Stop illegal intake to NDES and free NDES from short-sighted political intervention

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National Diploma in Engineering Sciences(NDES) conducted at Institute of Engineering Technology, Katunayake is operated under NAITA under the purview of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development. NDES has been recognized as a qualification to practice engineering profession in Sri Lanka under the title of Engineering Diplomate and Incorporated Engineer as per Engineering Council Act  No 4 of 2017 under the purview of IIESL (established by the Institution of Incorporated Engineers of Sri Lanka (Incorporation) Act, No. 64 of 1992.). Engineering Council Act No 4 of 2017 was enacted to regulate engineering practitioners in Sri Lanka under Engineering Council of Sri Lanka. NDES holders along with all engineering practitioners and general public of Sri Lanka want Hon.Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to do justice regarding the following matters reflecting injustice happened on NDES by government officials and political leadership. At the same time following actions by government officials violate the good governance policies of your government so we seek justice from you as people vow  for good governance in Sri Lanka.

1. It had been decided to increase the intake of NDES with immediate effect by Chairman of NAITA and his officials. The chairman wanted to increase the intake up to 1000 students few months ago despite the facilities were designed at the inception of NDES only to accommodate 250 students; Institute is understaffed for several years and no upgrade in equipment and infrastructure has been done. When NAITA chairman was asked for any literature prepared stating the feasibility and the industrial requirement study/survey following which he made the decision to increase the intake he failed to provide such documents. At the same time when NAITA chairman was asked to produce the execution plan of the increased intake he again failed to do so. After all these events happened the chairman pledged that the increase of intake won't be executed.

2. Governing Council  is the prime body to take decisions regarding the NDES which has not been enacted for years which we think a tactic of NAITA management to abolish the diploma and standard of it as their desire influenced by political leadership.

3. The appointment of existing chairman to NAITA is doubtful as per the circular PS/PCMD/19/2018 issued to all ministerial secretaries by Presidential Secretariat stating the qualification and experience required to be a chairman of an authority. In addition to that NAITA chairman has misled the general public as well as officials concerned stating he is a doctor but he is not registered under SLMC. It depicts the transparency level of this top rank officer and his actions and decisions as chairman of NAITA reflects his cheating nature and incapability in performing is duties which paves the way to destroy a unique national diploma in engineering.

4. Now there's an attempt to increase the intake of NDES by introducing another nonexistent diploma called NDET of which the syllabus has been prepared by former Director/principal who's transferred to NAITA Head Office by NAITA chairman on his own. Can an individual prepare a syllabus on his own without feasibility study and a without a panel of professionals? And we suspect that syllabus is a copy of NDES that he made it so easily. TVEC has been empowered as only authorized body for the determination of new syllabus derivations, reviewing of existing syllabuses, introducing of new courses and reviewing of number of trainees by parliamentary act no 20 of 1990 (as amended). We question who delegated the power of TVEC chairman to an officer of NAITA.

5. 1431 students who sat for a competitive exam to follow NDES at IET, Katunayake are due to be interviewed soon. But that much of students can't be recruited to NDES so this is clearly a violation of fundamental rights of students. In case any student who was selected to NDET but sat for the exam with intention to follow NDES files a case, all of these students would have to be recruited to NDES which may again create crisis just as SAITM crisis. This kind of a situation will take the popularity of your good governance concept further away from public and professionals.

6. NDES being one and only sandwich type diploma of which the industrial training is the core of the course. These officials who have skipped almost all the steps before executing this type of a major change on leading diploma of engineering has failed to provide training establishments to existing batches of students. So we believe these officials attempt to play with innocent lives of students with their short-sighted vision to gain political advantages. 

7. Despite the fact that even the roofs of Institute of Engineering Technology are fallen down, NAITA has sent 100 million rupees back to Treasury without using it at least for maintaining the infrastructure.

8. The position of the Registrar has been abolished which again paves the way to abolish the NDES.

Aforesaid facts are only a few among the prevailing issues in IET to conduct NDES and only a few deficiencies and violations of law by authorities concerned. We request the honorable Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to take necessary actions to probe into these violations by relevant parties to ensure the good governance to NDES similar to the other institutions of Sri Lanka. 

Please order to stop the intake increase to ensure a quality and standard engineering education in Sri Lanka as per the Engineering Council Act No 4 of 2017. If these type of decisions which are not professional and basically illogical are made by top officials of ministries and authorities we believe there is no need for an act to regulate engineering practitioners and bodies like TVEC, IESL and IIESL. 

We thoroughly denounce these short sighted decisions by officials influenced by personal political agendas and strongly believe engineering education should be highly regulated to ensure the quality of engineering education maintaining recognition and standards.