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Engineering colleges fall by wayside : JNTU-H tightens norms; PhD being made mandatory to teach postgraduate courses in colleges

Yuvraj Akula  |   22nd Oct 2018 |  Hyderabad |

Hyderabad: The number of engineering colleges getting approval from All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in the State is on the decline. This is evident from the number of colleges that have got approval from the apex technical body since 2014-15 till this academic year. While the State had 326 engineering colleges during 2014-15, the number has come down to 239 in the academic year 2018-19. This means as many as 87 private unaided engineering colleges failed to get approval from the AICTE. According to details available with the AICTE, while 156 pharmacy colleges had approval of the technical body in 2014-15, this number has come down to 131 this year. Similarly, engineering colleges offering postgraduate courses have also dropped from 299 in 2014-15 to 192 this year. This apart, during the present academic year, two each engineering and pharmacy colleges knocked on the doors of the AICTE for progressive closure, which means such colleges cannot admit students. However, existing students in such colleges can continue their academics. In fact, four colleges also got approval from the technical body. In all, 77 professional colleges in the State offering engineering, pharmacy, management, MCA and diploma courses have got approval for progressive closure since the academic year 2014-15.

Over 100 courses including postgraduate and undergraduate courses in the professional colleges have been closed this year. One of main reason for closure of colleges and courses was due to the government and the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University-Hyderabad tightening the norms for increasing standards of engineering education in the State. One such norm was PhD being made mandatory to teach postgraduate courses in engineering colleges. Private colleges with less than 30 per cent for the last five years were asked to shutdown or merge with nearby colleges. Even the State government had come up with a perspective plan for technical education for the academic year 2018-19. In its report, the government had asked the AICTE not to accord permission for new technical colleges in the State. These initiatives taken by the State government to improve engineering education has in fact received appreciation from the AICTE Chairman Anil D Sahasrabudhe. – Courtesy

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Engineering teachers furious at NBA’s proposal to further reduce student-faculty ratio

The New Indian Express | 20th October 2018 |

The proposal may become a norm in 2019-20 AICTE approval process handbook.

HYDERABAD: The faculty of engineering colleges, who were unhappy with the relaxation in the student-faculty ratio (SFR) to 20:1 by the AICTE earlier this year which led to loss of more than a lakh jobs, are now furious at the National Board of Accreditation’s latest proposal to further reduce it to 25:1. According to the faculty, such reduction in the student-faculty ratio would result in a loss of jobs for a large number of teachers and a massive pay cut for remaining senior teaching faculty in engineering colleges. It may be recalled that when All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) revised its SFR from 15:1 to 20:1 at the beginning of the present academic year, 1.5 lakh teachers in engineering colleges across the nation lost their jobs. In Telangana alone, the number of teachers who were given pink slips was estimated to be over 10,000. The recent controversy started when the National Board of Accreditation (NBA), an autonomous body under the AICTE that deals with accreditation of engineering colleges, released its new notification, in which it stated that an SFR of 25:1 would be required for the accreditation of UG engineering programmes for up to three years, and 15:1 for the six years.

However, teachers claimed that implementation of this rule would only encourage malpractices like the kind that is being witnessed at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, which is now engaged in weeding out fake degrees and staff with dubious credentials.  Another malpractice that runs rampant and that would aggravate further if NBA’s notification is implemented, according the teachers, is creation of fake IDs. Though directed by the Supreme Court, AICTE has not digitalised the process of faculty inspection based on details of their salary paid through banks in the last one year.  According to KM Karthik, founder of All India Private Colleges Employees Union (AIPCEU), the staff details do not match the approval inspection (by AICTE) and affiliation inspection (by JNTUH) because approval application formats do not take into account official ID number issued to a particular teacher. “Thus, different ID numbers for the same teachers at a college and AICTE level, offers an opportunity for private colleges, to create fake staff details,” he said. “Without curbing these malpractices, if these bodies implement the 25:1 ratio, it would practically translate to one teacher for 30 students. Which means, there would be roughly two teachers for a class of 60, eight for a branch of 240 students or 40 teachers for a college of 1,200 students. This will wreck havoc in the education system.”

The teachers are also opposing the practice of revising the SFR twice in a year. R Somesh, a lecturer at a Patancheru-based college said: “AICTE and NBA keep changing the ratio without consulting students and teachers. This only proves there  is a nexus between AICTE, NBA and the college managements, whose demand has been to reduce in the ratio to 25:1 so that they can make more money and pay less.” The proposal may become a norm in 2019-20 AICTE approval process handbook. And even if it doesn’t, everyone would likely comply because of UGC and MHRD’s insistence on accreditation. Getting accredited also allows colleges to collect `3,000 annually as accreditation fees.  “This roughly amounts to `10 lakh additional revenue every year. Colleges have also mastered the art of changing their reports and even website as per the requirement of the body they are dealing with. For instance a college has shown it has 30 members in AICTE and JNTU reports but for NBA it states it has 47 teaching staff. This is on their official college website,” said Ramakrishna Reddy, president of Technical Institutions Employees Association.

‘Changes are inevitable’
While admitting that teachers will lose jobs if the new SFR is implemented, a senior faculty member of OU’s University College of Engineering said that such changes are inevitable. “AICTE is introducing its model curriculum. The role of teacher is changing to that of a guide who doesn’t teach but aid the teaching process. Relaxing the ratio seems to be a step in the direction, though it might not affect learning outcomes of students as much employment of teachers,” he said. – Courtesy    /    Click here to view / download the NBA Circular, 2 pages, pdf –  Guideline for the Faculty consideration and Student Faculty Ratio

First-ever QS Ranking of India’s Higher Education Institutions

LONDON, October 15, 2018 | PRNewswire |

QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the global higher education think tank responsible for the world’s most-consulted world university rankings, released their first standalone ranking of India’s higher education institutions. The inaugural edition of the QS India University Rankings, is designed to offer an independent analysis of the performance of Indian institutions. The rankings include Public Universities, Private Universities and H.E. Institutions or Deemed Universities. Single faculty specialist institutions or single level institutions (e.g. teaching principally at postgraduate level) are not included. IIT Bombay is named India’s leading institution. IITs take up seven of the top-10 places. IIS Bangalore takes the second spot. Twenty Indian institutions receive full marks in the Staff with PhD, the indicator designed to identify the extent to which institutions are cultivating a highly-qualified faculty body. In the research productivity indicator, nine institutions achieve a score between 98.4 and 100.

IIT Bombay, Madras, Delhi, Kharagpur, Kanpur and the University of Delhi enjoy outstanding regard among the nearly 43,000 international employers surveyed, while IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi and the IIS Bangalore were the most voted by 83,000+ international academics polled. On a metric-by-metric basis, other institutions also stand out such as the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, which achieves the highest score of the QS’s indicator of research impact, adjusted for faculty size. It is followed by Shivaji University, Kolhapur; Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore achieves perfect score in the Faculty/Student indicator.

QS India University Rankings 2019: Top 15
             
           RANK                     INSTITUTION

            1         INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY BOMBAY
            2         INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE BANGALORE
            3         INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY MADRAS
            4         INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY DELHI
            5         INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY KHARAGPUR
            6         INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY KANPUR
            7         UNIVERSITY OF HYDERABAD
            8         UNIVERSITY OF DELHI
            9         INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ROORKEE
           10         INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY GUWAHATI
           11         UNIVERSITY OF CALCUTTA
           12         JADAVPUR UNIVERSITY
           13         ANNA UNIVERSITY
           14         UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI
           15         BANARAS HINDU UNIVERSITY

    (c) TopUniversities.com

Ben Sowter, Research Director, QS, said: “This inaugural table, which is based on the same indicators of its parent BRICS rankings, evaluates the Indian institutions through independent and international lenses. The results reveal that research productivity at leading Indian institutions is increasing and the impact of such research is gradually rising. They also enjoy a good standing with employers while they achieve less recognition with their international academic peers, perhaps suggesting the need to intensify regional and global collaborations”. Source: QS Quacquarelli Symonds – To view the complete rankings: http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/rankings-by-location/india/2019

Get 70 per cent of students to pass or take pink slip, Tamil Nadu engineering college warns faculty

The New Indian Express | 16th October 2018 |  S Mannar Mannan | Express News Service |

A private engineering college in Tiruvarur has warned its teaching staff that they should produce good results or be prepared to get a pink slip.

Representational Image

COIMBATORE: A private engineering college in Tiruvarur has warned its teaching staff that they should produce good results or be prepared to get a pink slip. The AICTE has said it has no such regulation. Anjali Ammal Mahalingam Engineering College in Kovilvenni, Tiruvarur has informed its teaching staff that any teacher who produced less than 70 per cent results — that is if less than 70 per cent of their students pass — in a semester would be issued a show cause notice to the effect that their next increment would be stopped till they achieve the target in the subsequent semester. If the teacher failed to reach the target the next semester as well, they would be issued an order terminating their employment along with a month’s salary in lieu of notice, the college’s principal, S N Ramaswamy, said in a circular dated October 13. “It is disturbing to note there is considerable number of teachers consistently registering less than 70 per cent results in the university examination held in the recent past… No reasons have been given as to why… nothing substantial could be reflected,” Ramaswamy said in the circular, asking faculty members to make concerted efforts to improve the quality of education as well as result percentage and avoid facing any stern action.

Defending the move, Ramaswamy told Express, “This decision is no way related to threatening teachers. It is only to improve the quality of teachers and teaching-learning system. For the National Board of Accreditation, 70 per cent all pass is the foremost among requirements, which also include teaching beyond syllabus, extra knowledge acquired by the faculty, course/ programme outcome.” The faculty has to improve their quality of teaching, delivery, quality of ability to understand new thing and transferring to students, he added. However, All India Private College Employees Union (AIPCEU) president KM Karthik viewed this as an act of discrimination. “This is a clear discrimination based on occupation and since All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) reduced the faculty-students ratio, this discrimination is very stark.” When contacted, AICTE Chairman Anil D Sahasrabudhe said the body had no such regulation nor notice. “Teachers’ performance is measured by many criteria starting from teaching-learning process, feedback from students which is most critical, engagement of students outside the classroom in projects, etc. We will keep sending our views on teacher assessment to colleges,” he added. – Courtesy

AICTE to help unemployed engineering graduates take start-up route

Bhaskar News Network | October 13, 2018 |

Scheme to be implemented from this session

Representational Image

New Delhi: The All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has drawn up a scheme to help engineering graduates, who do not get placements through their institutions. Such students will be aided by the technical education regulatory body in taking the start-up route to gainful employment. The AICTE will help them launch start-ups in the rural areas. Sources said that the scheme, which is expected to take off from the ongoing academic session, will also help combat the problem of unemployment in rural areas.

AICTE vice-chairman Professor MP Punia said that the Innovation Cell of the Council would help arrange finances for the start-ups through angel investors and Government of India schemes like MUDRA. They will not be required to arrange guarantors. The Board of Entrepreneurship Training, Chennai will provide training to the students. The start-ups will be strictly village-based. There are around 10,400 engineering colleges in the country, which produce around 12 lakh engineering graduates every year. Almost 55 per cent of them do not get jobs through campus placements. – Courtesy

Future of Indian engineers at stake due to new Kuwait rule

Future of Indian engineers at stake due to new Kuwait rule | Kevin Mendonsa | TNN | Oct 13, 2018 | Times of India |

Click here

MANGALURU: This weeks announcement by the Kuwait Society of Engineers (KSE), which said it had discovered 1,400 fake or uncertified engineers in the West Asian country, has caught thousands of Indian engineers with genuine certificates in a cleft stick. By order of Kuwait Public Authority for Manpower, it has since March 11 been mandatory for all expatriate engineers to receive a no-objection certificate (NOC) from KSE to live and work in the country. More than 15,000 Indian engineers who work in Kuwait now face scrutiny from KSE, a public benefit association that has since stipulated that it would grant NOCs only to engineers from colleges approved by National Board of Accreditation (NBA). The proviso has affected around 90% of Indian engineers because few technical education institutions in India have NBA accreditation. Most are from All India Council for Technical Education-approved colleges. Sources said 75% to 80% of KSE 1,400 fake or uncertified engineers are from India. KSE has a list of colleges. If the applicant is from one of those institutions, it certifies that he has a genuine degree, said a mechanical engineer from Mangaluru who has worked in Kuwait for the past 15 years.

If not, even if the applicant is an engineer from an AICTE-approved college, KSE declares the degree uncertified or fake. The engineer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, noted that KSE appeared to have come up with its list of 1,400 uncertified or fake engineers through a hasty verification process, after learning that several engineers employed in government and private projects had phony degrees. We abide by the laws of the land, he said. People with fake engineering degrees should not receive residency and work permits. However, KSE shouldnt punish engineers with genuine, AICTE-approved degrees. The Indian government should intervene and work out a solution with the Kuwaiti authorities regarding AICTE-approved degrees. Another engineer, who has worked in the country for two decades, said the Indian Embassy in Kuwait has been unable to help those who do not meet the KSE stipulation. Some Indian engineers have already left Kuwait, others are in the process of leaving the country, he said. Demotions, Salary cuts Some engineers with degrees not approved by NBA have had their designations lowered to the level of supervisor, the engineer said. Their work permits are also changed accordingly, and they have to accept a cut in salary. A lower-level designation means a person loses his driving licence, which is essential for any engineer in the field, he said. These are professionals, for whom the demotion also results in a loss of morale. Its not easy even for engineers with NBA-approved degrees. Those with less than five years of experience have to appear for an examination and interview to obtain a NOC. Others with more experience only have to attend the interview.

Tough Exam

The examination is hard to crack because it includes basic questions that engineers are unlikely to remember a few years after they graduate, an engineer from Kerala said. Only a third of all engineers pass the exam. The authorities renew work permits only after candidates pass the exam and interview. They put visa-holders who fail in a second attempt in the supervisor category. Visa-holders have no choice: They either toe the line or leave the country. – Courtesy    /

1,400 engineers holding fake engineering degrees: KSE, Arab Times, 11 October 2018 —-  Read More…    /     Examination & Evaluation of Engineering Qualifications. Go to Page http://kse.org.kw/?page_id=19659     ——>   https://kse.org.kw/

Adobe India Women in Technology Scholarship 2019

Adobe India Women in Technology Scholarship 2019 [B.E, B.Tech, M.E, M.Tech, MS Students]: Apply by Oct 14

At Adobe, we’re focused on bringing together the smartest, most driven, diverse set of individuals and give them the freedom to nurture their intellectual curiosity. We provide them with the necessary resources and support to shape their ideas into tangible results. Through the Adobe India Women in Technology Scholarship, we are striving towards creating gender equality in science, technology and engineering domains by encouraging women to excel in computing and technology and become future leaders and role models in the field.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the 2019 Adobe India Women in Technology Scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an Indian female citizen student
  • Must be enrolled as a full time student in a formal technology 4 year BE / B.Tech education program or an Integrated ME/MS/MTech program at an Indian University or Institute at the time of applying and should be completing the program in Academic year 2019-20.
  • Should be pursuing a Major or Minor in the following streams: Computer Science/Engineering, Information Science, Data Science, Electrical/Electronics Engineering, Math and Computing
  • May apply to ONLY ONE of the following two Scholarships – Adobe India Women In Technology Scholarship OR the Adobe Global Women In Technology Scholarship.

Note: The applicants should not have a close relative working for Adobe Research.

Scholarship Covers

  • Fund toward tuition fees for the remainder of the award recipient’s university education ending in academic year 2019-20.
  • Opportunity for Summer Internship at Adobe India in 2019*.
  • Mentoring by a senior technology leader from Adobe.
  • Travel to Grace Hopper Conference India, including participation fees.

How to apply

Apply online at this page.

The last date to apply is October 14, 2018.

Applications must include

  • Essays: Expect to answer short essay type questions
  • Resume
  • Letter of Recommendation from a Professor
  • Academic transcripts from your current and past institutions
  • More details will be posted on the portal.

Contact

For questions, please email witindia@adobe.com.

For official website, click here.

AICTE gets 4,800 signatures in support of Ancient Knowledge Systems course for engineering students

Hindustan Times | Shreya Bhandary | Oct 11, 2018 |

On September 27, a group of scientists and experts filed two online petitions against the book, claiming it endorses pseudoscientific claims about supposed inventions in ancient India.

Representational Image

Amid the controversy over the decision to include the Bharatiya Vidya Saar Book as part of the reference material for an elective course on Ancient Knowledge Systems for engineering students, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) said no change is expected anytime soon, as more people are supporting the move than opposing it. On September 27, a group of scientists and experts filed two online petitions against the book, claiming it endorses pseudoscientific claims about supposed inventions in ancient India. The petition highlights some of the “outlandish claims” mentioned in the book, including a theory on how Rishi Agastya invented electro-voltaic cell and also gave the method of electrolysis to produce oxygen and hydrogen from water, and how the speed of light and theory of gravitation have been accurately mentioned in Rig Veda.

AICTE has promised the book will be submitted to another expert panel if enough complaints are received. “There are 2,300 signatures against the book, and 4,800 in its support,” said Anil Sahastrabuddhe, chairman, AICTE. HC Pradhan, scientist and expert said the problem is that the book is being portrayed as “scientific research”, whereas it has case studies which have already been proven to be wrong. “Ideas that have not been proven to be true in hundreds of years can’t be portrayed as science. A case study has to be approved by an expert panel and printed in several journals before it is considered official,” said Pradhan, adding instead of insisting on placing this book and its content as “science”, AICTE should clearly mention it has case studies that are open to suggestions and yet to be proven on paper. Officials at AICTE, however, feel the book is meant for students to experiment with, and find out for themselves what is true. “That is true science, where students use their own experiments and ideas to prove age-old scientific methodology. The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (publisher) has also promised to make references available to students in the book,” said Sahastrabuddhe, adding the council is asking colleges to conduct scientific investigations and find out the truth behind these theories, in the spirit of scientific research. “We’ll take action when there are enough complaints against it.” – Courtesy

No need to submit original documents at the time of admission: UGC

The Hindu Business Line | 10 October 2018 | New Delhi |

Students will also get the fees paid as refund of they opt out of the programme

UGC

Students seeking admission in higher institutions of learning need not submit any original academic and personal certificate at the time of submission of admission forms and they would also be able to get the fees paid as refund if they opt out of the programme, according to a new notification from the University Grants Commission (UGC). “From the next academic session, it will become mandatory for students to submit self-attested academic credentials along with admission form,” the Human Resources Development Minister, Prakash Javadekar, briefed the media about the new notification. At the time of admission, the college will verify the original marksheet but will return the original document to the student. As per the new notification, 100 per cent fees would be returned in case a student decides to withdraw within 15 days of the notified last date of admission.

“Not more than 5 per cent of the fees paid by the student, subject to a maximum of Rs 5,000 would be deducted as processing fee,” Javadekar said. Within 15 days before the last date, the refund would 90 per cent, within 15 days after the last date of admission, it would be 80 per cent and between 16 and 30 days after the due date, the refund would be 50 per cent. However, no fees would be returned if a student withdraws after 30 days of the notified last date of admission. The refund has to be made within 15 days of receipt of written application from the student, Javdekar said. If the institute fails to refund the fee, strict punitive action will be taken by the UGC against defaulting higher education institutions. The notification shall be applicable to undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes run by universities and deemed universities. – Courtesy

NIRF withdraws ranking of Bishop Heber College, Trichy

Times of India | TNN | 09 October 2018 |

Months after declaring Bishop Heber College (BHC) Trichy the 3rd best arts and science colleges in the country, the national institutional ranking framework (NIRF) has withdrawn the ranking of the institution after detecting errors in the data submission process. NIRF website shows that the rank BHC had obtained in NIRF-2018 released on April 5 has been withdrawn. The college has not submitted details of its self-financing programmes including student and faculty strength unlike other colleges. This helped the institution gain advantage and eventually higher top rank. TOI had reported the irregularity on April 8 after accessing the data submitted by BHC through NIRF website. It was found that BHC had given the total students strength as 2,086 UG and PG put together for the year 2016-17. However, the college has a student strength of 9,088 as per its internal quality assurance report for 2016-17. Many of the employees in the self-financing courses do not have PhD or have cleared NET or SLET, which is mandatory as per UGC norms. Hiding such details gave an undue advantage to the college. When NIRF conducted an inquiry into the issue, the college is said to have confessed to committing the error. Subsequently, its ranking was withdrawn a month ago, but the details have come out only now.

The college was accused of partial data submission by deliberately hiding details to gain advantage in the ranking process. Some of the city colleges took strong exception to its move of not submitting details of its self-financing programs. They even went on to lodge complaints with NIRF, which led to the subsequent inquiry and action. Speaking to TOI over phone, chairman, National Board of Accreditation ranking agency of the NIRF, Surendra Prasad said that they had received complaints from people against BHC. “We checked the facts and the college had also admitted that they had made the error and we thought it is appropriate that the rank is withdrawn,” said Prasad. Asked as to when the decision on withdrawing the ranking was taken, Surendra said it happened over a month ago. They had to go through a process and give full opportunity for the college to defend their case. The decision was taken after the college gave their defence. However, in the moment of distress, there is some relief too for Bishop Heber College management as only the ranking has been withdrawn, and no action has been initiated against it. This means, they are not barred from participating from this years ranking process. “There is only withdrawal of the ranking as the college had admitted to its errors and hope the college or any other college for that matter would not make any such mistakes,” said the NBA chairman. – Courtesy

Reference NIRF site :     https://www.nirfindia.org/2018/CollegeRanking.html

Bishop Heber College’s NIRF ranking withdrawn – The Hindu, 09 October 2018, Read more…

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