The era of evening engineering colleges in Karnataka has come to an end with the closure of the BMS Evening College of Engineering in Basavanagudi, Bengaluru. The only evening engineering college in the state faced closure after the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) issued an order denying permission to run the college from the current academic year.
Speaking to The Indian Express, S Muralidhara, the Principal of the BMS college of engineering, said, “We requested the state government to grant permission for the continuation of the evening engineering college. However, based on the AICTE order, the government has denied permission. Therefore, we have permanently closed the evening engineering college from this year.”
The concept of evening engineering colleges was introduced in the 1970s with the aim of facilitating higher education for the working class.
The evening colleges for engineering were initially introduced in the 1970s and the objective was to help the working class to pursue higher studies. Muralidhara said, “A lot of diploma graduate students who got into jobs in Karnataka Electricity Board (KEB) or Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) pursued higher education to get promoted at their jobs. We were also in favour of evening colleges and requested the state government but had to follow the AICTE order.”
Previously, Karnataka boasted 12 successful evening engineering colleges. However, the AICTE discontinued three-year degree programs for diploma engineering holders at evening engineering colleges from the 2020-21 academic year onwards. Subsequently, the other 11 evening engineering colleges were shut down in the 2021-22 academic year, and their three-year engineering courses were merged with the existing four-year programs.
The BMS Evening College of Engineering managed to admit students in the 2021-22 academic year due to an exemption received for lateral entry engineering courses from the AICTE.
In the following academic year 2022-23, the KEA allocated 196 students through lateral entry for various engineering streams. However, despite the admission process being completed for 45 days, classes had not commenced, leading to student protests.
In light of these developments, the AICTE has introduced a special provision allowing flexibility in class timings for theory and practical sessions in engineering colleges, including beyond regular office hours, specifically for employed diploma holders pursuing undergraduate programs.
According to the AICTE, “Working professionals with diplomas enrolled in regular undergraduate programs will be permitted to attend theory and practical classes at flexible timings to enhance their skills and knowledge.”
However, Muralidhara expressed concerns over the lack of proper guidelines, as it may lead to logistical challenges in regular engineering colleges depending on student enrollment.
source : indianexpress