HRD’s ordinance to undo SC order on MBA courses
NEW DELHI: The HRD ministry has moved an ordinance to amend the All India Council for Technical Education Act to undo the recent Supreme Court judgment which said AICTE approval was not required for obtaining permission and running MBA courses by private institutions since it did not fall under the definition of technical education.
The SC had said only MCA fulfilled the definition of technical education. The apex court had also said that AICTE’s role vis-a-vis universities was “only advisory, recommendatory and one of providing guidance and has no authority empowering it to issue or enforce any sanctions by itself”. Citing its earlier order in the Bharathidasan University and Parshvanath Charitable Trust case, the SC had said AICTE norms could be applied through the University Grants Commission.
The SC had also pointed out that MBA and MCA courses were brought under AICTE and included in its function through an amendment of its regulations without placing them in Parliament which was mandatory under Section 24 of the AICTE Act.
The HRD ministry, after detailed consultations, formalized the ordinance to plug the legal loopholes pointed out by the apex court. HRD minister M M Pallam Raju said the ministry was also planning to move a review petition and make the SC aware of the consequences of its April 25 order.
Sources said the consultations did not result in any unanimity. “The ministry is a divided house. A section argued that the judgment had far-reaching implications on regulation of higher education and therefore needs to be looked at comprehensively rather than by moving an ordinance. But the other section argued it was necessary to bring the ordinance since it was important to stop mushrooming of unregulated MBA institutions,” an AICTE source said.
The ordinance redefines “technical institution” and includes “colleges, maintained or admitted to the privileges of university, affiliated colleges, constituent colleges, autonomous colleges, colleges recognized by any university, department of private or deemed universities”. To overcome the SC order related to not placing amendments in regulations before Parliament, the ordinance says provisions of AICTE Act shall have effect notwithstanding any court order and any other law for the time being.