CHENNAI: Off-campus units of deemed universities, 1.5km or farther from the institution's main campus, are staring at trouble, with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) mandating that they register separately to engineering courses under a new set of new guidelines the council issued last week. 
On January 26, the council released 10 guidelines based on its Approval Process Handbook 2018-19 and a November 2017 Supreme Court order, which said all deemed universities should apply as new institutes for approval of all courses in engineering and technology, pharmacy, architecture, applied arts and crafts, management and MCA. 

"Universities running their programs or courses from multiple locations... in the same city or different cities should apply separately for all their campuses (multiple locations) AICTE approval," it said. 

This has triggered debate among administrators, educationalists and policymakers, as some universities run more than one unit that the Union HRD ministry has not notified as an off-campus facility. 

The apex court order said all institutions offering technical education would function under AICTE, but UGC would retain the power to grant institutions university status. 

AICTE officials said they had started the exercise because deemed universities did not share information on their campus, seat or student numbers or graduate and placement data.