Hindustan Times | New Delhi | Mar 23, 2017 | Neelam Pandey |
Engineering courses in India are set to receive a syllabi revision that will make them contemporary enough to fulfill industry requirements. The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has set up a committee of subject experts to review the existing syllabi, and recommend curricula changes at engineering and technical institutes – excluding IITs and NITs – across the country. The move is aimed at addressing concerns about the falling employability of engineers. The regulatory body, which approved a single entrance examination for engineering colleges (National Entrance Exam or NEEM) recently, has now issued regulations that mandate affiliated technical universities to revise their syllabi annually in consultation with industry players. The institutions will have to set up subject-wise industry consultation committees (ICCs) every year, and then incorporate their recommendations into their engineering syllabi. As it is, the AICTE has a model curriculum that is used by affiliated universities as a base for preparing their own syllabi. A committee of experts is all set to revise it for the first time in nine years, and the suggestions made in this regard will be submitted after the summer vacation – in time for the next academic session. The panel comprises sub-groups of various subject experts, each headed by an IIT professor.
Former IIT-Roorkee director Pradipta Banerji welcomed the council’s move to revise the engineering syllabi. “The crucial part is – it will be done in consultation with the industry. Most engineers remain unemployed because their skills are not in sync with industry requirements,” he said. The move was spurred by feedback received by the Centre on the dismal state of engineering education in the country. Though India has 3,000-odd registered engineering institutes that produce seven lakh students annually, only 30-40% of them land jobs. The low-employability levels are attributed as much to the lack of requisite skills as the falling demand in the industry. “The fields of engineering and technology undergo changes every day, and we need to keep up with their requirements. Students need to have skills required by the industry. Some of the institutes are still teaching decades-old syllabi and using obsolete teaching tools,” said a senior official from the human resource development (HRD) ministry. “There has to be a constant dialogue between educational institutes and the industry. Each institution, while applying for approval, will have to mandatorily certify the completion of this process. If they fail to do so, action will be taken against them,” he added. The process of setting up ICCs and revising the syllabus has to be completed by December every year. All the engineering institutes in India use different tools and techniques to teach students and test their skills. However, for years, many of them have neglected revising their curricula to keep up with the rapid strides in technological advancement. HRD minister Prakash Javadekar had also asked engineering institutes to revise their curricula with industry requirements in mind. – Courtesy