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Academia fumes over unbridled affiliation of private institutes by NCHMCT

National Council has affiliated 8 more private institutes for the coming academic session

Friday, May 18, 2018, 17:02 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | New Delhi

As National Council for Hotel Management & Catering Technology (NCHMCT), an autonomous body under Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, continues to affiliate private institutes into the National Council fold year on year to run its BSc programme in Hospitality & Hotel Administration, the academia associated with hospitality education has started fuming over the process as they say it ‘dilutes’ the objectives set out and the ‘brand’ itself.

National Council had affiliated eight more institutes to its fold for this academic year, taking the number of private institutes affiliated to almost the same number of Central IHMs. The newly affiliated institutes include Sunderdeep International Institute of Hotel Management, Ghaziabad; RiG Institute Greater Noida, Heritage Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management, Agra; Chandigarh University Institute of Hotel Management, Mohali; Diwan Institute of Hotel Management, Meerut; Jeet Group of Institutes, Hazratpur; SRM Institute of Hotel Management, Modinagar; and a State IHM in Durgapur in West Bengal.

Some of the senior faculties and Principals of Central IHMs have raised questions on the way the ‘affiliation business’ is happening in the National Council without bothering to “strengthen the existing system”. While some of the private institutes are quite good in terms of their infrastructure and quality benchmarks, substantial number of private institutes being affiliated are “sub-standard”, informed a Principal one of the Central IHMs on condition of anonymity. “There were instances where institutes with negative reports by the Committee got affiliation,” he said.  

There is a scramble to get into the National Council fold among the private institutes for the lure of students. The private institutes which otherwise find it challenging to get their seats filled, get guaranteed admissions from the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) pool of the National Council.  Around 35,000 students appeared for JEE this year, which is a record, if the National Council is believed. 

Terming it as a “major violation of National Council rules and mandate,” another senior Principal from one of the IHMs said that it only helps in “diluting the brand IHM” which is older than IITs and IIMs in the country. Irrespective of the fact that the JEE is same for Engineering/IIT, etc. in the country, the certificates that the students get are not the same and varies from college to college.  But, under National Council affiliation, a student passed from reputed IHMs in Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore, and an affiliated private institute gets the same certificate, while standards, methods of teaching, quality of faculty, etc. are totally different. “We spend on our Labs, have top-quality faculty and pay government scale, conduct semester exams on time, and have strict monitoring of attendance. On the other hand, in many private affiliated institutes, classes do not happen, faculties are sub-standard and not paid well, labs do not work because of the expenses involved, attendance is not compulsory,” he said. “It’s a gross violation of the system and injustice to the premier institutes in the system,” he said.

While the rules mandate regular inspection, monitoring, and audit of these private institutes, it does not happen at all, concedes an official who was part of the system in the past. “Where are the resources to conduct such audits?” he asks. “The National Council does not assert its authority on these institutes afterwards,” he says.  In many institutes posts of principals, faculties, etc. lay vacant for months and years together. He also suggests that the need of the hour is to strengthen and protect the system. Ironically, the situation in many State-run IHMs are also not different, he added.  

There are experts who question the authority of the National Council to “affiliate” institutes which is the sole right of Universities under the conventional system. They suggest Ministry of Tourism and National Council to look beyond the short-term goals. “They should start thinking of a long-term solution for tourism and hospitality education. Only a dedicated University for Tourism is the answer to the mess that the travel, tourism and hospitality education in the country currently is in,” informs a  respected academician associated with Tourism & Hotel Management at MD University. 

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