Harshitha D. Kumayaa

PRE-REQUISITE FOR APPLYING FOR AFFILIATION: Any new college seeking affiliation for its academic programme(s) or every college applying for affiliation for academic programme(s) or for variation in intake in an already affiliated programme(s) should produce the letter(s) of approval from the AICTE as per provisions of the AICTE Act

-Centre for Affiliation of Institutions (formerly Centre for Engineering Partnership) ANNA UNIVERSITY CHENNAI


Engineering colleges have been mushrooming across the city of Chennai over the past few years. A few of these colleges are deemed but a majority of them are affiliated to Anna University.

There are 552 engineering colleges affiliated to Anna University, 7 of them are Government/aided colleges, 20 of them are Autonomous colleges and the rest are self-financing colleges and four are University departments within Anna University.

In order to get affiliated to Anna Univeristy, an educational institute should get certified by AICTE or UGC. Any educational institute should follow the rules provided by these boards to get certified.

There is widespread ambiguity regarding these certifications of engineering colleges in the state. The AICTE has its accreditation board in the form of National Board of Accreditation (NBA). As for the UGC, they have the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) certification that they hand out. Which colleges apply for which certifications and/or accreditations are a contentious issue that requires looking into.

The colleges that manage to get accredited by the respective board(s) go from being a deemed institution to being affiliated to Anna University. However, the standards of infrastructure, teaching and other essential facilities don’t always coincide with the certification/accreditation they receive.

There seems to be wrongdoing at two major levels - in the process of certification and in the process of affiliation. The grey area present in the processes is to be looked into in this study.

This project focusses on the Anna University affiliated colleges in Chennai. The study has taken up the detailed study of three colleges: A.R.S. Engineering College, A.R.M. Engineering College and Jerusalem Engineering College in Chennai.

A.R.S. Engineering College is just one among many other poor or no facilities. The students of these colleges feel let down with promises not being kept.

A.R.S. Engineering college was established in 2009 and is accredited by AICTE. In order to get into the college, the students go through a process of counselling that is conducted by Anna University. There is also a small percentage of students who get into the institution by paying for the management seats.

A.R.M. Engineering college is managed by a totally different management but the owners of these institutions are the same. Jerusalem college of Engineering on the other hand is set up in Pallikaranai and is accredited by both NBA and NAAC. These colleges are just representative, while there are other colleges in the city with similar or even more worse situations.

These colleges have gotten the certification and also the affiliation in the name of providing "World-class", "High-tech" education. The reality is contrary.

The websites of every organisation is that which shows the larger audience what facilities it provides. These colleges seem to be very well developed in their respective websites but the ground reality is something we doubted about. We therefore decided to check if they deserve their certification and also their affiliation to the univeri

The website of A.R.S. Engineering College says that it provides all the above mentioned facilities. I spoke with the students to verify if this was true. The source laughed cynically and said, "No, we have no such things here."

Talking with these students one can identify that the representative colleges absolutely lack even the basic facilities to be given accreditation.

The campus has been under construction for over a eight years now. The students still sit in make shift classrooms with no fans. This college does not even have proper toilet facilities for the students.

It is not just the classes but also labs. The website and the certification says the college has over 75,000 books in the library and over 1000 computers as one of the few features. This is not true.

None of these seem to be present in the college as we visited it.

Well, I thought I might have missed it. For, it is all mentioned on the website!

So, we looked around.

This was the lab that could hold "300 students equipped with hi-tech drawing instruments."

The situation is terrible when it gets to placements. These colleges promise to provide campus interviews to the students at the end of their four year course duration. There are no such placement happening in these campuses. After four years of going to college these students are left on the streets without any job in hand.

Left Dejected after four long years..

The situation is similar in the other two colleges. I could not shoot during my visit to the Jerusalem College Of Engineering, but in a few days I will be getting footage from my sources in the college. The wrongdoing seen in Jerusalem college of Engineering is improper maintenance of records. This is especially with respect to attendance registers of the college. The sources from the college said that they get marked present even if they don't go to college. This is for the college to get a clean chit. The next step is to get access to the registers and to also make these faculty members open up.

The primary problem lies in the certification by the boards AICTE and UGC. While there is also and issue with the CAI (Centre for Affiliation of Institutions) of Anna University.

I have been turned down every time I make a call or even visit the campus. The reason to visit them seems to be a major reason for me to be thrown out every time I have asked for an appointment. The appointment with the director of CAI, Dr.M. Madhusoothanan is what I am aiming for in the coming weeks.

The document provided by the CAI is very elemental with respect to "CONDITIONS TO BE SATISFIED BY COLLEGES SEEKING AFFILIATION." Though it is very basic, the criteria to be affiliated doesn't seem to fulfilled by many of these colleges. The document that mentions the criteria for affiliation is attached below:

During this process of research I have also understood from Ms. Nandini Hebbar (an expert in Engineering colleges of Tamilnadu), that there are quite a few engineering colleges that functions without any students. These are apparently on the outskirts of the city and in the smaller districts of the state of Tamilnadu. I will be carrying forward my investigation by getting to unearth the happenings in these institutions.

With the sources I have planted and also with the increasing information that I have been receiving every day, the investigation will be proving that these certified colleges affiliated to Anna University don't deserve to function. Also, if I manage to get enough information in the due course, it would be possible to pin down names with respect to corruption in the system.

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