In a paper on Regulatory Framework for Technical Education, the chamber has called for dissolution of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and setting up a single regulatory authority, independent of the government, as recommended by the National Knowledge Commission (NKC).
The role of such a regulatory authority should be limited to regulate public, private aided and unaided institutions at the initial stages with minimum prescriptions and flexible norms to begin with. Further, institutions with credible reputation over a period of 5 years should be given the autonomous status, the chamber said in a statement.
AICTE has not been able to manage multiple functions to the satisfaction of constituents, and has become virtually synonymous with granting approvals or licenses to a new applicant, Ficci said.
Consequently, the role of quality assurance of existing institutions through issuing guidelines has taken a back seat, it said.
Ficci said the government should facilitate self-financing higher education institutions to set up campuses without any entry barriers, on the lines of Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, and Great Lake Institute of Management, Chennai.
It has called for autonomy to all institutions to decide on setting up of new campus, new programmes, number of programmes, number of students, fees, faculty member recruitment, collaboration with international institutions. The government should ensure mandatory disclosure of ranking and other related information by the technical and higher educational institutions for the benefit of students and parents to make informed choice, it said.
It said the accreditation process should be such that leads to relaxation in approval processes for setting up new campuses, starting new programmes, direct empanelment in various government schemes and international collaborations for attracting genuine technical and higher education providers to invest in the process.
Ficci proposes two alternative benchmarking mechanisms drawn from the best practices of UK and the US and integrating them with mechanisms adopted by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) that are acceptable to the stakeholders and recognised internationally.