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VTU says eight ‘niche’ courses are equal to traditional engineering degrees

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Economic Times |Bharath Joshi |  , ET Bureau |  Apr 26, 2017  |

BENGALURU: With some niche engineering courses facing an identify crisis, the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) is considering certifying them as equivalent to a degree in traditional courses. The move is expected to help graduates who have passed out of niche courses but are shunned by the industry during recruitment. Students with these niche degrees -information science, for instance -find it difficult to get a job. The university will now certify it as equivalent to computer science, with which it shares similar syllabus. “Students faced an identity problem with some of the courses. The industry wanted to know the equivalence of some specific courses,“ VTU Registrar HN Jagannath Reddy said. The university often faced queries from recruitment bodies such as the Karnataka Public Service Commission who sought clarity on the relevance of these degrees, he said.  The VTU had introduced eight niche streams –automobile engineering, industrial production, tool engineering, transportation engineering, construction technology and management engineering, information science engineering, electronics and instrumentation engineering. Besides these, traditional streams such as mechanical, civil, computer science, information technology and electronics and communications are also on offer.

Experts point out that colleges carve out new courses from existing ones if only to increase admission numbers. The information science and engineering course is a classic example. “The syllabus for this course is 95% similar to computer science and engineering,“ BMS College of Engineering principal Mallikharjuna Babu K said, hailing the university’s move. A dozen colleges in Karnataka closed down this course since 2015. According to CMR Institute of Technology (CMRIT) principal Sanjay Chitnis, this is in line with the trend of closing down or mapping courses with existing ones.“There is over-specialisation at the undergraduate level, which is supposed to focus on the basics,“ he said. Chitnis cited the example of electronics and communications engineering and telecommunication engineering courses offered by CMRIT like many other colleges.“They are 90% similar but recruiters specifically ask for electronics and communications graduates.“  H Karan Kumar, head of IT consulting and management group Shruth & Smith Holdings, agreed.“Traditional degrees are better understood by universities overseas and many corporates in their talent acquisition process,“ he said .  Courtesy

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