In an important post, Badri recounts the tale of how some private engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu became deemed universities, and how they are now fighting a serious battle -- in the Chennai High Court -- with AICTE on the latter's right to regulate them.
I am not a great fan of AICTE's regulations; there are all kinds of problems with them, and I will come back to one of them a little later. Having said that, AICTE is all we have got. Thus, the deemed universities that claim immunity from AICTE oversight are indeed on a very weak wicket. I hope the courts will rule in favour of AICTE. I also hope that the regulator will spruce up and modernize its regulations and enforce them strictly and professionally.
SRM Institute of Science and Technology is one of the deemed universities that's doing legal battle with AICTE. Ever since the story of its spat with the regulator broke, its students (and Sathyabama's students) erupted in protest, which also ended in violence and property damage. All of this has been reported in the media in Tamil Nadu.
Last week, SRM issued an ad inviting applications for its bachelors and masters programs. I looked and looked, but couldn't find any information about the institution's problems with AICTE. Nothing. Zippo. The institution's website also has nothing.
It's clear that SRM is looking for people who are ignorant or couldn't care less about its regulatory problems.
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It's instructive to examine SRM's credentials. In the ICT-related areas, it offers bachelors programs in the following (here, take a look at the ad):
Computer Science and Engineering
Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering
Electronics and Communication Engineering
Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering
The last two are separate entries. Seriously.
Now, take a look at the website of one of the departments. Say, the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering. You get a lot of information about its course structure, and stuff. But, you would guess that a prospective student would be interested in its faculty, right? Yes, but that student won't get much from its website, except that the Department is headed by Dr. S. Jayasri, that it has a faculty strength of 54, that it has a research coordination committee with five members, and that it has six doctoral students working with two approved guides. That's pretty much it. Names of the 54 faculty members are not mentioned, nor their qualifications, experience, background.
Shouldn't we have regulations that mandate disclosure of this kind of information on the websites of colleges and universities?