The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has been asked to hand over four schemes funding polytechnics to the Ministry of Skill Development (MSD) through an order despatched by the Cabinet Secretariat. The schemes namely ‘Setting Up of New Polytechnics In Unserved & Underserved Districts’; ‘Scheme of Community Development Through Polytechnics’; ‘Construction of Women’s Hostels In Polytechnics’ and ‘Upgradation of Polytechnics’ will be transferred from MHRD headed by Prakash Javadekar to MSD headed by Rajiv Pratap Rudy by April. The order came within a month of taking architecture education out of the MHRD’s range of operation and allocate it to the Ministry of Urban Development, reported The Indian Express.
Confirming the reports, KP Krishnan, the Secretary under Ministry of Skill Development told IE, that the ministry had received the order on transfer of the schemes. The official further said that they have studied the order and getting ready to implement it.
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At present in India, there are over 4,000 polytechnics, which help in preparing skilled manpower for the organised, unorganised and service sectors. Earlier, the institution was entitled to offer three-year diploma courses in conventional disciplines such as civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. But over the last two decades, many polytechnics have started offering courses in emerging disciplines such as electronics, computer science and medical lab technology. At present, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) regulates polytechnics and sets minimum standards of education to be imparted by them. It’s not clear if the handing over of the polytechnic schemes also means that these institutions will now be regulated by the National Council for Vocational Training under the Ministry of Skill Development. While polytechnics are set up by the state governments, the Centre has been assisting them financially through the four schemes covered under the ‘Sub-mission on Polytechnics’ started under the 11th Five Year Plan.