w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



Neotech Institute of Technology v/s All India Council of Technical Education


Company & Directors' Information:- M G INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U80301DL2002PTC118047

Company & Directors' Information:- NEOTECH COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U28920TN1993PTC024396

Company & Directors' Information:- THE INDIA COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999TN1919PTC000911

Company & Directors' Information:- INDIA CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65990MH1941PTC003461

Company & Directors' Information:- J J TECHNICAL INSTITUTE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U80221MH1988PTC046265

Company & Directors' Information:- M. S. INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION PVT. LTD. [Active] CIN = U80301DL2006PTC152100

Company & Directors' Information:- P R EDUCATION INSTITUTE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U80903DL2004PTC129195

Company & Directors' Information:- V C EDUCATION INSTITUTE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U80903DL2004PTC129201

Company & Directors' Information:- R V EDUCATION INSTITUTE PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U80903DL2004PTC129311

Company & Directors' Information:- TECHNICAL INSTITUTE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U80221KA1917PLC000075

    Special Civil Application No. 2620 of 2016

    Decided On, 06 April 2016

    At, High Court of Gujarat At Ahmedabad

    By, THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. R. SUBHASH REDDY & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE V.M. PANCHOLI

    For the Appellant: Dhaval C. Dave, Senior Counsel, P.A. Jadeja, Advocate. For the Respondent: P.K. Jani, Senior Counsel, Vilas G. Goswamy, Advocate.



Judgment Text

V.M. Pancholi, J.

1. By way of the present petition, petitioner which is a college imparting education in the discipline of Engineering at the level of graduation, has prayed to read down the provisions contained in Clause 2.2(c) of Chapter (II) of Approval Process Handbook, 2016-2017 published by the respondent - AICTE, as not applicable to the petitioner and thereby it is further prayed that the respondent AICTE be directed to treat the petitioner as eligible to submit an application seeking permission for commencing the courses w.e.f. the academic year 2016-2017 at the level of graduation in the branches of Chemical Engineering and Information Technology without insisting for accreditation from the National Board of Accreditation as a prerequisite on the basis of Approval Process Handbook, 2016-2017. Alternatively, the petitioner has prayed that provisions contained in Clause 2.2(c) of Chapter (II) of Approval Process Handbook, 2016-2017, published by respondent AICTE mandating accreditation from the National Board of Accreditation as a prerequisite for moving an application for commencing the courses be declared as ultra-vires, void and hence unenforceable.

2. The factual matrix of the present petition is as under:

2.1. The petitioner is a college imparting education in the discipline of Engineering at the level of graduation. It was established with the approval of the respondent - All India Council for Technical Education (hereinafter referred to as the 'AICTE' for the sake of brevity), in the academic year 2013-2014 for the purpose of imparting education in the discipline of Engineering at the level of graduation. The petitioner is also affiliated to the Gujarat Technological University. With the approval of AICTE, petitioner is imparting education in respect of four branches viz. (i) Civil Engineering, (ii) Computer Engineering, (iii) Electrical Engineering and (iv) Mechanical Engineering. Such approval was granted for the academic year 2014-2015. Under Section 23 of All India Council for Technical Education Act, 1987 (hereinafter referred to as the 'AICTE Act'), Respondent is empowered to frame regulations for the purpose of carrying out the objects of the AICTE Act. The Respondent has framed regulations viz. All India Council for Technical Education (Grant of Approval for Technical Institutions) Regulations, 2012 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Regulations, 2012'). As per Regulation 4 of the Regulations, 2012, it is mandatory to have prior approval of respondent - AICTE for commencing a new college or an institution in the field of technical education as also for extension of the approval already granted to the concerned college or for increase in the existing intake of the approved college or the institute and also for commencing an additional shift for the concerned courses in the set up of the existing approved college or the institute.

2.2. It is the case of the petitioner that as per the practice prevalent in the set up of the respondent - AICTE since long, a manual in the name of "Approval Process Handbook" is published comprising information on the procedure to be followed by the concerned colleges and the institutions in the field of technical education on the matters where prior approval of the respondent is mandatory. The respondent - AICTE has, therefore, published Approval Process Handbook every year. For the academic year 2016-2017 also such Handbook is published by the respondent - AICTE. It is the case of the petitioner that there is no substantial difference between the recent published Approval Process Handbook, 2016-2017 and the last published Approval Process Handbook, 2015-2016.

2.3. It is the case of the petitioner that concept of accreditation from the National Board of Accreditation (hereinafter referred to as 'NBA' for the sake of brevity) introduced for the first time in the Approval Process Handbook, 2015-2016. The same is continued in the recent Handbook also. Clause 2.2 of Chapter II thereof provides that a college or institution seeking an increase in intake as also a permission to start an additional shift in respect of the concerned courses as also a permission to start a new course in the concerned branch has to have an accreditation from NBA in order to become eligible for being considered for such permission. In short, as per the said provision, in absence of accreditation from NBA to the credit of the concerned college or the institute, such college or institute will be considered as ineligible at the threshold for seeking increase in intake as also a permission for commencing an additional shift in respect of the concerned courses for which other shift is already approved by the respondent - AICTE as also the permission to start a new course in the concerned branch.

2.4. The petitioner is desirous to commence new course at the level of graduation in the branches of Chemical Engineering with the intake of 60 students and Information Technology with the intake of 120 students as petitioner is having requisite infrastructure for commencing such courses. Petitioner, therefore intended to apply to the respondent - AICTE for increase in intake for commencing an additional branch w.e.f. Academic year 2016-2017. The petitioner, therefore, wanted to submit an application for prior approval of respondent which is mandatory and therefore it was noticed that on account of specific format of the concerned software through which the petitioner was required to submit its application on-line for permission of commencing the new courses, it was not possible for the petitioner to submit its application on-line for want of accreditation to its credit from NBA. Petitioner has, therefore, immediately preferred the present petition, wherein, while issuing notice, this Court by ad-interim relief, has directed the respondent to accept off-line application of the petitioner for approval to commence new course as desired by the petitioner for the academic year 2016-2017.

3. Heard learned Senior Counsel Mr. Dhaval C. Dave with learned advocate Mr. P.A. Jadeja for the petitioner and learned Senior Counsel Mr. P.K. Jani with learned advocate Mr. Vilas G. Goswami for the respondent.

4. Learned Senior Counsel Mr. Dave appearing for the petitioner referred to the Regulations, 2012 produced at page 33 of the compilation and more particularly referred to Clause Nos. 4.1, 4.3, 4.6 and 4.9 of the said Regulations.

4.1. Learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner thereafter referred to the Approval Process Handbook, 2016-2017, published by the respondent - AICTE, which is produced at page 45 of the compilation. Clause 2.2 of the said Handbook provides as under:

"2.2. Seek approval of the Council for

a. Extension of approval to existing Technical Institution or Technical Campus.

b. Increase in intake in existing courses in the first/regular shift (only for valid NBA accredited courses)

c. Adding course(s) in the first/regular shift in existing Institutions having valid accredited courses.

d. Reduction in intake.

e. Closure of program and/or course

f. Introducing/continuing/discontinuing supernumerary seats for PIO/Foreign Nationals

g. Introducing/continuing/discontinuing seats for sons/daughters of NRIs.

h. Change of name of the Institute

i. Adding Integrated course in the first/regular shift in existing Institutions having valid accredited courses.

j. Fellowship Program in Management (only for Institutes having valid NBA accreditation for Management programs)."

4.2. Clause 4 provides as under:

"4. The approved Technical Institution may expand its activities by adding new/additional courses/divisions, in the 1st shift provided they have valid NBA accreditation in place for following reasons."

4.3. After referring to the aforesaid provisions contained in Regulations, 2012 as well as Approval Process Handbook, learned Senior Counsel submitted that the Regulations, 2012 have not been placed before either of the House of the Parliament by the respondent - AICTE or on its behalf as per information of petitioner and therefore Regulations, 2012 have no enforceability in the eye of law. It is further contended that even assuming that respondent - AICTE is empowered to issue Approval Process Handbook which has been issued in the year 2016-2017, the condition to submit an application for approval with respondent - AICTE only after NBA accreditation is obtained by the institution, is unreasonable and irrational and the said condition is confined to the colleges and the institutions which are eligible for accreditation from NBA and despite the same, they have failed to apply for the same. So far as the case of the petitioner is concerned, it is impossible for the petitioner to get the accreditation from NBA immediately for the academic year 2016-2017. It is, therefore, contended that the prescription of an unachievable criteria as a prerequisite for evaluating the particular application on merits for the purpose of grant thereof, being irrational in nature would amount to acting in negation of the mandate of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. At this stage, it is contended that accreditation from NBA is possible only in respect of the colleges and the institutions from which minimum two batches of the students of concerned course have passed out. In other words, it is pointed out that the colleges and institutions which have not completed the years from their establishment which are necessary for rolling out minimum two batches of the students for the concerned course in which such colleges and the institutions are engaged and thereupon, till such two batches of students have passed out, the concerned colleges and the institutions will not be even eligible to apply to the NBA for accreditation.

4.4. At this stage, learned counsel for the petitioner has referred to the information which was given in the website of NBA in the form of answer to the questions frequently asked for by the concerned person to NBA. The details thereof are produced at Annexure-D with the petition. Learned counsel referred to Clause No. 11.11 which reads as under:

"11.11. Who can apply for Accreditation by NBA?

You can

If your institution and the programs are approved by the AICTE

If at least two batches of students have passed out of the program."

4.5. Thus, it is contended that so far as the petitioner is concerned, it was established only in the academic year 2013-2014 with the approval of respondent - AICTE. The concerned course in which the petitioner is engaged is having the duration of four years. Hence, two batches of the students have not passed out as per Clause 11.11 of the aforesaid guidelines issued by NBA. Thus, the petitioner cannot apply for accreditation of NBA. Thus, insistence on the part of the respondent - AICTE with regard to the condition which is impossible to be fulfilled by the petitioner is in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

4.6. Learned Senior Counsel further submitted that even if it is to be assumed on hypothesis that there is no waiting period as aforesaid for becoming eligible to apply for accreditation from NBA and thereupon, even the college like the petitioner can apply for the same, the fact remains that no time is left at present for the concerned colleges and the institutions like the petitioner to apply to the NBA for accreditation and for the NBA to consider the same before the commencement of the admission process for the ensuing academic year 2016-2017, as the Approval Process Handbook, 2016-2017, was published recently.

4.7. Learned Senior Counsel further submitted that a prescription in the Approval Process Handbook, 2016-2017 insisting for an accreditation from NBA in respect of an application seeking permission to start a new course can never be construed as a mandatory provision disentitling the petitioner at the threshold from pressing its concerned application for consideration thereof on merits. The said prescription is absolutely out of context and solely on account of inadvertence. The Approval Process Handbook, 2016-2017 is not in the form of Regulations under Section 23 of the AICTE Act. The same is only for the purpose of informing the concerned colleges and the institutions about the procedure to be followed for moving applications for which prior approval of the respondent - AICTE is mandatory as per Regulation 4 of the Regulations, 2012. Thus, what is provided in the Approval Process Handbook, 2016-2017 is procedural in nature and not substantive. The substantive provisions for processing such applications are provided in the Regulations, 2012 and there is nothing in the said Regulations, 2012 which provides that unless and until the concerned college or the institution is having to its credit accreditation from NBA, such college or the institution will not be considered as eligible for some of the matters specified in Regulation 4 of the Regulations, 2012. Learned Senior Counsel further submitted that if such a situation is allowed to remain then the said prescription will have the effect of putting the Approval Process Handbook, 2016-2017 on higher pedestal as compared to the Regulations, 2012, which are statutory in nature and administrative provision cannot travel beyond a statutory provision.

4.8. Learned Senior Counsel would therefore contend that the condition/prescription contained in the Approval Process Handbook, 2016-2017 is required to be construed as being out of context and by inadvertence and if the same is allowed to remain as it is then it travel beyond the Regulations, 2012, which is not permissible in the eye of law.

4.9. Learned Senior Counsel, beyond the aforesaid submissions, has given multiple reasons, which according to the learned Senior Counsel, show patent absurdity on the part of the respondent - AICTE in insisting for the accreditation from NBA. Firstly, accreditation from NBA has nothing to do with the permission for starting a course in a new branch. That a provision without any object or the purpose is irrational and hence in contravention of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. Secondly, the approval from the respondent - AICTE to the concerned college or the institution as per the norms fixed by the NBA, for running a particular course is sine qua non for becoming eligible to apply for the accreditation. Thirdly, if the concerned college or the institution is having the intake of higher grade as also more shifts for the concerned course and more branches in the concerned course, the same would go long way in favour of the concerned college or the institution in seeking accreditation from NBA. Hence, the provision of the aforesaid nature contained in the Approval Process Handbook, 2016-2017 is ultra-vires Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

4.10. Learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner further submitted that the action on the part of the respondent - AICTE is in breach of the fundamental right available to the petitioner under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution, inasmuch as it imposes restriction on the right of the petitioner to run an educational institution that too without there being any law made by the legislature for such restriction. Learned Senior Counsel therefore submitted that the present petition be allowed.

4.11. In support of the aforesaid contentions, learned Senior Counsel Mr. Dave has placed reliance upon the decision rendered by the Division Bench of this Court in the case of Association of Self Financing Colleges v. State of Gujarat and Anr., reported in 2013(3) G.L.H. 500.

5. On the other hand, learned Senior Counsel Mr. P.K. Jani appearing with learned advocate Mr. Vilas Goswami referred to the averments made in the affidavit-in-reply filed by the Central Regional Officer of respondent - AICTE and mainly submitted that the right, authority and powers of the respondent are government and guided by AICTE Act of 1987 and the procedural prescriptions given under Regulations of 2012. Learned Senior Counsel referred to the preamble and relevant provisions of the AICTE Act, 1987 and submitted that respondent - AICTE has been established for coordinated and integrated development of the technical education system at all levels throughout the country and is enjoined to promote qualitative improvement of such education in relation to planned quantitative growth. The respondent is also required to provide guidelines for admission of students and to evolve suitable performance appraisal system incorporating such norms and mechanisms in enforcing their accountability. He, thereafter referred to the provisions contained in Section 10 of the AICTE Act, which deals with the functions of respondent and referred to Clause 10(u) which gives power to the respondent - AICTE to set up NBA to periodically conduct evaluation of technical institutions or programmes. He further submitted that while exercising powers under the Act the respondent has framed Regulations of 2012. He also referred to the relevant provisions/Clauses contained in the said Regulations, wherein it has been provided that the respondent - AICTE shall publish from time to time Approval Process Handbook detailing the condition of approval and procedure to process the applications of institutions and/or promoters.

5.1. Learned Senior Counsel thereafter would submit that keeping in view the requirement of higher technical education in the country, the respondent - AICTE has been publishing Approval Process Handbook for every academic year detailing the condition of approval and procedure to process the applications of institutions and/or promoters. Such Handbook was published in 2013-2014 which provided for process for seeking approval for starting new Technical Institution, extension of approval to existing approved Technical Institutions, introduction of new technical courses, variation of intake of technical courses etc.

5.2. Learned counsel Mr. Jani thereafter submitted that the Hon'ble Apex Court relying upon the law laid down in the matter of Bhartidasan University and Anr. v. AICTE and Ors., reported in , (2001) 8 SCC 676 and in the matter of Association Management of Private Colleges v. AICTE and Ors., reported in , (2013) 8 SCC 271 observed that colleges affiliated to the University come within the purview of exclusion of the definition of Technical Institution as defined under Section 2(h) of the AICTE Act, 1987. Learned counsel referred to relevant paragraphs of the aforesaid judgment and thereafter submitted that as per the observations made by the Hon'ble Apex Court, the University Grants Commission did not take any steps for creation of mechanism and provision for grant of approval. UGC, vide its letter dated 27.05.2013, informed the Vice Chancellors of various Universities in the country as under:

"UGC in the meantime, is working on preparing suitable guidelines/regulations for ensuring standards of teaching and learning in affiliated colleges offering course/programs of professional and technical nature. In view of above, I request you to ensure that no further affiliations are granted to any more affiliated colleges offering courses/programs of professional and technical nature till UGC reaches out to you again."

Thereafter, various correspondences took place between UGC and various Vice-Chancellors.

5.3. At this stage, learned Senior Counsel submitted that in view of the decision rendered by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the aforesaid matter, initially the respondent - AICTE did not invite any application for approval or extension of approval, variation of intake etc. from the technical colleges/institutions affiliated to Universities for the academic year 2014-2015. Such applications were in fact invited only from Polytechnics and Post Graduate Diploma Institutions. Thus, the Hon'ble Apex Court in the aforesaid situation decided to extend the Approval Process Handbook, 2013-2014 for the academic session 2014-2015.

5.4. Learned counsel thereafter contended that the decision rendered by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Association Management of Private Colleges (supra) came up for consideration before it in another matter of Army Welfare Education Society and Ors. v. Union of India and Ors., wherein following is passed:

"Having regard to the important issue involved in the writ petition, we think that it will be appropriate if the matter is heard by a Bench of three Judges."

5.5. Learned Senior Counsel at this stage pointed out that another Special Leave Petition (C) No. 7277 of 2014 was filed before the Hon'ble Apex Court by one Orissa Technical College Association, wherein the main grievance of the petitioner was regarding non-issuance of Approval Process Handbook for the academic session 2014-2015 by the AICTE so as to enable the technical institution to apply for approval and extension of approval. In the said petition, the Hon'ble Apex Court directed the AICTE to issue Approval Process Handbook, 2014-2015.

5.6. Thereafter, in the aforesaid matter the Hon'ble Apex Court passed an order directing the AICTE to proceed in accordance with the Approval Process Handbook for the academic year 2014-2015, so far as the member of the said petitioner association and all colleges and institutions situated similar to the members of the said petitioner association are concerned and necessary orders shall be issued by AICTE within 10 days.

5.7. Thus, it was pointed out that in view of the orders passed by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Association Management of Private Colleges (supra), the UGC only initiated framing of Regulations in respect of grant of affiliation to technical colleges by Universities concerned. Thus, the important and essential aspect of approval to technical colleges prior to grant of affiliation was completely unregulated. In view of the aforesaid, the Hon'ble Apex Court once again in I.A. No. 3/2014 in SLP (C) No. 7277 of 2014 gave further direction to AICTE. Learned counsel at this stage, referred to various orders passed by the Hon'ble Apex Court in different I.A. Applications, which are reproduced in para 30, 31, 32, 35 and 36 of the affidavit-in-reply.

5.8. It is further contended by learned counsel that in view of the various orders passed by the Hon'ble Apex Court in I.A. Applications, the matter was deliberated and considered by the AICTE in its meeting and keeping in view the interest of higher technical education in the country, it is decided to revise the AICTE Approval Process Handbook, 2013-2014 and to notify the new Approval Process Handbook, 2015-2016. It is contended that in compliance of Section 24 of AICTE Act, 1987, a notification dated 29.01.2014 has been placed before the Parliament. At this stage, it is further pointed out by learned counsel Mr. Jani that Hon'ble Apex Court was pleased to pass order in I.A. No. 12 of 2015 on 27.04.2015, whereby Approval Process Handbook, 2015-2016 was approved and the Hon'ble Apex Court has observed that:

"There is no opposition. Accepting the reasons given in the application, I.A. No. 12 is allowed. However, it is clarified that if the institutions have to approach for enhancement/variation of intake, it should approach through National Board of Accreditation (NBA)."

The said order is produced by the respondent with the affidavit at Annexure-R2.

5.9. Learned counsel thereafter submitted that for the academic session 2016-2017 also permission is sought for from the Hon'ble Apex Court to continue the Approval Process Handbook, 2015-2016 for the academic year 2016-2017.

5.10. Learned counsel Mr. Jani thereafter submitted that action of respondent - AICTE in making the accreditation compulsory and mandatory is completely within the authority of AICTE and powers are conferred under Section 10 of the aforesaid Act and the Regulations of 2012.

5.11. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances of the case, learned counsel Mr. Jani mainly contended that it is well settled principle of law that the Courts should leave the decisions of academic matters to experts who are more familiar with the problems they face than the Courts generally can be. The judicial review of the decisions of AICTE as sought for by the petitioner is impermissible as the decision of the AICTE is with a view to keep the standards and quality of technical education and to see that the norms and standards are followed throughout the country uniformly for ensuring coordinated and integrated development of technical education. He further submitted that when the issue is pending before the Hon'ble Apex Court and when in the I.A. Applications the Hon'ble Apex Court has clarified that if any institution has to approach for enhancement/variation of intake, it should approach through NBA, this Court may not interfere with the process undertaken by the respondent - AICTE. It is further contended that the impugned Approval Process Handbook and provisions of Regulations of 2012 are not violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India nor the same are irrational and arbitrary as alleged by the petitioner and therefore the present petition be dismissed.

5.12. In support of the aforesaid contentions, learned Senior Counsel Mr. Jani has placed reliance upon the following decisions:

(1) In the case of University of Mysore, H.H. Anniah Gowda v. C.D. Govinda Rao, reported in , AIR 1965 SC 491. (para 13)

(2) In the case of Medical Council of India v. Sarang, reported in , (2001) 8 SCC 427. (para 6)

(3) In the case of Tariq Islam v. Aligarh Muslim University, reported in , (2001) 8 SCC 546. (para 7)

(4) In the case of Assistant Collector of Central Excise, Chandan Nagar, West Bengal v. Dunlop India Ltd. and Others, reported in , 1985 G.L.H. 25 (SC). (para 9)

(5) In the case of Spencer And Company Limited v. Vishwadarshan Distributors Private Limited, reported in , (1995) 1 SCC 259. (para 10 and 11)

(6) In the case of Modern Dental College And Research Centre v. State of Madhya Pradesh, reported in , (2009) 7 SCC 751. (para 23)

(7) In the case of Jayantilal Ambalal Parmar v. The Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation and Another, reported in , 1995(1) G.L.H. 65. (para 24)

6. We have considered the submissions canvassed on behalf of learned counsel appearing for the parties and we have also gone through the material produced on record as well as the decisions relied upon by the learned counsel appearing for the parties.

7. It would emerge from the record that the petitioner is a college imparting education in the discipline of Engineering at the level of graduation and it was established with the approval of the respondent - AICTE, in the academic session 2013-2014. The petitioner is also affiliated to the Gujarat Technological University. With the approval of AICTE, petitioner is imparting education in four branches viz. (i) Civil Engineering, (ii) Computer Engineering, (iii) Electrical Engineering and (iv) Mechanical Engineering. Since the petitioner desired to commence new course in the branches of Chemical Engineering and Information Technology, it has decided to submit an application for prior approval of respondent AICTE which is mandatory. However, it has come to the notice of the petitioner that on account of the software through which the petitioner was required to submit its application on-line for seeking necessary permission, it was not possible for the petitioner to submit its application on-line for want of accreditation from NBA. The petitioner has, therefore, preferred the present petition. This Court, while issuing notice to the respondents, by ad-interim relief, directed the respondents to accept offline application of the petitioner to commence new courses as desired by the petitioner for the academic year 2016-2017.

8. The respondent - AICTE is empowered to grant approval to the concerned institutions for imparting education in the discipline of Engineering. Certain right, authority and powers are prescribed under the AICTE Act, 1987. Regulations of 2012 are also published and placed before the Parliament.

9. Regulation 4.3 of Regulations, 2012 provides as under:

"4.3. The Council shall publish, from time to time, Approval Process Handbook, detailing the conditions of approval and procedure to process the applications of Institutions and/or promoters."

10. Regulation 4.9 of Regulations, 2012 provides that:

"4.9. a All existing Institutions applying for

* Extension of approval to existing Technical Institution/Technical Campus

* Increase/reduction in intake in existing courses

* Adding Course/s in existing program

* Closure of program/course

* Mandatory provision of supernumerary seats for TFW

* Introducing/continuing/discontinuing supernumerary seats for PIO

* Introducing/continuing/discontinuing seats for sons/daughters of NRIs

* Change of name of the Institute

* Second Shift Programs

* Part Time Programs

Shall make necessary corrections, online, based on the deficiency/Status report available through Institute login until such time that the applicant finally submits the application on the portal.

xxx xxx xxx"

11. The Approval Process Handbook was published by the AICTE for the year 2013-2014 as per the aforesaid Regulations of 2012. The Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Association Management of Private Colleges (supra) gave certain directions to UGC. However, UGC was unable to frame the regulations within the reasonable time and therefore it was decided by AICTE to extend the Approval Process Handbook, 2013-2014 for the academic session 2014-2015. It was further clear from the submissions canvassed on behalf of the learned counsel for the parties and from the material produced on record that the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Army Welfare Education Society (supra) referred the matter to the Bench of three Judges by an order dated 24.03.2014. The said matter is still pending. However, in the meantime, one Orissa Technical College Association filed SLP (C) No. 7277 of 2014 before the Hon'ble Apex Court, wherein the grievance is made by the said petitioner for non-issuance of Approval Process Handbook by the AICTE for the academic year 2014-2015. In the said matter, the interim order was passed by the Hon'ble Apex Court directing the AICTE to issue Approval Process Handbook for the academic session 2014-2015. It is further borne out from the record that on the basis of the judgment delivere

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d by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Association Management of Private Colleges (supra), the UGC did not take any step for creation of mechanism and provision for grant of approval and another matter filed by Army Welfare Education Society (supra) is pending for consideration before the Bench of three Judges before the Hon'ble Apex Court. Moreover, various I.A. Applications were filed before the Hon'ble Apex Court in SLP (C) No. 7277 of 2014 wherein the Hon'ble Apex Court has passed orders from time to time. The Hon'ble Apex Court in I.A. Nos. 11 and 12 in SLP (C) No. 7277 of 2014 passed an order on 27.04.2015, which reads as under: "I.A. No. 12 of 2015 IA No. 12 of 2015 has been filed with the prayer(a) as follows:- "Permit the AICTE to process all applications of technical institutions for extension of approval, variation of intake, new courses, establishment of new technical institutions etc. In accordance with the new AICTE Approval Process Handbook (2015-2016). "There is no opposition. Accepting the reasons given in the application, I.A. No. 12 is allowed. However, it is clarified that if the institutions have to approach for enhancement/variation of intake, it should approach through National Board of Accreditation (NBA)." 12. Thereafter, the Hon'ble Apex Court, on 06.01.2016, has also passed an order in Civil Appeal No(s) 6938 of 2015 filed by the Orissa Technical Colleges Association, wherein it has been observed that: "That being so, AICTE can in our opinion be left free to continue publishing the Approval Process Handbook from year to year in future also till orders to the contrary are passed by this Court. We accordingly allow this application and direct the AICTE shall be free to publish for the Session 2016-2017 and the academic sessions following thereafter the requisite AICTE Approval Process Handbook as in the past and regulate the subject matter relating to technical institution as mentioned above including MBA/management courses in accordance with the said hand-book." 13. In the aforesaid facts and circumstances of the case, when the larger issues are pending before the Hon'ble Apex Court with regard to the Regulations of 2012 as well as issuance of Approval Process Handbook by AICTE with regard to the Engineering Colleges affiliated with the Universities and when the Hon'ble Apex Court in the I.A. Applications in pending SLP has specifically clarified that if the institutions have to approach for enhancement/variation of intake, they should approach through NBA and when the Hon'ble Apex Court vide order passed in January 2016 has observed that the AICTE shall be free to publish such Handbook for academic session 2016-2017 for regulating the subject matter relating to technical education, it would not be proper for this Court to examine the grievance raised by the petitioner before this Court. 14. In view of the aforesaid discussion, present petition deserves to be disposed of with a liberty to the petitioner to file necessary application before the Hon'ble Apex Court for clarification and/or for raising the grievance made in this petition. Thus, without going into the further details of the matter, present petition is disposed of only on the aforesaid ground with the aforesaid liberty. Notice is discharged. No order as to costs. Interim relief granted earlier is vacated.
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