New Delhi: This New Year brings good news for engineering and MBA aspirants. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the apex body for professional courses, will allow its constituent colleges to offer engineering and MBA through distance mode. With this revolutionary change, the Council will be overturning the rigid stand it has maintained for years.
Earlier, in support of classroom study, the Council had stated that professional courses, such as engineering, require intensive practical training. Similarly, executive programmes, like an MBA, should to have several hours of classroom discussions, as every business has some tones of grey that an aspiring manager must understand.
The Council’s new decision will surely give a boost to a number of professionals in India. Moreover, the academic fees will be of much lesser amount than that a student has to pay to attend college. However, it is also clarified that every candidate will have to appear for an exit or a licentiate examination, termed as the “National Eligibility Test”, at the end of the course before he / she is declared an engineer or the MBA or MCA degree is awarded.
As per sources, a student should have completed a degree or diploma in the classroom mode. Also, he / she must have a minimum of five years of work experience before he / she can take up a professional course via the distance learning mode. Explaining about the same, S S Mantha, AICTE Chairman, said that this new method will be a mixed mode of education—while practical training will take place face-to-face, theory can be conducted using ICT.
However, Mantha further explained that all professional courses except architecture and pharmacy can be conducted virtually, although a student or class XII pass-out seeking his / her first diploma or degree cannot sign up for B Tech under this scheme. According to sources, the decision was taken on the recommendation of a committee headed by former IIT-Kanpur director Sanjay Dhande and IIT-Kanpur chairman M Anandkrishnan who studied the possibility of providing engineering and other professional courses via distance mode.
Mantha also informed that all students signing up for a course under the distance education mode will have to take an entrance test as well as an exit exam. The Council has to preserve the quality of students at both the stages, Mantha concluded. In addition, the AICTE is drawing up rules and approval process for colleges wanting to offer courses though the virtual medium. All interested colleges may apply for the same from March 1, 2013 onwards.