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Indian-American couple (Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon) gifts USD 100 million to New York University’s (NYU) School of Engineering

Deccan Herald | New York, Oct 5, 2015 (PTI) |

Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon

In one of the largest philanthropic gifts by a member of the Indian-American community, a couple has donated USD 100 million to New York University’s engineering school, which will now be renamed after them in recognition of its gift.
Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon’s  (Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon and Ranjan Tandon) gift to the New York University’s School of Engineering will principally support faculty hiring and academic programs and is intended to build on the engineering school’s existing practice of cross-disciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship, NYU President John Sexton and the school’s dean Katepalli R Sreenivasan said in a joint statement here. The school will be renamed the NYU Tandon School of Engineering in recognition of the Tandons “generosity and their belief in the school’s mission and promise,” the statement said. Chandrika is a member of the Board of Overseers of NYU’s business school, a member of the NYU Board of Trustees and leads the NYU President’s Global Council. Ranjan is an engineer by training and a graduate of the Harvard Business School. He is founder and chair of Libra Advisors, a hedge fund he founded in 1990 that is now a family office. The Tandons’ donation is believed to be the largest philanthropic gift by a member of the Indian-American community, the university said. “Getting to know the engineering school was truly electrifying. The imagination and inventiveness of the students and faculty as they worked together on real world problems, the cutting-edge work being done both within the school and collaboratively across schools in such diverse areas like the arts, medicine, education, incubators; the entrepreneurial spirit that pervades the place — all this inspired us,” she said.

Sreenivasan said the Tandons’ act of generosity is remarkable not only because of the size of the gift, but also because it recognises the importance of a school with which they had no prior affiliation. Funds from the gift will be used to further enhance programs, including wireless, cybersecurity, and digital education and gaming and enhance interdisciplinary programs such as financial engineering, technology management and innovation, and entrepreneurship in important areas such as clean energy. In 2010, Harvard Business School had received a gift of USD 50 million from Tata Companies, the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Tata Education and Development Trust, philanthropic entities of the Tata Group. The gift was the largest from an international donor in the School’s 102-year history. – Courtesy     /

Engineering Transformed :  NYU President John Sexton and Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, Dean of the School of Engineering, announced a $100 million gift from Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon for engineering at NYU. The school has been re-named the NYU Tandon School of Engineering in recognition of the Tandons’ generosity and their belief in the school’s mission and promise…Click here to read more…

India Tops Asia in sending Scientists and Engineers to US: NCSES Report

The New Indian Express |  By IANS |  06th October 2015 |

WASHINGTON: Among Asian countries, India continues to be the top country of birth for scietists and engineers who have made the US their destination for key research and development, latest data has revealed. With 950,000 out of Asia’s total 2.96 million, India’s 2013 figure represented an 85 percent increase from 2003, according to a new report from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES). From 2003 to 2013, the number of scientists and engineers residing in the US rose from 21.6 million to 29 million. “An important factor in that increase over the same time period, the number of immigrant scientists and engineers went from 3.4 million to 5.2 million,” the report noted. Of the immigrant scientists and engineers in the US in 2013, 57 percent were born in Asia while 20 percent were born in North America (excluding the US), Central America, the Caribbean or South America. “While 16 percent were born in Europe, six percent were born in Africa and less than one percent were born in Oceania. “Immigrants went from making up 16 percent of the science and engineering workforce to 18 percent,” the NCSES statement read. In 2013, the latest year for which numbers are available, 63 percent of US immigrant scientists and engineers were naturalised citizens, while 22 percent were permanent residents and 15 percent were temporary visa holders.

Since 2003, the number of scientists and engineers from the Philippines increased 53 percent and the number from China, including Hong Kong and Macau, increased 34 percent. The NCSES report found that immigrant scientists and engineers were more likely to earn post-baccalaureate degrees than their US-born counterparts. In 2013, 32 percent of immigrant scientists reported their highest degree was a master’s (compared to 29 percent of US-born counterparts) and 9 percent reported it was a doctorate (compared to 4 percent of US-born counterparts). “The most common broad fields of study for immigrant scientists and engineers in 2013 were engineering, computer and mathematical sciences, and social and related sciences,” the report revealed. Over 80 percent of immigrant scientists and engineers were employed in 2013, the same percentage as their US-born counterparts. Among the immigrants in the science and engineering workforce, the largest share (18 percent) worked in computer and mathematical sciences, while the second-largest share (eight percent) worked in engineering. Three occupations — life scientist, computer and mathematical scientist, and social and related scientist – saw substantial immigrant employment growth from 2003 to 2013. – Courtesy          /       National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics – NSF

Startups plan over 3-fold jump in recruitment; eye top engineering, business schools

Times of India | ET Bureau | October 6, 2015 |

MUMBAI: A second wave of startups is gearing up to raid engineering and B-school campuses this placement season, adding to the fierce war for talent already raging between large e-commerce companies and established old-world recruiters. A survey of a random sample of 11 such startups suggests they will step up overall campus hiring to 770 students from the class of 2016 compared with only 250 that they hired from the last batch. The startups in the ET sample included ShopClues, LocalOye, Urban-Clap, PropTiger, Indus Insights, MyRefers, CodeNation, Embibe, Jombay, Lybrate and ShadowFax.  Average salaries offered by these startups range between Rs 12 lakh and Rs 18 lakh at engineering colleges and B-schools, say campus sources. Prop-Tiger, for instance, is paying upwards of Rs 15 lakh plus benefits at tech schools; CodeNation will pay around Rs 24 lakh.

At least three of these startups — Lybrate, LocalOye and ShadowFax — are first-timers on campus while others, at the very least, are doubling last year’s numbers. In some cases, hiring targets are going up five-fold or even 16-fold compared with last year. Bulk of this hiring will be across top engineering colleges and B-schools, including Indian Institutes of Technology, National Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management, while a handful will also recruit at leading undergraduate colleges including Shri Ram College of Commerce, Lady Shri Ram College and St Stephen’s, and design schools such as National Institute of Design and National Institute of Fashion Technology.

Hiring for variety of roles
Depending on the kind of institutes, students are being hired for a variety of roles: From software development engineers; core management & data scientists; product, operations and marketing; merchant acquisition and servicing, to human resource management, product and graphic designers and even entrepreneurs in residence. Sanjay Mehta, a Mumbai-based angel investor who participated in and led 11 angel deals in 2015, says the reason why startups are so gung-ho about campus hiring is because they want to put this talent to work on cutting-edge technology and new delivery models. “Most startups are tech-driven and moving at a rapid pace. Rather than take on an experienced programmer who has worked more on project management than coding and has to unlearn most things, fresh-off-campus talent is brought in to use their innovation on new-gen tech,” he says. Not surprisingly, several institutes where placements have started, including Birla Institute of Technology & Science-Pilani and NITs, are seeing these startups go head-to-head with traditional recruiters to hire talent. At other B-schools and IITs where pre-placement offers (PPOs) have started flowing in, it is again the startups that are leading the pack. “By infusing fresh talent in the organization, we wish to bring innovation and newness in our working style,” says Radhika Aggarwal, cofounder & CBO of online marketplace ShopClues.
Much higher numbers
The numbers speak for themselves. If ShopClues is revising its hiring intake from around 100 last year to 180-250 this time, realty portal PropTiger is doubling its target to 50. Even five-month-old B2B (business-to-business) hyperlocal delivery startup ShadowFax, which raised $300,000 from Snapdeal’s founders and others in August followed by a $8.5-million Series A round by Fidelity’s proprietary investment arm Eight Roads Ventures barely a month later, is looking to hire from IITs, IIMs and other leading management institutes for its technology, data science and operations teams. Among other first-timers on campus, local services marketplace LocalOye intends to hire at least 50 students while healthcare communication and delivery platform Lybrate is targetting 25 students, of them 15 from IITs. Those who hired in single digits from the class of 2015 are also in aggressive mode. This includes edutech startup Embibe, which plans to hire 50 students compared with 8 last year, and talent assessment and analytics platform Jombay, which is increasing hiring five-fold to 25. Referral-based recruiting platform MyRefers plans to hire 25-35 compared with the two it had taken from the 2015 batch.

Tapping more institutes In the process, these companies are reaching out to many more institutes this year. “If there is a campus that attracts bright minds of the country, we want to be there. This includes other engineering colleges as well as top colleges in economics and commerce,” says Saurabh Sharma founder & chief executive officer of Indus Insights. The Big Data firm made 40 offers last year, mostly at the top IITs (Bombay, Delhi, Madras). This year, it plans to make 100-plus, including at NITs (Trichy, Warangal, etc), SRCC, LSR, Christ College and Indian School of Business. Similarly, Delhi-based mobile services marketplace UrbanClap, which hired 30 business development and operations specialists from Delhi University last year, is extending its reach to several new institutes, including IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad as it gears up to take on 80-100 this year. Salaries apart, the other drawing factors include the opportunity to work on challenging problems. “We don’t have any glass ceilings. Freshers could be running entire teams within six months of joining,” says Aditi Avasthi, founder and CEO, Embibe. “Students are opting for startups aggressively as some of the roles offered by them are quite challenging and inclined with their aspirations,” sums up Rahul Katyal, placement manager at IIT-Bombay. – Courtesy

Indian-American engineering professor Sridhar Kota to lead US manufacturing ‘think-and-do’ tank

The Economic Times | By IANS | 5 Oct, 2015 |

NEW YORK: An Indian-American engineering professor will lead a US consortium to identify emerging advanced manufacturing technologies to enhance the country’s innovation ecosystem, manufacturing competitiveness and national security, the White House has announced. Sridhar Kota, director of the Institute for Manufacturing Leadership at University of Michigan, will lead MForesight: The Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight, the White House said on Friday.  “‘Foresight’ is the key word. In this ‘think-and-do’ tank, we will identify emerging technologies early on so the nation can invest public and private sector dollars in a way that builds the infrastructure, knowledge and workforce skills needed to anchor manufacturing technology in this country,” Kota said.  “With collective access to over 30,000 subject matter experts across a wide range of industries, MForesight will serve as a continuous mechanism for research coordination across the public and private sectors,” he added. The group will examine a broad range of technologies. It could, for example, investigate how to cost-effectively improve quality control in drug-making in order to reduce shortages in certain cancer medications.  It could explore how best to manufacture emerging platform technologies such as flexible electronics, which have a wide variety of applications in places like consumer goods, defence and even health care.  Technologies will be evaluated based on economic impact, job growth, likelihood of co-investment by the private sector, impact on multiple industry sectors, and the likelihood of the US gaining a first-mover advantage, among other criteria.  “Engineering and scientific advancements based on fundamental research have been the main drivers of US economic growth over the past half century,” said France Cordova, director, US National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Thanks to innovative technologies enabled by manufacturing research, production has grown at its fastest pace in more than a decade, creating significant economic value for the nation. To continue to reap these benefits, we must seek new research frontiers for manufacturing and pursue them for high-impact US manufacturing innovation and economic competitiveness,” Cordova noted. Kota, a mechanical engineering professor and entrepreneur, served as assistant director for advanced manufacturing at the White House from 2009 to 2012. He helped to create President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership in 2011 and the Manufacturing Innovation Institutes in 2012.  The National Science Foundation and the US Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology are funding MForesight with a three-year, $5.8 million cooperative agreement.- Courtesy      /       Dr. Sridhar Kota | U-M Research – University of Michigan

Wipro opens door to non-science graduates

Business Standard | Bibhu Ranjan Mishra  |  Bengaluru  October 5, 2015 |

Wipro hires Science graduates or BSc degree holders and trains them through BITS Pilani.

In what could well become a larger sectoral trend, Wipro, India’s third-largest information technology (IT) services company, has started hiring non-science graduates. Traditionally, the industry depends on engineering, computer science and science graduates for its talent pool. For the first time, the Bengaluru-based company is experimenting with commerce, fine arts and business management graduates. These recruits, after going through training, would be sent in areas like infrastructure management services and application support and services. The idea, says Saurabh Govil, global human resource head, is to get the right people for the right job. Also to create a talent pool with a mix of recruits from top technology institutes like Indian Institutes of Technology, campus recruits from engineering colleges, science graduates and laterals (experienced people from industry). “Presently, they (non-science graduate recruits) are in small numbers but doing very well,” said Govil. “It’s not that we are trying to force-fit engineers everywhere. We are trying to hire bright young people and grooming them for various roles after proper training.”

Wipro is one of the first few large IT services companies which opened its doors for science graduates a long time ago. This had multiple advantages. One, these graduates were adequately trained by the company though partner academic institutes like BITS Pilani. Two, the pay packets offered to such employees are comparatively less than those it recruited from engineering colleges, as the company invested during their training. Third, and most important, it also helped curb attrition, as instead of hopping jobs frequently, such graduates in the early years spent time to hone newer skills.  Opening the doors for commerce and fine arts graduates is seen as one more step in this direction. Experts also say it shows that with automation creeping into IT organisations, taking over the mundane and even sometime complex jobs, it is not always required to have an engineer to manage IT projects.”In all likelihood, we will see a broad shift in skill sets. On the one hand, accelerating intelligent automation will make many back-office jobs obsolete. The jury is still out on whether this will lead to re-skilling, re-badging or redundancies,” said Thomas Reuner, managing director for IT Outsourcing Research at HfS Research. “On the other hand, the journey toward the as-a-service economy necessitates new skills, including design thinking, automation governance and highly specialised data analysis. In this new model, business skills will be as important as technical skills,” he added.

According to Govil of Wipro, the idea of having non-science graduates to manage IT business is not to contain costs but have talent layers to manage various spectrums. For example, every year it hires between 100 and 200 graduates from the IITs at the top-end of the spectrum, and grooms them. The campus recruitment it conducts every year helps the company get the critical mass required for the delivery organisation. Then, through its WASE (Wipro Academy of Software Excelllence) programme, in partnership with BITS Pilani, it makes science graduates industry-ready and then ropes them in for IT works. Last year, it launched a programme in collaboration with Vellore Institute of Technology, wherein it trained engineering and science graduates as data scientists. “Again, starting this year, we are doing hackathons for our digital practice. We give participants a coding problem and if they are able to solve it, we offer them jobs,” said Govil. “So, if you look at it, we are trying to look at the talent pool in a way that it is seen as a bouquet.”


  • Every year Wipro hires 100-200 IITiansThey are offered better packages (of Rs 7.5 lakh per annum) than normal campus recruits, and groomed
  •  Other campus recruits are offered Rs 3.2 lakh per annum to Rs 3.3 lakh per annum
  •  Wipro hires Science graduates or BSc degree holders and trains them through BITS Pilani
  •  For analytics business, it trains engineering and science graduates as data scientists through VIT
  •  For digital business, Wipro is doing hackathons
  •  Now, it has started hiring commerce, fine arts graduates for IT services  :  Courtesy

Hackathons or Codefest: the new rites of passage for code gurus

Deccan Herald | Uma Kannan | October 5, 2015 | Bengaluru, DHNS |

Anirvan Mandal, a senior software engineer from Bengaluru, was at the huge conference room, along with a hundred other coders. Boxes of half-eaten pizzas, burgers, and doughnuts were strewn all over the place. It was 3 a.m. in the morning.
A few dozen youngsters were sleeping or trying to grab a sleep, curled up on the sofas and bean bags. Others were making a beeline to the Coke and Pepsi fountains and coffee vending machines, which were dime a dozen. Among those still glued on to their laptops was Anirvan, who was by then coding non-stop for 32 hours at a stretch. But how did he manage to do it? “It’s a very competitive environment. While you are coding, you see everyone around you coding to build something new,” he says. Welcome to the magical world of hackathons! They are happening everywhere now. From startups to college campuses, IT firms, to healthcare companies, ‘hackathon’ or ‘codefest’ is the new buzzword for the young and the restless. Prizes are the draw for some, while others get hired by top companies, or go on to start their own startups or even better, find their products directly hit the market. A lucky few find their hackathon output rolled out into full-sized projects by their employers, earning them the respect of peers.

A week ago, a 24-hour Philips Digital Healthcare Hackathon was held in Bengaluru, which drew wide participation. The winners were students from the city’s engineering colleges. When asked about the takeaway from the hackathon, Srinivas Prasad, CEO, Philips Innovation Campus, said, “The apps developed could address the real healthcare problems in semi-urban and rural India. Some of them targeted persistent conditions like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).” A beaming Prasad said some of the concepts and algorithms deserved follow-ups. The hackathon was a first for the company in terms of outside participants. “Outsiders can bring in fresh ideas to solve challenges, as well as give an outside-in view of new products,” he says. Prasad found it particularly useful to get quality feedback on recently released and to-be released platforms of Philips.

Infosys co-founder and former CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan is a hackathon fan. “They help employees create something out of their ideas and help them participate in problem-solving. They are a fun way to engage with employees. Some of these solutions become new products or even new startups,” he says. While many participate in hackathons and build apps, how do companies take this forward? Do they partner with them?  “The very essence of hackathons is to open a world of possibilities for technology enthusiasts,” says Sushma Rajagopalan, MD & CEO, ITC Infotech. The company organised a two-day Internet of Things (IoT) hackathon in July at its Bengaluru campus. Rajagopalan says ITC Infotech would partner top contestants and create joint go-to market opportunities.

The quality factor
At the IoT hackathon, 36 teams participated, sifted from over 700 entries. At every hackathon, companies do get more number of entries and participations, but what about the quality of the coding?
“The quality will depend on how the problems are defined and participation from employees and outsiders. If done properly, the quality of output can be good. Since there is an element of fun, even if the quality is not good, these are good for employee morale,” says Kris Gopalakrishnan. But then, are the participants up to the challenge of delivering effective and useful technology at the end of the hackathon?  “Definitely, yes,” says Sushma Rajagopalan. “We saw very creative IoT solutions developed by contestants from all categories at iTech 2015. For instance, the winning team focused on smart irrigation. The market problem targeted by the team was water conservation with optimal irrigation, and improved productivity. They harnessed sensors, edge intelligence, and cloud computing to come up with a winning application. Another team built a solution that can detect diseases in plants, and thus stop them from spreading through image analysis of affected leaves,” she says.
It is equally important to ensure that hackathons are conducted efficiently. Organisations must have clarity of purpose, says Rajeev Mendiratta, VP and Head, Workforce Planning and Development, Wipro. Hackathons are held with participation from employees or outside developers. For Wipro, hackathons are useful to re-skill and re-train employees and step up peer-to-peer learning. It organised an internal virtual hackathon called ‘CodeStormAppHack’. “The hackathon encouraged employees to develop their dream mobile and Web-based applications for both the B2B and B2C segments,” says Rajeev Mendiratta.

While at hackathons, participants start from scratch. But what about the research to build up on it? The Infosys co-founder says the whole idea is to build a prototype or skeletons of a solution. “These can be completed later if the company decides to take them forward,” he said. A typical hackathon can last long. It can be either for 24 hours or two continuous days, and sometimes even a week! “In an online or digital hackathon((referred to as a CodeSprint), you can compete from anywhere. There are no geographical boundaries,” says Harishankaran K, co-founder of HackerRank, a programming platform for technical assessments around the globe. HackerRank currently has over a million programmers in its community and frequently hosts its own online hackathons to engage them. A lot of companies also partner with HackerRank to conduct hackathons.

Hack to join a company
“Instead of hunting for candidates on job portals and scanning for resumés, you can now recruit from hackathons, where participants will be solving challenges that you have set up for them. This makes it easy to spot the best talent,” Harishankaran says. According to him, coding competitions are sure to draw superior talent. “Earlier, aptitude and knowledge were the most important things in recruitment. With an increase in the engineering talent, companies have moved from knowledge-testing to skill-testing as they want to demarcate the best from the rest. What has emerged from these hackathons is the fact that engineers are not really able to translate ideas to code. Hence it is crucial to identify the best coders,” says Murali Padmanabhan, Vice President and Global Head of Learning & Leadership development at Virtusa.
Virtusa, an IT services company, is for the first time conducting a hackathon in campus. “We are calling it the ‘App-Fest’ where we invite students to submit ideas. The best ones are shortlisted and demonstrated in the final round. The winners are not only awarded prizes, but also offered jobs,” he says. In his view, competitions of such kind help the company to engage with students.

“Also, it helps us to understand what the student thought-process is like, the relevance of the problems they have identified around them, and how they can apply technology to solve it,” Padmanabhan says. He notes that students have come up with a host of ideas around health, social issues, and education.  Virtusa had invited 88 colleges from multiple cities for the App-Fest, out of which 76 confirmed participation. “About 320 student teams were formed and 196 ideas were submitted, out of which 67 were shortlisted and 25 solutions were selected. These 25 teams are working on application development. The final round will happen in Hyderabad,” he said.
Where are the women coders?
At the recently held Philips Digital Healthcare Hackathon, compared with men, participation by women was relatively lower. How can we increase their participation? “There are several ways like mandating the presence of women in hackathon teams,” says Srinivas Prasad, CEO of Philips Innovation Campus. Sushma Rajagopalan, MD & CEO, ITC Infotech, says we need to encourage women to take up STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and provide role models for young girls.  Nowadays, many women-only hackathons are coming up. Women’s Cup is a 24-hour online hackathon organised by HackerRank that will begin on October 10. It is open to women worldwide. Participants can either code alone, or in teams of two or three members.“If there are more women in IT and engineering, then there would be more women in hackathons. We could also experiment with women-only hackathons,” says Kris Gopalakrishnan.
Why do companies conduct hackathons?
To train the employees and accelerate peer to peer learning. Hackathons are a fun way to engage with employees in solving problems. Hackathons help in fostering new disruptive ideas which are relevant to local needs. They are good stimulators for creative people who are passionate developers and like solving problems by using technology. If there are more women in IT and engineering, then there would be more women in hackathons.”-  Kris Gopalakrishnan, Infosys co-founder

“A hackathon is a celebration of technologists and technology. The very essence of hackathons is to open a world of possibilities for technology enthusiasts.” –  Sushma   Rajagopalan, MD & CEO, ITC Infotech

“Hackathons are a great way to empower professionals to challenge themselves to think innovatively, learn new and niche skills and achieve great results in a limited amount of time.-”Rajeev Mendiratta, VP and Head — Workforce planning and development, Wipro
What do participants get out of it?
Apart from prizes, they get jobs. Some can build an app and go on to form a startup or their products directly hit the market. For employees, it can enable an environment where they can showcase their expertise, learn and adapt to the latest skill-sets, collaborate with their peers and use creativity and innovation to solve challenging problems, and have fun while doing so.
“Hackathons can be an open contest and we have to start from the scratch and pitch it to the people.”
Anirvan  Mandal, a regular participant in hackathons – Courtesy

Startups, skilled labour key to achieve Make in India dream

The Times of India | |

SURATHKAL: Startups, skilled labour, state-of-art labs, and updated curriculum in technical institutions are the main focal areas that aid in achieving Make in India campaign, launched by union government. On Saturday, bigwigs from prominent NITs, industrialists and policy makers brainstormed on how technical institution can contribute to success of ‘Make in India’ brain child of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during workshop on ‘Mission Make in India: Synergy with Technical Education System’. Anil D Sahasrabudhe, chairman, AICTE, New Delhi felt that ‘jugaad’ should be given a proper shape and it will do wonders. As an exposure, all the engineering graduates should be sent to rural areas. “Once they are exposed, they can think of some project that can enhance quality life in these backward areas. Country can grow only when villages are shaped,” he added.

Expressing concern over lack of facilities in the current education labs, he asked institution heads to upgrade and also keep it open 24×7. “The lab usage time is very much limited. Allow a student to burn his midnight oil in the lab, you will see best outcome,” he said adding there is education in innovation and vice-versa. According to K P Issac, vice-chancellor, A PJ Abdul Kalam Technological University revealed that only 5 percent of graduates get into entrepreneurship rest either opt for higher studies, research and development, finance and government jobs. “It is high time for India to act a leader to entire world, adopt global changes and create something of our own,” he stressed.  Issac pointed that 47% of India’s population is below 24 years, By 2020, India is becoming world’s largest English speaking country, becoming the world’s largest IT producers and ranks second in world economy. “Having all this criteria, lacunae is that our education system is not making a student industry ready. We need a new education model that bridges all this gaps,” he felt.

Most technical institution labs still have foundry, lathe and carpentry for gaining knowledge. “Ironically, none of these labs are used in any manufacturing units. It is time to adopt fab labs, which enables one to become skilled candidate,” he suggested. A fab lab is generally equipped with an array of flexible computer controlled tools that cover several different length scales and various materials, with the aim to make ‘almost anything’.  To achieve ‘Make in India’ dream, Issac said colleges must stop teaching instead focus on project based learning, experiential learning that includes theory. “Entrepreneurship is only keys to success of Make in India,” he stressed. Health care, education, communication, transportation are the main area to focus on, he said.- Courtesy

Credits from online courses to be made mandatory for B.Tech engineering courses : AICTE chairman

The Hindu | Raghava M |

: Securing marks through online courses in a semester in the undergraduate engineering course will be made mandatory once enough online courses are available, said Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, chairman, All India Council for Technical Education. Talking to presspersons here on Saturday on the sidelines of a workshop on ‘Make In India’ organised by NITK, Surathkal, Mr. Sahasrabudhe said that currently the AICTE prescribed that five credits, which is about 10 per cent of marks in a semester, may be earned by the student from online courses. He said this has not been made mandatory as there were not much online courses presently available. “Once it is available it will be made mandatory,” he said.

The AICTE has been encouraging students take up Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offered by foreign universities. Within India, a platform named “Swayam” Swayam (Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) was being developed wherein professors from IITs and National Institutes of Technology will be offering courses in the form of MOOCs. The platform will be operational in the next few weeks. Mr. Sahasrabudhe said that MOOCs will address the problem of lack of quality professors. He said MOOCs would provide the theory content, while the colleges need to have laboratories to give hands on experience for students about the course. He said they need to consider having two syllabi – one for those wanting to work in the industry after their technical courses and other for those who want to continue their study. – Courtesy

AICTE asked Technical Institutions to Submit Best Practices

The New Indian Express |  Express News Service |  03rd October 2015 |

COIMBATORE: The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has asked technical education institutions under its control, to submit the best practices followed in their institutions, which could be incorporated by other institutions. These technical institutions have been asked to submit brief information about the best practices followed by them along with other details such as–college name, AICTE permanent institute ID, college address, State or Union Territory in which the institution is located, name of the principal or director or contact person and their contact number. If an institution is following more than one best practice, they need to file them in separate forms. After taking charge as the chairman of the AICTE, Anil D Sahasrabudhe has initiated various steps, which includes soliciting comments from the technical institutions, on the difficulties being faced in filling up the applications online and  changes proposed to be made in approval process, for maintaining better transparency and accountability.

Admission to ME/M.Tech & PhD Programs for Regular Teachers of AICTE approved Degree level Engineering Institutions/NITs/NITTTRs under QIP_2016-17

Meanwhile, the AICTE has also invited application from regular teachers of approved degree level engineering institutions for admission to Masters degree and advance admission to PhD programme under Quality Improvement Programme for the year 2016-17. Candidates can register their names at http://www.qip.iitb.ac.in/applications2016. The closing date of online application is November 3 and the last date for receipt of  application is November 10. – Courtesy    /     AICTE Link

Norms (approval process) to set up new technical institutions to get tough: AICTE

Business Standard | Kalpana Pathak  |  Mumbai  October 3, 2015 |

In a bid to stem proliferation of technical institutions, AICTE is planning to revise norms for setting up of such institutions.

Setting up of new technical education institutions is soon going to get tough. In a bid to stem the proliferation of technical institutions, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is planning to revise norms for setting up of such institutions in the country. AICTE is the technical education regulator of the country. Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman, AICTE said, “We want to be more strict with setting up of new institutions. With a large number of seats going vacant in technical education institutions, the norms of setting up of new ones need a review.” Sahasrabudhe took over as the AICTE chairman this July. Many institutes, Sahasrabudhe said, have come forward and expressed their desire to shut down. “This has resulted in engineering seats coming down by 600,000, almost a 40 per cent decline,” he said. Currently India has over 1.67 million engineering seats. AICTE says it has allowed discontinuation of 757 technical and professional courses at educational institutions this year. Of the 757 courses that have been shut, 556 were engineering courses, followed by pharmacy (89), computer application (57) and management (54). Also, 83 colleges — 46 management and 31 engineering colleges — have shut. Majority of these institutions, 345 or 45 per cent, are situated in Telangana and Tamil Nadu. Between 2006 and 2013, engineering institutions saw a growth of 131.5 per cent, rising from 1,511 to 3,498. During the same period, the number of management institutes went up from 1,132 to 2,467, up 118 per cent.

Shankar S Mantha, ex-chairman, AICTE says the proliferation has happened due to lack of a perspective plan from the state governments. “Till states come up with a perspective plan on their educational needs, it will not be possible to stem random proliferation. One needs to know how many students pass out of class X and XII every year. How many of them opt for science, arts or commerce streams? States have to make an estimate of such data and then decide on the seats required for higher studies. These plans can then be discussed in the Cabinet and facilitate decisions,” said Mantha. Mantha said, in the past, when AICTE had denied permission to individuals or institutions from setting up new institutes, it was taken to court. “If states have a perspective plan, AICTE can assess which areas require technical institutions to be set up. In the absence of a plan, it becomes difficult to argue in the court why AICTE denied permission to an institution,” added Mantha. B-school directors say the norms to set up new institutions are not in sync with changing times. For instance, a management institute does not need acres of land to set up a campus. “AICTE should ask for built up area and not land. In addition to this, AICTE emphasises on keeping physical copies of books and journals. In this digital age, neither students nor the faculty uses hard copies. E-books should be emphasised upon,” said the director of a B-school from Noida. AICTE, said professors, should encourage good institutions and not leave it all for the market forces to decide. “Non-serious institutions are indulging in “hire and fire” policy. This demotivates academicians. AICTE has to address all these issues,” the director added. – Courtesy

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