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What If My Course Is UGC Approved But Not AICTE?

Indian standard of education is certainly a good one, as compared to the west especially when it comes to the fundamentals and basics such as maths. Of course in the higher institutions of learning the infrastructure could be lacking, generally speaking except for a smaller proportion of the institutes. Yet this is something which is improving substantially these days. There are also organisations and statutory bodies of the government which ensure that the education standards in India are maintained above certain benchmark levels.

We have already learned about a couple of such organizations such as the UGC and the AICTE. Despite the growing awareness, many students and people in general are confused about the authenticity and validity of courses, especially when they are approved by a particular body but not by the other. In this article we will try to explain regarding a situation when a course is approved by the UGC but not the AICTE. One of the biggest worries in this case is whether a student should join such a course or avoid it.

First we would suggest that in case you want to get a through understand of what the agencies like UGC, DEC and AICTE mean and what are their roles, responsibilities and spheres of influence, you read the different articles published on these individual institutes.

In brief, it can be stated that the UGC or the University Grants Commission is the highest authority as far as higher education and the universities are concerned. No university can exist, let alone confer degrees to run colleges without the approval of UGC.

Universities can be private, state, central, deemed etc but irrespective of their category, a university which is approved by the UGC and listed in their list on the official website is a genuine and legitimate university.

A university once approved has full authority to run any courses it wants and normally has many colleges affiliated to it for the purposes of imparting education.

There are several other professional bodies such as the Institute of Engineers,  Medical Council, Bar Council which may or may not give recognition to certain professional courses offered by a university. This does not make the course illegal or invalid but of course if the person has to practice in that profession, it is better to ensure that the concerned body has approval for that course. Just for example if a person is doing LLB or Bachelor of Law course, it has to be approved by the Bar Council of India if the person has to practice in courts of law after that.

Of course no university would normally operate courses which are not recognized by the appropriate body for that would lead to a loss of its reputation and other issues later on. Still in some cases it so happens that some body may or may not give approval to a course.  Here we will not focus on other professional bodies but will consider the case of the government body AICTE or the All India Council For Technical Education.

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A good example of this were the MBA and MCA courses conducted by many institutes which required AICTE approval but the Honourable Supreme Court of India declared in a recent judgement around last week of April 2013 that the AICTE can only act in an advisory capacity and not a governing body which is the UGC only.

So the underlying statement is that in case you are joining a course which is being run by a recognized UGC approved university, you do not have to fear whether it is AICTE approved or not. The main aim after doing the course is one or more of the following

  1. To have a legal, legitimate and valid degree
  2. To join public sector
  3. To join private sector job
  4. To study further in India or abroad
  5. To be self employed

If you are joining a UGC approved university course, even if it is not approved by AICTE you will not suffer on any of the above accounts. Another point is that universities DO NOT require AICTE approval compulsorily, even if they might apply and take approval to add another feather to their cap. It is the colleges which require compulsory AICTE approval, so if you are directly studying at the university you do not need to worry about the above point.

“A UGC Recognized University can start any Technical/Professional/Management programme without prior approval of AICTE through its MAIN CAMPUS ONLY by maintaining minimum standards of education as laid down by AICTE”

So to summarize the above it can be said that although you can get admission to an AICTE approved course, but if you are studying at the campus of a university recognized by UGC, then the course is equally valid.

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Disclaimer: we have tried to put as much authentic information as possible in this article, still since the rules and regulations could change over time and in some specific cases, some other rules might advised, a student or person should take this as a general advisory and use discretion based on specific case to case basis

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