The walls are finally down. A look at how the AICTE‘s approval for technical institutes to also run arts and commerce courses is set to play out

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) recently granted approval for these institutes to run humanities, arts and commerce courses alongside engineering. This decision was taken, explains AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe, because demand for engineering has remained more or less constant in recent years while the number of engineering colleges and the scale of their infrastructure have both grown significantly.

“This resulted in many private colleges shutting down courses. The infrastructure remained unused. This step was taken to make these institutions economically viable,” Sahasrabudhe says.

Apart from the economic concerns, the decision was also spurred by a changing job scenario and growing demand for a wider set of skills from all professionals.

Many technical institutes are now thinking along these interdisciplinary lines. Some, like the Bannari Amman Institute of Technology in Coimbatore, and the Thadomal Shahani Engineering College in Mumbai, which already have humanities courses, are deliberating starting full-scale MA and MSc programmes.


The proverbial wall has been brought down, Sahasrabudhe agrees. “Earlier, there was this strange idea that even if an institute offered, say, architecture and engineering, there had to be a boundary wall between the two. That is now over. We need no boundary walls between streams.”