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JNTU to inspect engineering colleges from April

THE HANS INDIA |  March 31,2015 |
Issues guidelines for recruitment of faculty members.

Hyderabad: After cancellation of affiliations to 143 erring engineering colleges in the State, the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University-Hyderabad (JNTU) has decided to inspect the colleges for the affiliation in the first week of April. The university would inspect all the engineering and pharmacy colleges for granting affiliation for academic year 2015-2016. During earlier inspections conducted by the university, 143 erring colleges were disaffiliated for lack of facilities and a few colleges were informed off their deficiencies.   JNTU authorities said the university would go tough on the colleges which do not follow the norms laid by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the university. Meanwhile, the JNTU has formulated and circulated guidelines for the recruitment of the faculty members in the affiliated colleges. According to the guidelines, colleges should issue notification for recruitment in newspapers along with qualifications. After issuance of notification, colleges should constitute a selection committee for each specialisation as per norms and apply for university nominee.

 As per the guidelines, the colleges should conduct interviews in the time slot, venue provided by the university and release selected list on the last day of interviews. The university has also come up with faculty registration portal to crack down fraudulent practices by the colleges. Officials said all the affiliated colleges should register information like qualification, experience, date of joining, photograph etc of the faculty through the portal and obtain a registration number. The portal will also allow faculty who are intending to join to an affiliated college to register. The university officials said colleges should use registration number for all future references – Courtesy

World’s most fuel-efficient vehicles to race in Detroit; Shell Eco-marathon

Michigan News | Mar 30, 2015| Ben Logan |belogan@umich.edu |

Taken at the 2014 Shell Eco­Marathon, the U­M Supermilage team poses with their vehicle. Image courtesy: University of Michigan Supermileage Team

ANN ARBOR—In a torpedo-shaped one-seater powered by a lawnmower engine, a team of University of Michigan students is aiming for a fuel economy of thousands of miles to the gallon. The U-M Supermileage Team will compete in the Shell Eco-marathon, held for the first time in Detroit April 9-12. The contest, which started as a wager between two engineers in 1939, has since gone global, attracting engineering students from around the world who aim to design, build and drive the world’s most energy-efficient vehicle. The U-M team is one of more than 130 competing. In all, more than 1,000 participants from North and South America are expected to race.

When I first joined Supermileage as a freshman trying to find my way, I quickly began to realize the importance of mission we have as a team,” said Morgan Freeby, a student in industrial operations engineering. “Not only is it important to achieve sustainability— especially in today’s world—but I think the competition itself is important. Anything that gets students excited and actively working on real world problems is something that people need to be a part of.” The Michigan team’s aerodynamic carbon fiber shell is powered by a modified Honda GX160 lawnmower engine. Based on a rigorous computer model and optimization program, the team predicts it will achieve 1,500 miles per gallon.

A new feature of this year’s vehicle was inspired by the world of video games. A handheld Nintendo Wii “Nunchuk” controller can be used by the driver to control the car. It’s not the steering wheel. A different joystick serves that purpose. But this one replaces a series of buttons that used to be attached to the vehicle. The Nunchuck holds the starter, the kill-switch and another that cuts the engine if the controller leaves the driver’s hand. “It gives the driver more freedom, because the buttons aren’t rigidly attached to the side of the vehicle,” said Agney Deshpande, race strategy lead and a student in industrial operations engineering. “The driver can see and access the switches easily from any position.” Though the team has competed in four contests since its founding in 2010, they’ve finished just once, experiencing setbacks such as design inefficiencies and engine trouble.

“This year, we are going in as a more humble team,” Deshpande said. “We want to prove that despite our issues with vehicles in the past, we can show that we can come together and produce a vehicle to be proud of. Our strategy is to race a robust, reliable vehicle that we can run successfully and repeatedly. We will use this year’s race to take analytics that will help with smarter designs for future years.” The Shell Eco-marathon is partnering with the Henry Ford Museum and other Detroit-area businesses to involve others in the push for innovation in fuel economy. The U-M team worked with several local companies including Ford, Michigan Fiberglass Sales, Pi Innovo and Eaton Corp. Entirely student-led, members come from the College of Engineering; College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; and the Ross School of Business. Now five years old, the roster has grown from only six members to more than 30. The multidisciplinary team is working toward the goal of achieving 3,300 miles per gallon.  More information:Supermileage team Shell Eco-marathonCourtesy

Mumbai University BSc, MSc-IT answer papers to be evaluated online, students fear glitches may affect results

MUMBAI: Answer sheets of BSc-IT and MSc-IT students from colleges affiliated to Mumbai University will now be assessed online. After experimenting with the online assessment software for engineering papers for two academic years, the university has decided to introduce it in phases in other faculties too. In a board of studies meeting for the science faculty held last week, the software firm deployed for evaluating engineering papers online demonstrated the process. When the university introduced online assessment for the engineering faculty, there were several glitches. Some students were marked absent, many answer sheets were not scanned and uploaded due to poor resolution. Hundreds of students were failed in their exams in the first year of implementation adding to their trauma. However, the process has evolved in the last one year and there are fewer technical glitches, said a principal.

Registrar M A Khan said after reporting almost zero error in the online assessment of engineering papers, the university has decided to extend it to BSc-IT papers. “As the numbers of students appearing for IT papers are more it will help in early declaration of results. The university is technically equipped to implement it in the coming examination but a final decision is awaited,” said Khan. A university official said more than 20,000 students appear for the BSc-IT examinations. “Since the university has managed to announce the engineering results in record time, the online process will effectively help achieve the same for BSc-IT students. Colleges offering BSc-IT also have computer laboratories which can be used by teachers to assess papers. It is feasible,” said the official. However, teachers are sceptical about its implementation. “We will assess papers for a different set of students. They need to follow certain instructions to ensure good resolution of scanned copies. Teachers also need to be trained in advance. Doing it for this exam would be disastrous,” said the teachers. The meeting, where the software firm demonstrated the process, was attended by chairmen of different science subjects, dean of science faculty, Madhuri Pejaver, pro-vice-chancellor Naresh Chandra and examination controller Dinesh Bhonde.
Times View: Don’t use students as guinea pigs
Students shouldn’t be used as guinea pigs for a trial-and-error check. Boards and universities must fine-tune new processes before letting them loose on unsuspecting students. – Courtesy

Capitation fee in medical, engineering colleges may drop this year in Tamil Nadu

The Times of India |

COIMBATORE: A ban didn’t stop private professional colleges from making a killing on capitation fees, but a glut in seats in engineering colleges and stricter norms for operation of medical colleges might bring down the rates for management quota seats this year.  At engineering colleges, professors and consultants are predicting a 10% drop in capitation fees due to the surfeit of seats under single-window counselling. Last year, more than one lakh engineering seats in colleges under Anna University were not filled. A professor of an engineering college in Erode said last year the capitation among top engineering colleges in western Tamil Nadu was Rs4 lakh to Rs10 lakh. In the last week, seats have been offered at Rs 3 lakh to Rs8lakh. “Some colleges are open to negotiation too,” he said.

In the medical college sector, dire need for funds to improve infrastructure has forced many private colleges to cut capitation. The step comes after Medical Council of India introduced strict norms for infrastructure for private colleges looking to increase student intake. Erode-based educational consultant Murthy Selvakumaran said, “Most private medical colleges have started admissions under the management quota. If they get funds early by collecting capitation fee, they can work on infrastructure.” – Courtesy

Engineering Students of VNR VJIET,Hyderabad Build Formula-Style Race Car, Win Laurels Nationally

The New Indian Express | Rahul V Pisharody | Hyderabad | 30th March 2015 | Edex |

Students of Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology with the VF-05

The students of VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology (VJIET) here in Hyderabad have created an engineering marvel in the form of a ‘formula’ sports car that is capable of zooming at a whopping 150 kmph. Called the VF-05, it is the fifth mean machine from the institute’s garage and was the centre of attraction at the recently concluded automobile expo at HITEX here. ‘Fierce Formula VNR VJIET’, a group of 20 Automobile and Mechanical Engineering students, has developed the super car with a 600cc engine which churns a good 110 horse power. While the engine for the car is from a Honda CBR 600F4i cc bike and another crucial element, the ‘differential’, were imported from the US, most of the parts, including the chassis, are custom made here.

“It cost us `10 lakh to build the car, and took us about six months to complete it. Work had started in June 2014. After that, our team had participated in the FDC-2015, a competition where the VF-05 was the second most popular car,” explains N Gautham, a third-year mechanical engineering student from VJIET, who is part of the group. J Sushant, a fourth-year Automobile Engineering student from the team, says some of the parts like the frame were built in VJIET itself while others like the knuckles (assembly of wheels) and air-intake were made at workshops in Bala Nagar, Hyderabad. Another group member, Rony Mathew, a fourth-year Automobile Engineering student, points out that everything about the car was designed, analysed, validated and fabricated at the institute itself and a part of the total cost was provided by the college management. The team also has the distinction of having a marketing team that brings in the sponsors. Given the horse power of VF-05, the formula car gives a measly six to seven kilometres per litre, and due to its imported engine, it runs on high-octane petrol Speed 97, available only at one petrol pump in Hyderabad.

The team, founded in 2007, have participated twice in Formula SAE Japan in 2011 and 2012, FSAE Australia, Supra SAE 2012 and Formula Student India 2015 using earlier versions of the car. Though they did not win in Japan or Australia, participation in such competitions is of high regard. In the 2015 Formula Student India, they won the second most popular car and 10th best business presentation. The team is currently working on R&D of the car to improvise on it so as to participate in Formula Student India scheduled in January next year. “We improvise on our models and bring better versions with an aim to tap the creativity in the young aspiring engineers that we are and to translate our dormant abilities into innovative realities,” says Rony. –  rahul.v@newindianexpress.com – Courtesy

The Startup Mashup 2015 by MyRefers: Engineering solutions for digital startups

Financial Express | By: Anushree Bhattacharyya | New Delhi | March 30, 2015 |

It’s not every day that one gets a chance to see so many great minds under one roof. The Startup Mashup held in the capital on Saturday saw 200 engineers creating interesting solutions for some of the most popular digital startup companies in India. Organised by MyRefers, a referral-based online jobs marketplace, the event attracted talent as well as popular startups such as mobile payment gateway companies PayU and Mobikwik apart from Gaadi.com, Groupon.com, Limetray.com, 91mobiles.com and Socialcops.com. Additionally business-to-business platforms such as Targeting Mantra and Acquia participated in the day-long event. Speaking about the idea of starting a recruitment drive for startups, Lalit Bhagia, CEO, MyRefers, said, “The idea came after I had a conversation with a business journalist who asked me the difference in recruitment procedure followed by an online startup company and a big corporate. My reply was simple that startups always look out for talents that have the potential to scale up the business. Through the mashup programme we want to bring the talent and the companies under one roof, where both can join forces to create something extraordinary.” Titled ‘Hackathon’, the event also had various companies’ chief executives making a presentation to the participants providing them with reasons to join their respective companies.

“Groupon India is all set  to become an independent product in the next eight to nine months. So we are looking for the right kind of talent that will help us create a brand new product serving the needs of Indian consumers,” said Ankur Warikoo, CEO, Groupon India. The event was divided into six different challenges namely, user experience challenge, codeathon that is, coding for the web, user interface challenge, data science challenge, codeathon for mobile and product management challenge. Each participant was free to select a challenge. At the end of the day while challenges such as data science, codeathon for web and mobile and product management  had five winners, challenges like user interface only had one winner and user experience had two winners. Each winner walked away with a job offer apart from a trophy and a certificate, Goqii watch and coupons worth R5,000 from Groupon. Bhagia, who seemed happy with response the recruitment drive generated, plans to turn it into an annual event from next year. “We would like to conduct similar Tech Mashup every year in other big cities as well,” he added. – Courtesy

Approval process for 25 state engineering colleges starts in Maharashtra

Hindustan Times | Apoorva Puranik, Mumbai |March 29, 2015 |

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has started the approval process for 25 engineering colleges in the state, some of which were barred from admitting students last year. The approvals will decide if they can take in students this year. The colleges are under the scanner for flouting infrastructure and academic norms, but the timing of the AICTE has left students and academicians worried. If the checking starts now, it may not be over in time for admissions in June, and will cloud the process, they said. These colleges make up 5,000 of the 1.5 lakh seats available for engineering aspirants. The irregularities by these colleges were brought to the AICTE’s notice last year by Citizens Forum for Sanctity in Education, an NGO. Now, an expert committee has been formed to inspect them, based on whose recommendations they will be allowed to participate in the common admission process (CAP) for engineering colleges.

AICTE officials said that approval process will take around a month to be completed. In Maharashtra, engineering admissions will be based on the results of the JEE (Main) results, which is scheduled to be held on April 4, 10 and 11. “The approval process for these colleges should have begun long back. The fate of a large number of seats will be uncertain if the approvals don’t come through in time,” said Divyesh Kumar, an engineering aspirant. Vaibhav Narwade, a professor in an engineering college and member of the NGO that filed the complaint, said the process is not taken seriously enough. Some of the 25 colleges had approached the Bombay high court (HC) last year, challenging the AICTE’s order to not admit students. The HC allowed 14 of them to admit students in 2014, but asked them to file affidavits giving details of deficiencies and what steps they would take to improve them. Narwade claimed many of the colleges had not filed the affidavits. “The checking process is relaxed and the AICTE has failed to come down heavily on the colleges flouting norms,” he said. Avinash pant, the AICTE chairman, could not be reached for comments – Courtesy

Night mare for IGNOU degree holders

The Kashmir Monitor | 29 March 2015 |

Kashmir University  bars them from pursuing  higher studies
Srinagar:The refusal of Kashmir University to accept degrees obtained from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for further studies has triggered resentment among qualified youth in Valley. A delegation of students with IGNOU degrees  said that this ‘discriminatory’ move would ruin career of thousands of students who had pursued studies through Indira Gandhi National Open University. According to the students, they were surprised when Dean Academics Kashmir University refused to entertain our forms for further studies. “Any students with BCA degree from IGNOU can’t get admission in Kashmir University for MCA and similarly students with MCA degrees from IGNOU can’t do PhD from the varsity,” the students quoting Dean Academics Kashmir University said. They said that all IGNOU courses are UGC recommended and all universities across India except Kashmir University provides scope for IGNOU students to go for further studies.
“We were shocked when we were told that our degrees are not valid. Why anyone from the State Government was not coming forward to close these study centres. Why any action was not taken against the persons who are running such centres in the State,” they questioned. The students said that Kashmir University has been contradicting its own circular that it has issued recently. The Kashmir University circular reads that, “degrees awarded by IGNOU and by other Open and Distance learning universities/institutions duly recognized by the UGC shall be considered as equivalent to the corresponding degrees of this University.”
“From time to time, Kashmir University is creating problems for us. In recent past Service Selection Board (SSB) had issued a notification for filling the vacant teacher post saying only Kashmir University, Jammu University, IGNOU, Moulana Azad National Urdu University and DOEACC degrees were valid. When job is no issue for the IGNOU students why then they can’t pursue higher studies from Kashmir University,” they said. When contacted Dean Academic Affairs Kashmir University, Muhammad Ashraf Wani said that he is not at fault but a decision not to allow IGNOU degree holders to pursue higher studies was taken by Equivalence Committee at it’s meeting in 2014. “These students never do lab or practical work through IGNOU, that is the reason Kashmir University barred them from pursuing higher studies,” he said. (CNS) – Courtesy

Kerala State’s First Advanced Diploma in Automotive Mechatronics’s (ADAM) conferred

The New Indian Express |  By Express News Service | 28th March 2015 |

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The convocation of the state’s first Advanced Diploma in Automotive Mechatronics (ADAM) was held at Government Engineering College, Barton Hill on Friday.  Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, conferring the diploma on 20 participants of the course, suggested that at least some of the diploma holders should start their own businesses and through their startups contribute to the nation.  Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb chose the merit evening to declare another first for the college – an M Tech in Translational Engineering.  He said, ‘’A new venture of the state government, which is to take off this year from this institution is MTech in Translational Engineering, which is offered in collaboration with three premier institutions – University of Montreal, Columbia University and IIT Madras. Translational Engineering course is meant for translating research into applications and creating socially-responsible engineers. It is the first time, anywhere in India that such a course is being offered.’’  The ADAM course, a joint venture of the State Government with Mercedes Benz, was to train 20 students in cutting-edge vehicular technology. The course is a product of the Emerging Kerala project.

 College Principal B Anil said that the car manufacturing giant took the college faculty to Germany for training. The course was designed based on the German system of education, which gives as much importance to hands-on training as to theory, he said.  Despite being a hub of educational activities, the college has several woes. In order to accommodate new courses and answer some of the limitations, the college is contemplating to construct a new building which is estimated to cost Rs 32 crore, the Principal said. A letter seeking permission for the same was submitted to the Chief Minister by K Muraleedharan MLA on the evening.  Consulate General for Germany in Bengaluru Jorn Rohde, KSCSTE Executive VP Suresh Das and Director of Technical Education K Vijayakumar were present.- Courtesy

SPPU proposes digitally scanning answer-sheets


Initiative trying to emulate Mumbai university; proposed only for 1 engineering PG stream initially.
Digital assessment by scanning answer-sheets may soon become a practice at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), if the proposal receives approval from the Board of Examination (BoE). Following in the footsteps of Mumbai University, where such a system was introduced last year, the digital assessment has been proposed to bring speed to the evaluation process, for faster results declarations. For now, the new system has been proposed only for the electronics and telecommunication stream of engineering, at the post-graduate level. Dr Gajanan Kharate, dean of the engineering faculty at SPPU, confirmed the proposal, saying, “The system is expected to bring speed to evaluations. But currently, it is only a proposal – it will be implemented only if BoE approves of it.”

Kharate added, “Answer-sheets will be scanned to facilitate the digital format. Professors will assess them on computers; after evaluation is done, marks will directly added and submitted to the system with a special software. This will eliminate chances of human error in marks calculations. Results will also be declared faster. Moreover, when students ask for photocopies of answer- sheets, they will already be digitally available.” Explaining why the system, if approved, would be initiated only on a smaller level, Kharate said, “We will have to see if it works successfully first. Those concerned with the system also take time to acclimatise to a new process. Instead of forcing the system across the board, it is better to start small and avoid mismanagement.”
Meanwhile, noting that Mumbai University has received some negative feedback regarding this new system, a city-based engineering professor observed on condition of anonymity, “It is good to begin small, but mistakes in scanning can result in goof-ups. News reports from Mumbai are raising concerns.” Another professor echoed, “Though the initiated process is innovative, it is not time-saving. Scanning each answer-sheet takes time as well. While we might be saving time in marks calculations, the same time is needed in the initial scanning process.”- Courtesy

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