The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has issued show-cause notices to two private universities for offering degree and diploma courses in collaboration with ed-tech companies, saying this “outsourcing” is a clear violation of norms.
The action by the technical education regulator comes after it and the University Grants Commission (UGC) warned universities and colleges against offering courses in distance learning and online mode in association with edtech companies, saying no “franchise” agreement is permissible as per norms.
“We have identified two such universities whose advertisements were visible and have issued them show-cause notice. They have been asked to explain the kind of outsourcing arrangement they have with these companies and also respond as to why their approval should not be withdrawn,” AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe said.
“We also appeal to the public as well as stakeholders to inform us if they come across a similar arrangement between universities and ed-tech companies. So, far we have identified two of them but if we come across more, we will issue show cause and take action,” he added.
The AICTE chairman had earlier clarified that the government is not against edtech companies, but they cannot be allowed to delve into areas that are not their domain.
“These ed-tech companies were advertising for postgraduate programmes in management and computer applications that can only be offered by universities and approved colleges.
Even the top institutions in the country like the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) were also not allowed to offer postgraduate management but only a PG diploma in management till the time an Act in Parliament was passed. How can we allow ed-tech companies to do so?” he said.
“We have given approvals to universities and colleges to offer degree and diploma programmes and they are supposed to offer them on their own and not piggyback on private companies or outsource their job to any third party,” he added. The UGC and AICTE have also advised students and parents to check the recognition status of any programme on their websites before enrolling in any course.