The Hindu |Cities » Hyderabad | May 21, 2015 |
More than 3,000 graduates have applied for EdCET this year. Waning glamour in software jobs and competition in the IT market the cause.
Engineering graduates in large numbers are queuing up to get admissions into B.Ed colleges that have opened their doors for the first time to technology students. More than 3,000 engineering graduates have applied for the Telangana State Education Common Entrance Test (EdCET) this year and the number is likely to go up. The quality of engineering graduates will not be poor in this test as they have to attain minimum of 55 per cent in B.Tech to gain eligibility. “It is noteworthy that engineering students with good academic records are applying,” says P. Prasad, convenor, TS Ed.CET. The graduates are, however, eligible for mathematics and physical science methodologies only. “They are skilled and their entry into teaching at the school level will benefit rural students,” feels Prof. Prasad. Waning glamour in software jobs and severe competition in the IT market is making engineers to opt for teaching jobs.
“B.Ed offers scope for getting into the government sector and we don’t hesitate to work in villages. Salaries of teachers are now more respectable than other professions,” says Mahesh, an aspirant. So far, 63,600 candidates have applied for Ed.CET this year compared to 1.16 lakh from Telangana last year when the test was held in the combined State. He attributes the fall in number to the two-year B.Ed course being introduced from this year. Till last year, it was just one-year course and many had applied to save an academic year. Maximum applications were for social studies (30,028) followed by biological sciences (15,333), mathematics (12,788), physical sciences (4,303) and English (869). Last date for applying for the exam is May 21 and it will be held on June 6 in 138 centres in 13 cities of Telangana. Hall tickets can be downloaded from May 31 from ‘www.tsedcet.org’ – Courtesy
The Hindu | Cities »| MUMBAI, May 17, 2015 | |
The IIT Bombay Racing team on Saturday unveiled a new Formula Student electric racing car that can accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in just 3.5 seconds, and touch a top speed of 111 kmph. Christened EVo 4.0 Formula Student Electric Car, the car will participate in “Formula Student” competition, an international student motorsport event held annually at the Silverstone circuit in UK in July. IIT Bombay Racing is an independent student organisation in IIT Bombay, comprising of 75 students spread across various engineering disciplines and united by a common passion to design, fabricate and race electric cars, and participate in the Formula Student competition organised by London-based Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
The competition is the world’s largest student motorsport events and challenges student engineers to design, build and race single seat racing car in one year. It is also considered a stepping stone for those who want to break into Formula One racing in future. The competition is supported by companies like Mercedes AMG, Petronas, Jaguar, Land Rover, National Instruments, Airbus, and Shell. Over 100 colleges and universities like MIT, ETH Zurich, TU Delft, Stuttgart compete at Silverstone Circuit, home of the British Grand Prix. A 37-member IIT team of engineering students designed and created the car from scratch, with the vision of revolutionising electric mobility in India, and focusing on sustainable technologies and innovations.
Participating in the competition for the fourth year, the students improved upon the design and engineering aspects of the prototype they designed last year, and were awarded the Formula Student UK Award 2015 for improvising the previous prototype. An IMechE team presented the award, with a cash prize of £3000, to the thrilled students at the IIT campus on Saturday. The award is given to only three teams out of more than 100 participating teams globally. “Last year, our car could accelerate from 0 to 60 kmph in 2.2 seconds, and this year, EVo 4.0 model can do that in 1.8 seconds. Last year, we had heavier chassis and normal gearbox. This year we have used lightweight aluminium honeycomb chassis, electrical differential, and hybrid planetary gearbox which has made the car lighter and improved its performance,” says Ayush Verma, Marketing Manager of IIT Bombay Racing told The Hindu.
“The car can accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in 3.5 seconds. This is the quality we want to boast about the most, because it is more important than its top speed, that is an astonishing 111 kmph,” said Pratyush Nalla, the team leader, who has just graduated from the Mechanical Engineering department. Professor Soumyo Mukherji, Dean of Student Affairs IITB, said that the students have been a completely independent organisation with a clear goal in mind. “From sponsorships, to design and implementation, they have done it all by themselves,” he said. Faculty Advisor Professor Ramesh Singh of the mechanical engineering department, said the designs and ideas have consistently grown each year, with their concepts of mechanical and electrical engineering getting stronger and stronger. Courtesy
The Hindu | Features » Education Plus | May 17, 2015 |
Can you afford to be careless in choosing a college that almost decides your career? Here are some pointers.
“Had I known earlier I would/wouldn’t have…,” is the first part of many statements that frustrated students utter after choosing a college which doesn’t suit their tastes, needs or requirements. Here are some of the familiar statements we have heard: “Had I known earlier, I wouldn’t have joined this college.” “Had I known earlier, I would have preferred a seat under management quota in XYZ college to a seat by counselling in ABC college.” “Had I known earlier, I would have decided not to opt for XYZ branch of engineering.” Instead of wearing smiles on their faces, some students wear disappointment, bitterness, depression and dissatisfaction as a result of choosing a wrong college, and they continue to wear this unpleasant look even after they have completed their graduation. It is surprising that people who spend so much time visiting showrooms and enquiring about different brands/types of mobile phones before deciding to buy a Rs. 10,000 mobile phone, do not spend considerable time before making the major decision of choosing a college which almost decides their career.
Tertiary education is an important stage in a person’s academic life. These days, getting admitted to a professional college or arts/science college is not difficult but choosing a good college is. Though all colleges, whether engineering or arts and science, proclaim to have glorious vision, mission and quality policy statements, only some colleges really strive to translate these statements into action by providing quality education. Many colleges make empty promises and tall claims in their advertisements. At times, students and parents are carried away by such ads and make wrong decisions. It is the responsibility of the students and their parents/guardians to make informed decisions while choosing a college. This is a sequence of many steps: visiting colleges and talking to faculty and students, collecting data about the colleges, checking whether the data is factual, analysing it, applying it to one’s situation, weighing the pros and cons and, finally, making a proper decision whether to get admitted to a particular college. Very recently, a student aspiring to become an engineer and his parents sought my advice on choosing an engineering college. My three-word advice was: “Know your college.” The maxim “Ignorance is bliss” may be true in some cases, but not when choosing a college. In this case, ignorance is a curse. It is students’ right and duty to know the educational institute in which they choose to spend a few years of their academic life. Smart students do a sort of SWOT analysis when choosing a college. They analyse their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Here are some basic things a student should know when choosing a college:
A college or university’s reputation depends on various factors, including its view of education, academic excellence, research, innovation, placement records, successful alumni, MOUs with industries and foreign universities, etc. Reputed institutions focus not only on helping students pass examinations but also on creating opportunities for students to develop their intellectual, emotional and social potential. The student should find answers to these questions:
Has the college built a high reputation in different areas?
Have the programmes (various branches) offered by the college been accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBS) or the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)? (The accreditation bodies NBA and NAAC periodically evaluate institutions and programmes as per the standards recommended by the AICTE and UGC, respectively.)
Has the college signed any memorandum of understanding (MOU) with reputed companies and does it have industry collaborations?
It is quite unfortunate that not all institutes of higher learning follow the right concepts of education. Instead of being concerned with students’ overall development, many colleges compete with each other in enhancing their pass percentage. It is possible that a college that produces good results in terms of pass percentage but lacks progressive thinking or fails to impart holistic education, may top the ranking list. The trend of ranking colleges based on their pass percentages has been criticised by educationists and right-thinking people.
Does the college impart education in a holistic manner?
Does the college create opportunities for students to develop their personality?
Does the college provide opportunities for students to develop their communication, leadership, creativity, entrepreneurial and innovation skills?
An educational institute that has an excellent infrastructure makes teaching and learning a pleasant and fruitful experience for teachers as well as students. Good infrastructure is a key indicator of quality education in any educational institution.
Does the college have good infrastructure: modern classrooms, library, lab, transport, hostel facilities, etc.?
The quality of an educational institution can be measured by the quality of the teachers it has employed. A good teacher has the power to inspire and transform the lives of thousands of students.
Has the college employed well-qualified and experienced faculty?
Have some of the members of the faculty made a mark through their contributions?
Does the college have teachers who have worked at the institute for a long period of time?
In any reputed college or university, faculty and students are encouraged to engage in research that results in new findings and innovative solutions to problems.
Does the college give importance to research activities?
Are teachers and students engaged in fruitful research?
Training, placement and higher education
A good college attracts reputed companies to the campus and enables students to get placed in them. It is possible only if students of the college are trained well and have employability skills. Not all students seek placement assistance from the college. Some students may opt for higher studies either in India or abroad.
Does the college impart adequate training and prepare students for the workplace?
Do reputed companies visit the campus to recruit students?
Does the college enjoy a good placement record?
Does the college prepare students for higher studies?
This comprehensive checklist can help students make a wise decision when choosing a college. If a not-so-brilliant student joins a good college, he/she will flourish and if a brilliant student joins a bad college, he/she will perish. – The writer is an academic and freelance writer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Courtesy
Zee News India | May 16, 2015 | Education News | IANS |
Four Indian varsities will launch pilot open online courses by the beginning of next year to spearhead a major `virtual university` concept funded by the European Union, officials said here.
Kolkata: Four Indian varsities will launch pilot open online courses by the beginning of next year to spearhead a major `virtual university` concept funded by the European Union, officials said here. Called Project EQUAL (Enhancing Quality, Access and Governance of Higher Education in India), the system is similar in format to the popular massive open online courses (MOOCs). It will offer a blended learning platform (online plus face-to-face) for undergraduate students in India, complete with credits and certification, and will also allow the students to take up courses from other varsities and colleges as a part of their regular undergraduate course.
The four participating varsities are: Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Ambedkar University, Delhi, University of Hyderabad and Shiv Nadar University in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh. “For India, the solution can`t be purely classroom nor purely online. It has to be a mix of both. Through EQUAL, students will have the desired mobility. We are planning to launch pilot courses by the end of this year or beginning of next year,” said Supriya Chaudhuri, faculty co-ordinator and project member from Jadavpur University, on Friday.
“In addition, since it will be adopted by Indian varsities and colleges as part of their curriculum, it will not have the drawbacks of MOOCs — low completion rates and inadequate certification,” she said, adding the courses, designed on the Moodle software, will be free. Funded by the European Union under its programme `Support to Indo-European Interactions on Higher Education`, the initiative is supported by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Administrative coordination is being provided by the British Council India`s division on Internationalising Higher Education.
The four Indian universities are working in collaboration with King`s College London and the University of Bologna, Italy. The project focuses on four interdisciplinary areas-natural resources, environment and sustainable technology, human ecology, cultural studies and critical thinking. “We urge universities and colleges to adopt this system so that students can have access to the best lectures and courses across India,” said Sugata Hazra, another project co-ordinator from JU. The university is hosting the project website and creating the e-learning platform to run online courses through virtual classrooms, among its other responsibilities for the project. “The aim is to create partnerships between Europe and India, and between Indian universities, adapting the `Bologna Process` to the Indian context.” The famed `Bologna Process` in European higher education system refers to university cooperation based on quality, openness and internalising higher education. In the Indian context, co-ordinators said, the concept would be customised to make education available to students in rural areas as well. Those who are not a part of the university system and wish to do a course can also register. Courtesy
How I Got That 2-Crore Scholarship for Aerospace Engineering course at America’s Cornell University: Bhavi Jagatia
ND TV | May 15, 2015 | Bhavi Jagatia |
Being a teenager, having a dream comes easily. Everyone wants to make it big, leave a mark and change lives. As time passes, we settle for what we get, the dreams that we had become dusty books that we never read. That should not be the case. We live in a time where everyone has great potential and the world has great resources – what matters is how you use it to mould your life. We should not for a second think that our dreams are impossible.
I have grown up enveloped in episodes of stargazing on cold nights, solving Sudoku puzzles on Sunday mornings, and helping my father repair any dysfunctional device of the house – from the doorbell to the computer. Whether it was putting together circuit boards in Grade 6 or designing a sustainable lighting system for corporations in grade 10, innovation has never left my interest. Whether it was experimenting with the different hues of my paints, or making a list of unnatural questions after reading newspaper articles or scholarly reports, the flame of my curiosity does not seem to subside.
My curiosity or adventurousness, combined with my love for space and exploration led me to decide that I wanted to become an astronaut. Technologies pioneered during space programs are still the most used on Earth. Space technology has always inspired the youth and I wish to be a part of it. I wish to help unravel the mysteries of the universe and at the same time, I wish to create technologies that revolutionize not only space exploration, but also life on the planet that we call Home.
Once I had chosen my dream, I put in all required efforts to make it become a reality. With the help of my parents and teachers, I made a detailed plan and followed it with dedication. Be it academics, community service, or personal passions, they were all pursued with enthusiasm. The period of applications and standardized tests, coupled with board examinations was draining. Waiting for responses from universities was both a testing and an exciting task, but we held on to hope.
Receiving admission to Cornell, along with the two-crore scholarship, has been a dream come true. Having received this incredible opportunity, I am determined to make the most of it. I can’t wait to experience college life, explore new cities and cultures and finally study what I have always dreamt of. I am waiting eagerly to embark on this challenging new journey. (17-year old Bhavi Jagatia has won a Rs. 2 crore scholarship that will fund her Aerospace Engineering course at America’s Cornell University. The scholarship is offered by Tata and Cornell.) – Courtesy
Nine Indian students win awards at prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF)
Business Standard | IANS | New York |May 16, 2015 |
An Indian American student won the prestigious Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award Friday, while nine students from across India won awards in various categories and five US students were awarded science trips to India at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (IISEF) in Pttsburgh. The IISEF honors the world’s most promising high school student scientists, inventors and engineers selected through rigorous competitions held around the world. Many past winners have gone on to win Nobel Prizes and other prestigious awards. For his work on refining a system to help protect the seas from oil-drilling disasters, Karan Jerath, 18, of Friendswood, Texas, received the $50,000 Young Scientist Award, the second highest prize at the IISEF. Jerath was also one of the five students selected for the Intel and Indo-US Science and Technology Forum Visit to India Award. They will receive a weeklong visit to India to showcase their research projects, visit research leading institutions and interact with top scientists. Onkar Singh Gujral, 18, of La Martiniere for Boys in Kolkata, won the Association of Computing Machinery first award and the second award in the System software category for his entry on image processing algorithms for detecting nanomaterials.
The other Indian winners came from Delhi, Kozhikode, Mangalore and Panipat.
An Indian American foundation, gave ten awards at the Fair. Sanjana J. Rane, 17, of Louisville, Kentucky, received the first award for work relating to renal fibrosis from the Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty Foundation based in Georgia. Five American students of Indian descent were among those who received the foundations second awards. About 1,700 students who participated at the IISEF in Pittsburgh were the top performers at 422 affiliated fairs held in 75 countries. At the IISEF their projects went through rigorous evaluations by about 1,000 judges with PhDs or equivalent qualifications from across scientific disciplines.
Seventeen students from India were selected for the IISEF from the National Science Fair held by Initiative for Research and Innovation in Science. Maya Ajmera, who is Indian descent and heads the Society for Science and the Public that conducts the IISEF, congratulated the winners and said, “These talented young students are the problem solvers and innovators of their generation.” The top prize, the $75,000 Gordon E. Moore Award, went to Raymond Wang, 17, of Canada. Scores of Indian American students won awards in various categories, five of them getting the first award in their specialisations, biochemistry, behavioral sciences, environmental engineering, mathematics and energy physics. More than 200 Indian American students were among the finalists at the IISEF, having won regional competitions across the US. In addition, students of Indian descent came from South Africa, Malaysia and Singapore.
These are the other winners from schools in India:
* Mansi Aggarwal, 17, and Harshit Jindal, 14, of Maharaja Agarsain Public School, Delhi: Fourth Award in Plant Sciences category for research on “An Effective Herbal Ointment against Enterobiasis”
* Ravi Pradip, 17, of Dayapuram Residential School, Kozhikode, Kerala: Third Place in Material Sciences for work on “Plumeria Blooms for Organic Electronics”
* Arsh Shah Dilbagi, 17, of DAV Public School, Panipat, Haryana, Third Award in Embedded Systems category for developing “TALK-An AAC Device: Converting Breath into Speech for the Disabled”
* Mansi Aggarwal, 17, and Harshit Jindal, 14, of Maharaja Agarsain Public School, Delhi: Fourth Award in Plant Sciences category for research on “An Effective Herbal Ointment against Enterobiasis”
* Aditya Bhargava, 16, and Komal S, 16, of Sharada Vidyanikethana Public School, Mangalore, Karnataka: Fourth Award in Material Sciences for work on “Highly Sensitive Nano-Ferrite for Detection of Carbon Monoxide in Air” – Courtesy Visit IISEF
Business Standard | Press Trust of India | New Delhi |May 14, 2015 |
AICTE, which governs technical education in the country, should have more of a mentorship role in the sector than that of a regulator, suggested a panel set up to look into its restructuring. In its voluminous report presented to the HRD Ministry recently, a four-member review committee under former education secretary MK Kaw felt that over-regulation of technical education along side under governance at the same time was one of the ills plaguing the sector. Without going into details, ministry officials said the committee has suggested suitable amendments to the AICTE Act to help it evolve into a body matching present-day requirements. The report is currently under examination, they added.
The report comes a month after another panel, set up to review the functioning of UGC, which governs higher education in the country, made far-reaching recommendations, including for replacing UGC with a new statutory agency. The government is yet to form a view on the recommendations of that committee. The AICTE review committee was set up amidst a growing realisation that the body was finding it difficult to match up to the demands of the private players in the field of technical education. One of the mandates of the committee was to enable AICTE to address the challenges in the wake of growing complexities and the expansion in the technical education sector. In its report, the committee has recommended a series of measures to bring in an effective accreditation system in the technical education sector. Courtesy
It will be grades for engineering students : VTU to introduce Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) from 2015–16
The Hindu | National » Tamil Nadu | BENGALURU, May 14, 2015 | |
BENGALURU :Engineering seat aspirants in the State, who are attempting a slew of entrance exams to qualify for admissions, will be studying a revamped course from this academic year. The Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) is in the process of implementing the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) for all undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) courses in its constituent college as well as colleges affiliated to it from 2015–16. Students will have ‘à la carte’ like option for subjects, and they will not have to wait until the final year for electives. VTU Vice-Chancellor H. Maheshappa told The Hindu that details of the new system would be updated on the university website by this month-end to help students and teachers prepare for it before classes begin.
Incidentally, this will be the second year in a row that the syllabi will be revamped. “As we revise the syllabus once in every four years, we had made changes in 2014. But as the UGC directions came, we will have to make changes again this year,” he said. Prof. Maheshappa said while the first semester students would be the first batch to study under the CBCS scheme, the real changes would kick in during the third semester. “The first two semesters are likely to be close to the basics,” he added. The number of theory subjects that students will study is yet to be decided. For the past two years, they have been having five theory subjects and three practicals, which by itself was a departure from the earlier six subjects and two practicals. Courtesy
Deccan Chronicle | Ambrose Pinto S J, May 14, 2015, DHNS |
The University Grants Commission on April 10, 2015 made public a document with draft syllabi of 18 subjects on choice-based credit system, asking colleges and universities to implement it from the coming academic year.
Most institutions are taken aback by the directive. They are hardly aware of the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS). How would they implement it with hardly any time left without participation of staff and students? It was an order and institutes have been asked to fall in line. What is the CBSC all about? It is redefining of the curriculum into units or modules. At the completion of a module, the learner can pave the way for learning other modules either in the same institution or elsewhere keeping with one’s needs and interests. The courses are converted into credits. Students can move from a certificate to a diploma to a degree if interested. It is a “cafeteria approach‟ to learning with freedom for the learner to choose from the many subjects.
The UGC claims that CBCS is a shift from the traditional teacher oriented education to a student-centred education with the facility to transfer the credits from one institution to another. Though the students will choose courses of inter-disciplinary nature, the required courses for majoring in a subject will ensure depth. Professionalism and quality consciousness, UGC argues, are the basis and CBCS offers a very flexible and open system for a quality upgradation of higher education. Courses are categorised into three kinds – core, elective and foundation. The guidelines provide for effective checks and balances in terms of assessment and weightage for core, elective and foundation elements of a course to remove all variations across colleges and universities. The methods applied for award of grades computation is of semester grade point average (SGPA) and cumulative grade point average (CGPA), which will result in eventual grading, to be done on the basis of specified formulae. The National Democratic Teachers’ Front, a right leaning group, has opposed the CBSC and has asked the HRD Ministry and UGC not to implement it forcibly. Any reform, according to the group, has to be initiated through in-depth debate among various stake-holders. The Teachers Front has a very valid point. Reforms in the university system should not be introduced from above. Given the fact that there are more than 650 universities and over 35,000 colleges catering to over two crore students, it is not proper to introduce reforms without proper consultation and preparation.
The problems in implementation are likely to be many and the UGC may not be well versed in it. The Students’ Federation of India has rejected the document. Their contention is that the approach is dictatorial and attacks the autonomy of the universities. AISA (All India Students’ Association) has opposed it. For them “a uniform syllabus signifies a certain political, social and economic vision. It imposes uniformity at the cost of blanking out all alternative/ heterodox views, critique and dissenting voices in an attempt to ensure that feudal and patriarchal ideas and practices, communal common sense and neo-liberal polices become not just the dominant discourse but in fact the only discourse”. The way education is tuned to the needs of the markets, one may not disagree with this position. In the context of globalisation, with CBCS students would be better able to sell themselves if they spoke the ‘academic language’ that would be understood internationally.
The UGC says CBCS will secure seamless mobility of students across institutions in India and abroad, make it easy for the transfer of credits earned by students seeking migration from one institution to another, help to better understand the performance of students graduating from different universities and colleges based on grades and prove helpful for potential employers to understand and infer performance of students. However, the introduction of CSBS is not going to be easy in the country. The measure needs more teachers and infrastructure if students have to choose from number of courses. Secondly in a diverse country like ours, uniformity in education is not what a country must search for. Uniformity kills creativity and criticality. We cannot and should not tune higher education to the needs of the markets alone either. It is sad however a centralised system of education is imposed without sensitivity to the needs of the local, regional and national contexts. – (The writer is Principal, St. Alo-ysius Degree College, Bengaluru) – Courtesy
Published on 10/04/2015 : UGC Notice : Seeking feedback/comments on the Draft Syllabi for Under-Graduate Courses under Choice Based Credit System.
Madras High Court directive to Anna University : Publication of the rank list and pass percentage of various engineering colleges
Business Standard | Press Trust of India | Madurai |May 13, 2015 |
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court today directed the Anna University to consider a representation seeking publication of the rank list and pass percentage of various engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu to enable aspirants to choose the best institution during the coming single window counselling for admission. Justice T.Sivagnanam and Justice G.Chockalingam gave the direction to the Registrar of the university on a petition by one G.V.Vairam Santhosh. The petitioner submitted it was necessary for the students, who aspired to join engineering colleges, to know the details of the academic performance and pass percentage of the colleges so that they could make an “informed choice.”
He further said the university, the affiliating university for the 500-odd colleges in the state, had all the right to release such a list and there was no need to get the approval of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The university had released academic performance and pass percentage of the colleges last year on the orders of the high court and it helped the students, but this year no such list had been published, he said. When questioned, the university maintained that they released the list last year because the court had ordered. Hence, he had approached the court, the petitioner said. Courtesy