organisation, industry and concerned Ministries. This body should have a full-time chairman, and funds should be allotted to it on a block basis."
In view of the above, AICTE became a statutory body through an Act of Parliament 52, in 1987. The Council, i.e. AICTE was established with a view to the proper planning and co-ordinated development of the technical education system throughout the country, the promotion of qualitative improvement of such education in relation to planned quantitative growth and the regulation and proper maintenance of norms and standards in the technical education system for matters connected therewith. Technical education was defined as programmes of education, research and training in engineering, technology, architecture, town planning, management, pharmacy and applied arts and crafts and such other programmes or areas as the Central Government may, in consultation with the Council, by notification in the official Gazette, declare. The Act also laid down the powers, functions and structure of the AICTE.
Having vested with Statutory powers, AICTE has initiated necessary steps for planning, formulation and maintenance of norms and standards, accreditation, funding of priority areas, monitoring and evaluation of courses/programmes in the field of technical education to ensure coordinated and integrated development of technical education in the Country. In order to achieve the planned growth and to nurture quality in technical education system, AICTE has spared no effort to inculcate competitiveness to face the globalization and in generating competence and quality in technically qualified human resources to make it globally acceptable.
Major Functions As per the section 10 & 11 of AICTE Act (52 of 1987), the power and functions of the Council are as under:
It shall be the duty of the Council to take all such steps as it may think fit for ensuring coordinated and integrated development of technical and management education and maintenance of standards and for the purposes of performing its functions under this Act, the Council may-
(a) Undertake survey in the various fields of technical education, collect data on all related matters and make forecast of the needed growth and development in technical education;
(b) Coordinate the development of the technical education in the country at all levels;
(c) Allocate and disburse out of the Fund of the Council such grants, on such terms and conditions as it may think fit to-
(i) Technical institutions, and (ii) Universities imparting technical education in co-ordination with the Commission;
(d) Promote innovations, research and development in established and new technologies, generation, adoption and adaptation of new technologies to meet development requirements and for over-all improvement of educational processes.
(e) Formulate schemes for promoting technical education for women, handicapped and weaker sections of the society;
(f) Promote an effective link between technical education system and other relevant systems including research and development organizations, industry and the community;
(g) Evolve suitable performance appraisal systems for technical institutions and universities imparting technical education, incorporating norms and mechanisms for enforcing accountability;
(h) Formulate schemes for the initial and in service training of teachers and identify institutions or centers and set up new centers for offering staff development programmes including continuing education of teachers;
(i) Lay down norms and standards for courses, curricula, physical and instructional facilities, staff pattern, staff qualifications, quality instructions, assessment and examinations;
(j) Fix norms and guidelines for charging tuition and other fees;
(k) Grant approval for starting new technical institutions and for introduction of new courses or programmes in consultation with the agencies concerned;
(l) Advise the Central Government in respect of grant of charter to any professional body or institution in the field of technical education conferring powers, rights and privileges on it for the promotion of such profession in its field including conduct of examinations and awarding of membership certificates;
(m) Lay down norms for granting autonomy to technical institutions;
(n) Take all necessary steps to prevent commercialization of technical education;
(o) Provide guidelines for admission of students to technical institutions and Universities imparting technical education;
(p) Inspect or cause to inspect any technical institutions;
(q) Withhold or discontinue grants in respect of courses, programmes to such technical institutions which fail to comply with the directions given by the Council within the stipulated period of time and take such other steps as may be necessary for ensuring compliance of the directions of Council;
(r) Take steps to strengthen the existing organizations, and to set up new organizations to ensure effective discharge of the Council’s responsibilities and to create positions of professional, technical and supporting staff based on requirements;
(s) Declare technical institutions at various levels and types offering courses in technical education fit to receive grants;
(t) Advise the Commission for declaring any institutions imparting technical as a deemed university;
(u) Set up a National Board of Accreditation to periodically conduct evaluation of technical education institutions or programmes on the basis of guidelines, norms and standards specified by it and to make recommendations to it, or to the Council, or to the Commission or to other bodies, regarding recognition or de-recognition of the institution or the programme;
(v) Perform such other functions as may be prescribed.
(1) For the purposes of ascertaining the financial needs of technical institution or a University or its standards of teaching, examination and research, the Council may cause an inspection of any department or departments of such technical institution or University to be made in such manner as may be prescribed and by such person or persons as it may direct.
(2) The Council shall communicate to the technical institutions or University the date on which any inspection under sub-section (1) is to be made and the technical institution or University shall be entitled to be associated with the inspection in such manner as may be prescribed.
(3) The Council shall communicate to the technical institution or the University, its views in regard to the results of any such inspection and may, after ascertaining opinion of that technical institution or University, recommend to that institution or University the action to be taken as a result of such inspection.
(4) All communications to a technical institutions or University under this section shall be made to the executive authority thereof and the executive authority of the technical institution or University shall report to the Council the action, if any, which is proposed to be taken for the purposes of implementing any such recommendation as it referred to in sub-section (3).
The Council’s Headquarters is located at New Delhi. The Council has Chairman, Vice Chairman and Member Secretary, who are full time tenure appointments.
2. The statutory bodies of AICTE as prescribed by the Act are :
- Executive Committee
- Regional Committees
- All India Board of Studies.
3. The Council is a 51 member body and has Chairman, Vice Chairman and Member Secretary who have full time tenure appointments and includes amongst others, representatives of various Departments of the Government of India, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, Governments of States & Union Territories, representatives from the statutory Boards and Committees of the Council, professional bodies and organizations in the concerned areas of technical education and research and representatives from industry, commerce etc. The Council performs its functions in consultation with State Governments, Universities, State Boards of Technical Education, Professional bodies and experts. The prime duty of the Council is to take all such steps as it may think fit for ensuring coordinated and integrated development of technical and management education and maintenance of standards.
4. The Executive Committee is a 21-member body constituted by the Council and discharges such functions as may be assigned to it by the Council. The Executive Committee is chaired by the Chairman of the Council and includes Vice-Chairman of the Council; Education Secretary to the Government of India; two Chairmen of the Regional Committees; three Chairmen of the All India Boards of Studies; one Member of the Council representing the Ministry of Finance of the Central Government; four Members of the Council representing States/UTs; four Members with expertise and distinction in areas relevant to technical education; Chairman of the University Grants Commission; Director of the Institute of Applied Manpower Research; Director General of Indian Council of Agriculture Research. The Member-Secretary of the Council is the Member Secretary of the Executive Committee.
5. The AICTE Act provided for the establishment of five Boards of Studies. However, the Council was empowered by the Act to establish such other Boards of Studies as it may think fit. Presently, there are 10 All India Boards of Studies in various sectors of technical education. These are: -
- All India Board of Vocational Education
- All India Board of Technician Education
- All India Board of Under Graduate Studies in Engineering & Technolog
- All India Board of Post Graduate Education and Research in Engineering and Technology
- All India Board of Management Studies
- All India Board of Pharmaceutical Education
- All India Board of Hotel Management and Catering Technology
- All India Board of Information Technolog
- All India Board of Town Planning
- All India Board of Architecture
Each Board of Studies has about fifteen members and is headed by subject experts of eminence. These Boards advise the Executive Committee on academic matters falling in their areas of concern including norms, standards, model curricula, model facilities and structure of courses and all other areas of academic development in their respective fields.
6. The AICTE Act provided for the establishment of four Regional Committees. However, the Council was empowered by the Act to establish such other Regional Committee as it may think fit. Presently, there are 8 Regional Committees. The details of regions and states covered under these committees are as under SI Region States/Union Territories
- Central Region Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat
- Western Region Goa, Maharashtra Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli
- South-Western Region Karnataka, Kerala and Lakshadweep
- Eastern Region Manipur, Assam Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Meghalaya Mizoram, West Bengal Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunchal Pradesh, Orissa and Jharkhand
- North-Western Region Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir Punjab, Rajasthan and Chandigarh
- Northern Region Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal
- Southern Region Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry
- South Central Region Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh
- Each Regional Committee has 15-20 members and is headed by a person of eminence. These Committees advise and assist the Council in all aspects of planning, promoting and regulating technical education within their respective regions
7. AICTE has also established 8 Regional Offices situated in Bhopal, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Kanpur, Kolkata, Hyderabad & Mumbai, for the efficient discharge of the Council’s functions within their respective regions. These offices act as secretariats of the Regional Committees and coordinate with the Headquarters and the State Technical Education Departments.