Report No. 160
Amendments to The All-India Council for Technical Education Act, 1987
1.1. The Fifteenth Law Commission was constituted with the following, inter alia terms of reference:-
"To revise the Central Acts of general importance so as to simplifying them and to remove anomalies, ambiguities and inequities."
This report addresses itself primarily to ensure coordinated and integrated development of technical education and for maintenance of standards in the context of the objectives of the All India Council for Technical Education Act, 1987 (hereinafter referred to as the Act). Amongst other clauses under section 10 of the Act, the power of the Council specified in clause (k) relates to grant approval for starting new technical institutions and for introduction of new courses or programmes in consultation with the agencies concerned. The exercise of this power and function presupposes the ensuring of the coordinated and integrated development of technical education.
The Supreme Court of India has interpreted the said provision in a particular manner discussed in succeeding chapter III and it is the interpretation placed by the Supreme Court on clause (k) of section 10 that has induced the Law Commission of India to take up this matter suo motu. Certain doubts have cropped up in view of the decisions of the Supreme Court (see para. 3.1, infra) wherein the court held that the power to grant approval for starting new technical institutions and for introduction of new courses or programmes is vested with the Council.
It may be pointed out that the true import of the expression "in consultation with the agencies concerned" occurring in section 10(k) of the AICTE Act did not receive adequate focus and consideration by the honourable Supreme Court in the said cases. The subject is of great importance from the point of view of ensuring the coordinated and integrated development of technical education in the true spirit to allay the apprehension that the AICTE enjoys the absolute power in the matters specified in the said clause excluding any say of the affiliating university or the State Government therein notwithstanding the statutory requirement of consultation with the concerned agencies. The importance of technical education in the present-day world and particularly in the Indian context needs no emphasis.