Report No. 160
2.7. Need for amending the clause (k) of section 10 of the Act.-
It has become necessary to amend clause (k) of section 10 of the Act to expressly restore the important role of the universities in the matter of grant of approval for starting new technical institutions and for introduction of new courses or programmes so that full meaning can be given to the aforesaid last words in clause (k) of section 10 of the Act, otherwise the observations of the Hon'ble Supreme Court made in the decision in Unni Krishnan, J.P. v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (supra) and in the Adhiyaman Educational & Research Institute case, (supra) are being understood as excluding any role to the University or the Government in the matter of establishment of new technical institutions concerned.
It is also a matter for consideration whether conferment of such exclusive power upon the AICTE is advisable in the circumstances apart from the fact that such conferment or absolute power is inconsistent with the express provisions of the Act. The over-riding principle in such matters is that no power should be concentrated absolutely in the hands of one person or one agency. It is also necessary to emphasise and give full meaning to the aforesaid last words in clause (k) of section 10. This has become necessary in view of the decisions of the Supreme Court referred to above. It is equally necessary to restore the important role of the Universities in the matter of establishment of such colleges and courses.
As pointed out earlier, according to 1992 Amendment to the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and the Dentists Act, 1948 and the Regulations made thereunder the power to permit the establishment of a medical college/dental college is vested in the Central Government. Before even applying for permission for such establishment, an essentiality certificate from the concerned State Government and a letter of consent of affiliation from the concerned university is made a condition precedent. IMC is also one of the bodies to be consulted and is not made the sole authority in the matter. Besides it is also required to be considered whether there is good reason for conferment of such exclusive power upon the AICTE when in the case of similar statutory professional Councils, only a recommendatory role is assigned to them.
It may be pointed out that the role of the AIC I E is advisory in nature in many respects as is the role of Indian Medical Council. Under section 10(1) of the AICTE Act, 1987, it may advise to the Central Government in respect of grant of charter to any professional body or institution in the field of technical education; under section 10(t), it may advise the UGC for declaring any institution imparting technical education as a deemed university. It may be pertinent to refer to the decision in Ajay Kumar Singh v. State of Bihar, JT 1994 (2) SC 662 (673), wherein the Supreme Court interpreted the term "may also advise Universities in the matter of securing uniform standards for post-graduate medical education throughout India" used under section 20 of the IMC Act, as of advisory in nature.
Thus it may also be relevant to examine whether the role of AICTE (Council) be also organised in tune with the IMC, Dental Council of India, to have consistency in the discharge of functions as between the various statutory professional councils. Be that as it may, it is necessary to emphasise and give full meaning to the aforesaid last words in clause (k) of section 10 of the AICTE Act.
2.8. In order to make the position clear, the Law Commission proposes to suggest the amendment of clause (k) of section 10 of the Act. A questionnaire in respect of the proposed amendment is prepared below for your kind perusal:
(a) Whether the proposed amendment should be in the following manner:-
"(k) grant approval for starting new technical institution and for introduction of new courses or programmes
(i) in consultation with the agencies concerned, and
(ii) in the case of institutions proposed to be affiliated or already affiliated to a university, with the concurrence of that university."
(b) Whether the existing section 10(k) should be deleted and instead a new section 10A on the lines of the section 10A of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 cited above, should be incorporated to carry out these functions?
(c) Whether there is necessity of making any other radical changes in the Act to achieve the objectives for improving the technical education in the country?
The Law Commission invites views/comments on the subject and requests you to send your valued opinions on the issues raised in the questionnaire within six weeks.