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AICTE Seeks Suggestions from Engineering Colleges (Technical Institutions) and other stakeholders to Improve Approval Process 2016-17

The New Indian Express | By S Mannar Mannan | 23rd August 2015

COIMBATORE: The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has sought suggestions from technical education institutions for changes to be made in Approval Process Handbook for 2016-17. These are aimed at improving the process of granting approval and on maintaining better transparency and accountability. They should also inform it of the difficulties they face in filling up applications online and in understanding AICTE’s regulations, procedures and norms.

In a public notice, AICTE said that in view of certain orders of the Supreme Court, the Council needs to ensure timely processing of approval applications for the 2016-17 academic year. On December 13, 2012, the Supreme Court had ordered it sticks to an agreed-upon academic calendar. Later – on April 25, 2013 – it ruled that colleges affiliated to a university do not come under the purview of the definition of a technical institution under the AICTE Act. However, in subsequent judgements – on April 17, 2014, May 9, 2014 and December 15, 2014 – the court made AICTE’s prior approval compulsory and mandatory to conduct technical courses, including management courses, by an existing, affiliated technical institution as well as new ones which will require affiliation by a university to conduct its technical course.

“The difficulties now facing private engineering colleges mainly stem from the wrong ‘survival of the fittest’ policy of AICTE’s former chairman. It has virtually killed technical education in the country,” said T D Eswaramoorthy, joint secretary, Association of Management of Coimbatore Anna University Affiliated Colleges. Their main problems concern the large increase in student strength and in new courses. About 8.5 lakh of the 18 lakh engineering seats in the country now remain vacant. The main reason for this is colleges having a very large number of seats in one course, he said. “There should not be more than 120 seats in one branch. Some colleges have up to 300. Those with over 120 seats should be inspected, and if possible, the strength reduced. Also, only NBA-accredited colleges should be allowed to increase the number of seats from 60 to 120 in one course,” said Eswaramoorthy. A proper policy and strict regulations should be put in place to approve any increase of student strength as well as to improve the quality of technical education, he added.- Courtesy

AICTE Link – Suggestions from Institutions on Approval Process

Public Notice
The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in its judgment and orders delivered on April 25,2013 in Civil Appeal No. 1145 of 2004 and Civil Appeal No. 5736-5745 of 2004 has ruled thatcolleges affiliated to a University do not come under thepurview of the definition of “Technical Institution” as defined under Section 2(h) of the AICTE Act  1987. However the Supreme Court of India in itssubsequent judgments on April 17,2014, May 9,2014 and December 15, 2014
Making prior approval of AICTE compulsory and mandatory for conduct of a technical course including the MBA/ Management  course by an existing affiliated Technical College and also new Technology College which will require affiliation by a University for conduct of its Technical Courses/Programmes for the academic year 2014 -15 and 2015-16.
Under the circumstances, it has become imperative for the AICTE to evolve a suitable methodology to ensure the timely processing of approvals for the existing Technical Institutions for  A.Y.2016-17 so as to adhere to the Academic calendar asper the judgment ofHon’bleSupreme court ofIndia in C.A NO. 9048 OF 2012 datedDecember 13, 2012.Therefore,AICTE has posted“Approval Process handbook 2015-16”on its websitewith a view to soliciting comments/suggestions from the existingTechnicalInstitutionsas well as other stakeholders on the following points:
1.Difficulties being faced in filling up the Applications online.
2.Difficulties being faced in understandingthe Regulations/Procedures/Norms of AICTE.
3.Changes proposed to be made in the Approval Process for improvement of the system forgranting approvals for maintaining better transparency/accountability.
4.Any other suggestions not coveredabove.You are requested to send your comments/suggestions to aphsuggestions2016-17@aicte-india.org by 04.09.2015

Call to engineering colleges to contribute for ‘Make in India’; President of the (IEI-India) L V Muralikrishna Reddy

Deccan Herald | Mysuru, August 23, 2015, DHNS |

Include innovation and entrepreneurship in their academic activities’

President of the Institution of Engineers (India) (IEI) L V Muralikrishna Reddy on Saturday appealed to engineering institutes to respond to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for ‘Start-up India’ and ‘Stand-up India’.

Addressing academicians and students during the graduation day, gold medal and endowment awards presentation ceremony of the National Institute of Engineering (NIE) here, Reddy said it is essential for the institutions in the realm to include innovation and entrepreneurship in their academic activities to encourage new ventures.

“The students should have an understanding of the basics in the chosen discipline through conceptual and experiential knowledge. ‘Make in India’ call given by the prime minister may be the paradigm to develop technologies for the world. The paradigm shift in thinking is the need of the hour, as the field of engineering is not just catering to the traditional consumers, but a different set of clients that includes digital economy, healthcare, built environment, entertainment, media, sports, leisure among other fields,” he said. Reddy said the students, in particular, are a confused lot in making a right choice to shape their careers. It can be addressed by seeking the advice of a mentor, especially the teacher who has a better knowledge of his or her pupils, he added.

He said, besides concentrating on the relevant issues, it is important to think about the future as the present knowledge-driven era may come across a different set of competencies in the next 40 to 45 years. The engineers have to invest time and effort to identify appropriate competencies based on his or her individual interest, aptitude and nature of work, he observed. Lauding NIE, Reddy said it has been a pillar of support for IEI’s Mysuru local centre ever since it started functioning here. The fifth batch of 810 students of NIE were awarded degrees, followed by presentation of gold medals for rank holders in BE, MTech and MCA. In all 29 BE graduates were given medals, followed by 16 from MTech and three from MCA. Endowment awards were presented to 33 students,  with Adithya S and Pramod G Kamath from Electronics and Communication Department and Padmashree M S of Civil Engineering topped the awards tally by bagging five each. Courtesy

India Government launches portal for education loan and government scholarships; vidyalakshmi.co.in

The Times of India | |

NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday said it has a launched the website ‘vidyalakshmi.co.in’ for students seeking educational loans. Five banks, including SBI, IDBI Bank and Bank of India, have integrated their system with the portal.”Vidya Lakshmi was launched on the occasion of Independence Day for the benefit of students seeking educational loans,” a finance ministry release said.  The portal has been developed and maintained by NSDL e-governance infrastructure limited (NSDL e-Gov) under the guidance of department of financial services in the finance ministry, department of higher education, ministry of human resource development and Indian Banks Association (IBA).

Finance minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech for 2015-16 had proposed to set up a fully IT-based student financial aid authority to administer and monitor scholarships as well as educational loan schemes through Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram(PMVLK). It is aimed to ensure that no student misses out on higher education for lack of funds, said the release., adding that the launch of the portal is the first step towards achieving this objective. “Vidya Lakshmi Portal is the first of its kind portal providing single window for students to access information and make applications for educational loans provided by banks as also government scholarships,” it added.  The portal will provide information about educational loan schemes of banks, common educational loan application form for students, facility to apply to multiple banks for educational loans, and facility for banks to download students’ loan applications.It also has facility for banks to upload loan processing status, facility for students to email grievances/queries relating to educational loans, dashboard facility for students to view status of their loan application and linkage to National Scholarship Portal for information and application for government scholarships.

Finance ministry said so far 13 banks have registered 22 educational loan schemes on the Vidya Lakshmi Portal and five banks — SBI, IDBI Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank and Union Bank of India have integrated their system with the portal for providing loan processing status to students. “This initiative aims to bring on board all banks providing educational loans. It is expected that students throughout the country will be benefited by this initiative of the government by making available a single window for access to various educational loan schemes of all banks,” said the release further.- Courtesy  / Visit  vidyalakshmi.co.in

UGC not for winding up distance education; only trying to fix jurisdiction limits

The Hindu |

The University Grants Commission (UGC), the only grant-giving agency in the country for coordinating and promoting university education, would henceforth focus on excellence and quality in education, said its vice-chairman H. Devaraj. Talking to reporters after inaugurating a conference on women and social transformation at Alagappa University here on Friday, he said that in the first 60 years, the UGC had concentrated on providing equality under social justice concept and in the next 15 years, “we will focus on excellence and quality.” Towards achieving the goal, the UGC had launched faculty recharging programme to recruit 1,000 faculty members of excellence in the next two years for various universities in the country. The UGC had already recruited and appointed more than 180 such faculty members, he said.

Refuting reports that the UGC was trying to wind up distance education system, he said that it was only trying to fix jurisdiction limits for universities which rendered distance education to make the programme more effective. On its part, it had already launched MOOCS (Massive Open Online Course), an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access, he said. Soon, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would launch UGC‘s “e-padasala,” another online programme. The syllabus had been made ready for the programme, he added. Asked about reports that the Human Resource Development (HRD) proposed to scrap the UGC, Mr. Devaraj said, “like you, I too read such reports in the newspaper, but it is not that easy. UGC is a statutory body, established by an Act of Parliament and it required two-thirds majority in the Parliament to disband the body.” The Hari Gautam committee, constituted to suggest reform measures had presented its report to the HRD Ministry and the reforms would take place based on its recommendations, he said. UGC is only trying to fix jurisdiction limits for universities which rendered distance education to make the programme more effective – Courtesy

Kolkata engineering college student (Vishnu Hurkat) winner of IET South Asia ‘Present around the World’ (PATW) competition

The Times of India | | CHENNAI |

CHENNAI: The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) announced the winners of South Asia ‘Present around the World’ competition on Friday. Present around the World (PATW) is the IET’s presentation competition for young engineers and technicians aged 18 to 26 years. This year, the competition witnessed participation from engineers across India and Sri Lanka vying for the top honours. Individual competitors give a presentation for 10 minutes on a subject related to engineering and technology and answer questions posed by the jury for a further five minutes. The focus of the competition was on presentation skills of the young engineers and their ability to convey technical ideas to a non-technical audience.

Vishnu Hurkat from Techno India College of Engineering, Salt Lake, Kolkata, was declared the winner of the South Asia PATW finals. He was awarded a cash prize of Rs. 40,000 for his presentation on CMOS image sensors and will now compete in the global finals to be held in London later this year for a cash prize of £1,000 (approx Rs 100,000).  Angelin Indira J, student of St Xavier’s Catholic College of Engineering, Kolkata, was declared runner up for his presentation on “An outclassed hexacopter design with specialized robotic arm’ and received a cash prize of Rs 30,000. Shekhar Sanyal, director and India head, the IET, issued a statement stating they were delighted to witness a peaked interest from engineers in a competition that focuses on soft skills of engineers. “In an increasingly competitive world, we require engineers who possess not just technical skills, but are able to articulate technical ideas clearly and solve real-life engineering problems,” he said.- Courtesy   /  Visit  IET Present around the World (PATW) competition

NIIT Unveils StackRoute – A Pioneering Initiative to Create ‘Super Programmer’ for the Start-up Industry

BANGALORE, August 21, 2015 | PRNewswire |

Aims to Create Versatile Technology Specialists for the New-age Start-up Industry and the Changing Manpower Needs of the IT Sector. First Batch Starts on October 1, 2015 in Bangalore

NIIT Limited, a global leader in skills and talent development, today unveiled a first-of-its-kind programme to address the versatile talent requirements of the fast growing start-up sector – StackRoute[TM], an NIIT initiative to produce the world’s best full stack programmers. StackRoute[TM] aims to create multi-skilled and multi-disciplinary programmers who can become key members of high-performance teams in top notch product engineering companies, start-ups and IT firms. These ‘Super Programmers’ will also be well equipped to create their own technology start-ups. Over the recent past, the start-up space in India has witnessed phenomenal growth and has drawn support from the government and industry for their efforts towards ushering innovation and job creation. Addressing the nation on the 69th Independence day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a new campaign “Start-up India, Stand up India which would promote bank financing for start-ups and offer incentives to boost entrepreneurship and job creation. This was followed by announcement of Rs. 2000 crore fund for start-ups. Earlier this year, apex body for the IT industry NASSCOM announced an ambitious initiative called 10,000 start-ups, to scale up the start-up ecosystem in India.

This revolution in the start-up space has led to massive talent crunch. According to a Manpower report, 58 per cent of Indian employers are finding it difficult to fill positions and there is a significant talent shortage of talent in the IT and accounting space. The demand for versatile roles in IT is expected go up further, says Manpower. Also, close to 67 per cent Indian start-ups reported difficulty in filling job vacancies versus a global average of 34 per cent. As an organization, NIIT has played a pioneering role in making the right skill-sets available for the industry, over the last 34 years. To this effect, in the past couple of years specific niche offerings focused on social, mobile, cloud and analytics domains have been rolled out. The kind of software engineers needed by the start-up sector, are significantly different from what large IT services firms needed in the past for their huge software factories. Engineers need to be versatile and have full stack programming skills and NIIT has taken a step forward to provide the same. The launch of StackRoute[TM] is a key ingredient of the business transformation program at NIIT that is set to enter the ‘next frontier’ of growth by offering quality Career Skills Training to offer job-ready talent to the Indian industry across multiple industry sectors.

StackRoute[TM] is a truly high-end, specialised programme offering, that will take a very select group of students and turn them into high performance full stack programmers that the industry needs urgently. The product has been developed in intense consultation with the industry, start-ups, product engineering companies and incubators, and is strongly endorsed by all the key industry stakeholders. The pilot program is being launched in Bangalore in Koramangala, which has already become India’s most concentrated start-up hub. The initial pilot focuses on the JavaScript and NoSQL stack, and will be followed by a series of further specialised full stack programs focused on data sciences & analytics; IT security; etc. These full-stack programs over the near future, will be made available to key product engineering and start-up hubs in India, hence becoming a significant part of NIIT’s IT product portfolio. Speaking on this significant launch, Mr. Rahul Patwardhan, CEO, NIIT Ltd. said, “With innovation as our central DNA, we have been designing new-age career programmes to meet the changing manpower needs of the industry over the last 34 years. The economy has changed and so has the requirements of the industry and the aspirations of the youth. Industry today, especially the booming start-up sector, is looking at versatile professionals who can wear many hats. Technology has become a great enabler hence, the need of the hour are young professionals who can work on multiple technology platforms.” “At the same time, today’s youth are looking for challenging roles that will enable them to work closely with the decision makers. There is also a growing hunger for setting up enterprises and lot of innovation is happening in the technology space. StackRoute[TM] – first of its kind initiative to create full stack programmers has been designed to match these aspirations,” added Mr. Patwardhan.

StackRoute[TM], an NIIT initiative has been designed with the sole intent of teaching people to be top-class programmers. On offer are intensive boot camp styled courses with a model of apprenticeship where practitioners lead novices towards expertise. Graduates and engineering graduates who aspire to become full stack programmers can join this programme. Admission will be very selective. StackRoute[TM] is based on an extremely experiential learning model. Over a 12-week intensive boot camp, the students are immersed in a work environment that is exactly like that of a product company. They are mentored by a team of senior architects and tech leads drawn from the industry. By the end of the program, students produce real products over this time frame, which are then released as Open Source contributions or as part of app stores and become primary demonstrators of our their competencies. Innovative pedagogical methodologies and the use of intensive learning analytics are other unique features of this first-of-its-kind intensive programs in India. StackRoute[TM], enables people to become top-quality programmers by providing intensive boot camps based on 5 key principles:

  1. Learning is an immersive experience: The environment in StackRoute[TM] is that of a product engineering company with rigorous engineering discipline and Agile development. Students are steeped in this environment in intensive boot camps. When they graduate, engineering discipline is second nature for them.
  2. Less theory, more practice : The pedagogic model reserves over 70% of time within any course to designing, writing, reviewing code. Class-room style instruction occupies less than 20% of the course.
  3. Learn from industry experts: StackRoute[TM] courses are designed by industry experts. It has a unique model of practitioners working with small groups of students.
  4. Build and release a real product: Every graduate of StackRoute[TM] builds at least one real product, some of these are Open Source contributions, others are sponsored by the industry. The primary demonstrator of competency is showcasing the product.
  5. Completeness and practical engineering: At StackRoute[TM] focus is on quality engineering, DevOps and testing – without these capabilities, students cannot be top quality programmers. The curriculum lays equal emphasis on developing critical thinking skills, making people experience real-world reviews and developing their problem solving skills.

The courses are designed and lead by industry gurus who have built and taken live ultra-large scale systems. The focus would be on product engineering where students can build and release products in an environment that has the best engineering practices. Each program will be run by a CTO and a set of product leads who will work with student teams to provide the product vision and strategy, architecture and design inputs, the tips and tricks that result in efficiency.

Courtesy    /    Visit  http://www.stackroute.in/

Meet a Roadrunner: Teja Guda ’08 (Indian American) is a biomedical engineer on the cutting edge

UTSA Today | By Joanna Carver  |  Public Affairs Specialist |

Teja Guda at work in a UTSA laboratory. Teja Guda at work in a UTSA laboratory.

Meet Teja Guda ’08. This UTSA alumnus and biomedical engineering assistant professor is working on the cutting edge of tissue research, work that by his own admission could be called “very sci-fi.” “We’re developing materials for regenerative medicine,” he said. People are injured in car accidents, or even in combat, every day and suffer tissue damage. However, there are several different types of tissues at damage sites, which makes it a challenge to repair an injury effectively. Guda is researching alternatives to amputation and has already developed a material out of speaker foam to help grow new bones. “If you came into an operating room and said, ‘We can solve this using tissue engineering,’ you’d get laughed out of the room because it’s so complex,” he said. “I can see, down the road, being able to offer people a very viable alternative to amputation.”

Guda spent most of his life in Bombay, India. He moved straight to San Antonio to pursue his Ph.D. at UTSA and has been at the university on and off for the past 12 years. “I grew up in a really, really big city and I wanted to move to San Antonio for a slightly slower pace of life,” he said. Guda was inspired to come to UTSA after hearing a talk by C. Mauli Agrawal, Peter Flawn Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Vice President of Research, about the UTSA’s biomedical Ph.D. program. Guda moved to the U.S. and became one of UTSA’s first biomedical engineering students. He joined the faculty in 2014 at the start of UTSA’s GoldStar Initiative. The program aims to further advance UTSA to Tier One status by recruiting 60 new top-tier researchers to the faculty. Guda attended the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, India’s premiere institution for engineering.

“It’s a very rigid system of education,” he said. “I really wanted to explore. (University of Texas at San Antonio) UTSA allowed to me to explore a lot of biomedical engineering and allowed me to focus on what I wanted to work on. The College of Engineering let me branch out and come into my own on the research side.” Guda is a mechanical engineer by training, and confesses he’s still wired that way, looking at the human body as a machine. Tissue engineering fascinated him, he said, because it’s on the cutting edge of research, but also because it allowed him to explore more how the machine works. “San Antonio felt like the old west and I had that pioneering spirit,” Guda said. “But the biggest determinant for focusing on tissue engineering was knowing that it was going to affect someone’s quality of life and that’s what keeps it exciting on a daily basis.” He goes back to India to visit every few years, but during a trip there this summer he was invited back to his alma mater to talk about his work. “I never, ever thought that would happen,” he said. “They gave me an honorary check, and I’ll never cash it because it’s already framed on my parents’ wall.” – Courtesy   –  Profile of Teja Guja

Sunil Kumar Sharma of Gedee Technical Training Institute wins medal in international mould making competition in Brazil (The WorldSkills Competition)

The Times of India |

Image Courtesy:The Hindu Image Courtesy:The Hindu

COIMBATORE: Sunil Kumar Sharma, an alumnus of Coimbatore-based Gedee Technical Training Institute, is one of the eight medal winners from India at the WorldSkills competition that was held in Brazil last week. The 20-year-old was a part of the 29-member team that represented India in plastic die engineering skills at the 43rd WorldSkills Competition held at Sao Paulo, Brazil between August 11 and 16. “The competition is considered the Olympics of skill development and is all the more important at a time when the Indian government is looking to develop vocational skills among the youth,” said Sunil’s teacher M L Sebastian. Of the 29, five members were from Tamil Nadu, and two won medallions of excellence during the meet.
“My task was to make a plastic product that was designed by me. It was divided in three segments: design using software, casting a mould for the design and fabricating the product. I designed a joystick and used polystyrene to make it,” said Sunil who returned to Coimbatore from Brazil on Thursday. Sunil added, “It took me almost 19 hours to complete the task.” A total of 11 countries participated in the plastic die engineering skills contest. Sunil, a native of Rajasthan, was a student of diploma in tool and die engineering at the Institute from 2011 to 2014. His study was sponsored by a company in Maharashtra, where Sunil’s father Madanlal Sharma is a cook. “After completing my course, Gedee Training Institute helped me undergo training in mould making. I visited China and Taiwan in the last 12 months for my training,” said Sunil. It is because of this training and the guidance at Gedee Institute, that Sunil acquired skills in mould making. He lives in a hostel here in the city, and Friday will be his last day in Coimbatore. He now aspires to join an engineering college in Pune. “My aim is to become a specialist in mould making,” said Sunil. – Courtesy   / Visit    The WorldSkills Competition    /   WorldSkills India – An initiative of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)

Why IIT Founder Jawaharlal Nehru Wanted Arts (Humanities and Social Science) for Engineers

ND TV | Opinion |  20 August 2015 | Rukmini Bhaya Nair | Professor, IIT Delhi |

An acronym that has gained great of currency in the last few years, especially in the context of the debate around IITs, is the powerful agglomerate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). What I want to suggest today is that we need a balancing acronym which I will tentatively call LEAF (Liberal Education in the Arts Fields) for a more holistic view of education in general, and Indian education in particular. Such a perspective that gives due weight to culture, history and memory is especially moot when we have a very young population, as we currently do in India. How might STEM and LEAF complement each other under these circumstances? I’d like to ground my answer to this question in a very particular context namely, the role played by Humanities and Social Science Departments in the IITs today. Although the IITs have been around for more than half a century, many members of the general public still do not know that the humanities subjects were included for credits in the curricula of the IITs from the beginning. Every single engineer who has attended an IIT has passed through its Humanities and Social Science (HSS) Department. But why? To understand this, let’s go back to a major difference between a standard issue university and a technical institute.

Briefly, a university, as its name indicates, aims to be inclusive, universal. This word was first used in English in 1300 to refer to “the whole entire number engaged at a particular place in giving and receiving instruction in the higher branches of learning” (Shorter Oxford).  An institute, on the other hand, if we turn to its etymology, derives from the Latin verb for ‘to establish’ and has a more recent origin, since this word was only used after “1795 in post-revolutionary France” (Shorter Oxford). Note that this usage was coined nearly five centuries after the word “university”. No wonder, then, that the characteristic feature of this model of learning is its modern emphasis on specialization or “expert” technical knowledge.  This stark difference between the ideologies of the university and institute, we can now see, is in fact exemplified by a ‘meritocratic’ system like that of the IITs. Students with an aptitude for scientific and technological subjects are exclusively admitted to these institutes on the basis of some extremely tough exams. However, the STEM and LEAF structure within the IITs is, surprisingly, far from exclusive. It actually presents us with an imaginative ‘hybrid’ of the two models cited. Indeed, the IIT Charter explicitly says that they were set up with two broad, egalitarian objectives:
a) the advancement of knowledge through education and research, in both Pure and Applied Science, in Engineering, Social Science and Humanities;
b) service to the community and nation (which we refer to as Extension activity) through the use of their resources both intellectual and material.
In the above respect, the IITs closely resemble the great US technological universities (MIT, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon) which themselves gradually expanded to include every discipline, leaving their instrumentalist beginnings behind, but retaining their commitment to ‘excellence’. This ‘turn to the humanities and social sciences’ and the consequent flourishing research in interdisciplinary areas has, we know, been highly beneficial in the case of US universities and by no means detrimental.

In India, for a variety of reasons, we have chosen not to follow the US path, although some of the newer IITs (Gandhinagar, Hyderabad) have groomed their HSS Departments with particular care, as have some older IITs (Kanpur, Delhi). Some others offer postgraduate degrees in humanities subjects like Economics (Madras). This is because of a growing realization that the HSS Departments are today far from ‘service’ departments – if they were ever that. The HSS subjects, at their best, introduce reflexivity, an ability to argue and logically present arguments, delight in unfamiliar, independent ideas and a view of the universe not merely as a nuts-and-bolts construction, but a changeable sphere of human interaction that can be conceptualized from a variety of philosophical and civic angles.  The founder of the IITs, Jawaharlal Nehru, appears to have understood this well. Anticipating that such institutes could become too narrow in focus, he wanted a structural component within the system that was oriented towards turning technologists into ‘better men and women’. Specifically addressing engineers, he said: “I know you can measure with your techniques and rules the hardness and strength of this metal or that, of stone and iron and whatnot…How do you measure the strength of an individual? The human being as material is not only a difficult material but an exciting material because it is a live material, a growing material, a changing and dynamic thing. No two persons are alike and we have to build with that material… [and] function in the environment of India with the material of India… It is important that…engineers advance to become better men and women.”

It is that task of moulding ‘exciting’ human material to which Nehru thought that the HSS departments could signally contribute. So I wonder how Nehru would have answered the anonymous commentator in these NDTV columns who not so long ago charmingly wanted to rid the IITs of “humanities cockroaches”. With his deep mistrust of the humanities, this commentator is unlikely to have read Kafka’s great story “Metamorphosis”, where the hero wakes up one morning to find himself turned into a giant insect, prompting a truly deep meditation on the human condition. He would probably not have read the famous Tagore-Einstein dialogues and be quite unfamiliar with Martin Heidegger’s mystic dictum that the ‘essences’ of art and technology are connected; and almost certainly, he would be befuddled by the views of a world authority on cockroaches, Srini Kambhampati at U Texas, who might assure him that not only are roaches are among the world’s hardiest species, the nitrogen cycles on which we all depend would be quite shot were we to get rid of these alarming creatures.   Ironically, though, a student at the IITs might be aware of many such intriguing, offbeat truths, thanks to his humanities courses – which could well serve to teach him the fine art of wonder, the basis of all science. For the most part, I believe, the long suffering IIT students seem to enjoy their ‘HUKKAH’ courses because these allow them, as they sweetly put, to ‘learn to relax’. Once, I got them to do a ‘stereotypic’ self-portrait in class. Here are the half-dozen or so jokey points they came up with:

1. Good at PCM, bespectacled, nerdy, very smart
2. Lacking in communications skills, especially when it comes to girls
3. Think they can conquer the world, extremely competitive
4. Interested in sports, video games
5. Not too keen on reading long books
6. Practical, focused on details and on getting results
7. Like the idea of money but are not too sure or sophisticated about how to spend it

Nehru himself put that last point somewhat more elegantly. He had “no doubt at all” Nehru wrote, “that India will….advance in science and technology. But what I am concerned with is not merely our material progress but the quality and depth of our people. Gaining power through industrial processes, will they lose themselves in the quest of individual wealth and soft living?” he asked.
These prophetic thoughts about the corruptions of “soft living” have returned, as we know, to haunt us today. Nehru solidly put his faith in engineers as the “creators” of modern India, but it is this very creativity that he thought would be augmented and extended in HSS classes: “The Engineering approach to problems would be the scientific approach coupled with the urge for creation, the urge to make and produce new things for the common good. The main thing is that the growth of the individual, the group, cannot be imposed on him.” The STEM and LEAF combine in short was written into the DNA of the IITs. It is time we see it flower.  (Critical theorist and writer Rukmini Bhaya Nair is a professor at IIT Delhi. She is the author of several academic books.)Courtesy  /     Visit Rukmini Bhaya Nair Home Page

Remote Robotic Lab launched in Godavari Institute of Engineering and Technology (GIET) with the cooperation of Germany

The Hindu |

Daniel Hahn Foto of Germany (centre), Indo-Euro synchronization CEO Venkat Raj, Commsure Knowledge Solutions founder chairman Teja Gudluru and GIET executive director Srilakshmi Sasi Varma during the inauguration of Remote Robotic Laboratory at GIET Engineering College campus on Wednesday. —Photo: S. Rambabu

Daniel Hahn Foto of Germany (centre), Indo-Euro synchronization CEO Venkat Raj, Commsure Knowledge Solutions founder chairman Teja Gudluru and GIET executive director Srilakshmi Sasi Varma during the inauguration of Remote Robotic Laboratory at GIET Engineering College campus on Wednesday. —Photo: S. Rambabu

Most advanced remote robotic laboratory was inaugurated at the Godavari Institute of Engineering and Technology (Autonomous College) with the cooperation of Germany on Wednesday.

Unique experience

CEO, APS-GMBH-European centre for Mechtronics, Daniel Hahn Foto of Germany inaugurated the lab. GIET Executive Director K. Lakshmi Sasi Verma, another Chief Executive Officer of Indo-Euro Synchronisation Venkat Raj and founder of Commsure Knowledge Solutions Teja Gudluru along with Mechanical Engineering student Saikumar remotely operated ABB Robot in Germany from the GIET Campus, which turned out to be a novel and unique experience to students of mechanical engineering and other branches of college. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Daniel Hahn Foto said that the ABB robot in Germany has been operated from the GIET the first of its kind in India. He said that ABB robot was the longest and largest robot in the world being used in automobile and industrial sector.

Advanced technology

Mr. Venkat Raj said that remote robotic lab had been started for the first time in India in the GIET in order to provide advanced technology in automobile sector in India which is the home to most number of engineers in the world. Stating that the cost of the lab was about Rs.5 crore, he expressed hope that young engineers in India would get better opportunities in automobile sector. Mr. Teja Gudluru expressed hope that the future engineers would become pioneers by using this modern lab in the State which was poised to becoming an industrial hub in coming days. CEO of Chaiatnya Group D.L.N. Raju, Principal of Autonomous College D.V. Murthy and Directors L.S Gupta and P.V.G.K Jagannadha Raju were present. – Courtesy

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