The Supreme Court (SC) of India by an order passed on July 24, 2019 seems to have divested the powers of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) over management education, thus giving a degree of finality to its 2013 orders. As per the July 24 SC ruling, any technical institution affiliated to a university is now eligible to start a course, including management courses, without any approval from AICTE.
July 24: The fateful day
On July 24, the apex court took a view that management education is not technical in nature as defined in Sec 2(g) of the AICTE Act. It would mean that every institution offering a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) is at crossroads. Those institutions may have to convert the same into an MBA by affiliating themselves with a university. It seems the case filed by the Association of Management of Private Colleges to challenge the powers of AICTE has come back to bite them.
The recent SC order stems from its previous judgment in 2013 (Association of Management of Private Colleges vs. AICTE & Ors case) where a major review of the powers of AICTE was considered. The court then observed that the AICTE only “has advisory, recommendatory and one of providing guidance and has no authority empowering it to issue or enforce any sanctions by itself.” The court went on to remove all colleges affiliated to a university from the regulatory oversight of AICTE. Thus, in 2013,