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MIT Pune to start railway engineering college in Solapur

The Indian Express | Express News Service | Pune | April 23, 2017 |

Stating that though Indian Railways is one of the largest rail networks, railway engineering is stressed and taken seriously worldwide except India, said MIT officials, adding that in China, more than 80 courses are offered related to railway engineering.

Coming as a good news for students who have an interest in working with the engineering department of the Indian Railways, the MAEER’s MIT Group of Institutions, Pune is set to open up a railway engineering college at Barshi, Solapur. The institute claims the college would be one-of-its-kind in India.  The institute, which will start from June-July this academic year, has got the approval from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), said MIT officials. Degree courses will be offered at the college whose syllabus include topics like railway system planning, railway infrastructure, railway operations, and so on. Besides the syllabus will include civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, electronics and telecommunications engineering, computer engineering, industrial and production engineering and Railway Systems Engineering.

Stating that though Indian Railways is one of the largest rail networks, railway engineering is stressed and taken seriously worldwide except India, said MIT officials, adding that in China, more than 80 courses are offered related to railway engineering. “To ensure introduction of high velocity engines, safety of railway passengers and minimum delay in journeys, modernisation of railway technology and engineering is a must. In that direction, railway systems engineering needs massive development and that can only be possible with highly qualified and skilled railway engineers,” said Dr Vishwanath D Karad, founder president, MAEER’s MIT, Pune. –  Courtesy

275 engineering colleges have applied for closure, AICTE chairman says

The Times of India | Adarsh Jain | TNN |  Apr 22, 2017  |

Representational Image

COIMBATORE: A total of 275 engineering colleges across the country applied for closure this year, said chairman of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Anil D Sahasrabuddhe on Friday.  The maximum number of institutions that have applied for closure are from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. “The number of institutions are almost equal from all states. Tamil Nadu and Andhra alone have more,” Sahasrabuddhe said here.  In the past two years, the AICTE has been actively working on reducing the quantity of engineering institutions across the country. The regulatory body has also reduced the penalty for closing down an engineering institution that was a deterrent for many colleges which were willing to shut in the midst of poor demand. Sahasrabuddhe was in Coimbatore to inaugurate a teacher training programme on e-learning at Sri Krishna College of Engineering and Technology.  An initiative of the AICTE under the Union ministry of human resource and development, the teacher training programme is a pan-India exercise. “A total of eight programmes are being conducted where we are training faculty members from selected institutions on e-learning. And, these faculty members will train their colleagues at their respective institutions,” said AICTE director Mandeep Singh Manna.

 The teacher training programme will aim at equipping faculties of engineering institutions on using digital platforms like Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM) for higher education. “There are about 280 subjects in SWAYAM so far, and about 350 subjects are ready to be introduced. We are looking at having 2000 subjects in the next two years,” said the chairman of AICTE.  The Union ministry of human resource and development has passed a regulation to introduce choice-based credit system where the student is allowed to choose courses of his choice from SWAYAM and earn credits for it.  Faculty from institutions across the country are working or preparing the modules for each subject. “Interested faculty has to first send a three-minute video to us about the module which will be scrutinised by an expert committee. Thereafter, we will decide if the faculty can be allowed to prepare the module for that particular subject,” said Sahasrabuddhe.  Asked if the faculty would get credits during his appraisal for preparing a module for SWAYAM, Sahasrabuddhe said, “We will introduce it in the appraisal system soon. Anybody who has taken efforts to prepare a module should be rewarded for it.”   –  Courtesy

Govt shifts focus from HRD inspection to self-disclosure for university and college accreditation

Live Mint |  Thu, Apr 20 2017  |   Prashant K Nanda |

Instead of HRD ministry and NAAC sending teams for inspection, educational institutions will now disclose their claims on an online platform for accreditation.

Like what it advocates for industries, the Union government is now shifting focus from inspection of colleges and universities to self-disclosure as a prerequisite for granting accreditation.  Instead of the human resource development (HRD) ministry and the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) sending expert teams for inspection and relying on their field visit report for granting accreditation, educational institutions are now required to disclose their claims on an online platform.  The move comes as accreditation is becoming essential for getting approval to open new departments, courses or extending the legal approval of an institution in entirety. The move will be part of the proposed plan to revamp the NAAC, the apex accreditation body that accredits colleges and universities in India. NAAC off late is facing criticism for poor rigour and subjectivity, hence a need for revamping its function.  The expert field visits which are now the key criterion for grading and accrediting institutions will get only 20% weightage. As part of the restructuring, NAAC has already stopped accrediting institutions beginning 1 April. Beginning July, the new accreditation process will kick in.  The move follows HRD minister Prakash Javadekar expressing unhappiness over the current functioning of NAAC and how it gives very high grades to even some of the institutions which are perceived poor in their education outcome.

“NAAC has embarked in revising its Assessment and Accreditation Framework. The revised framework would be more ICT enabled and is expected to come into effect from July 2017,” NAAC director D.P. Singh said in a circular posted on the official website.  However, all applications received prior to 1 April will be assessed via the old methodology that predominantly uses field visit reports by expert teams. An HRD ministry official said that Javadekar has already expressed his “willingness to rope in top institutions like IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) and IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) for the accreditation process to clip the wings of NAAC”.  The new system will now have inputs from top institutions and domain experts and try to reduce possible malpractice in the accreditation process. Once the new system is in place, colleges and universities will not know in advance which team will visit them for evaluation and travel and logistics plan may get outsourced to a third party—in a way, this will add a surprise element and reduce possible joint efforts by some experts and institutions for mutual benefit.  India’s higher education regulators like the University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) are now asking colleges and universities to get accredited and accreditation is playing an important role in getting approval for starting new courses, opening departments or extending old approvals. Hence, the HRD ministry feels that unless the NAAC process is revamped, it will not serve the purpose. –  Courtesy

VTU does a trip-tease

After the recent tragedy that took the lives of 8 Belagavi students, the vice-chancellor is looking to enforce AICTE’s guidelines for college tours, to ensure safety. Although the college was not blamed, a gentle appeal was made to the institute to compensate the victims’ families. The new rules now bring to the fore the need for pre-trip insurance. Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), Belagavi, has decided to enforce guidelines on college trips for all institutions affiliated with it after the death of eight students from Maratha Mandal Engineering College on Saturday. University Vice-Chancellor Karisiddappa told Bangalore Mirror that the tragic drowning of the students off the coast of Maharashtra has called for these measures.  “This is a really unfortunate incident. I don’t have details of it, but if there were faculty members present at the spot, then it might have been a scheduled trip by the college. In such a case, the college should have taken precautionary measures to ensure the safety of students,” he told BM, en route to Belagavi from Davanagere after a college visit.

The group of 47 students from the engineering college had been accompanied by two staff members. The students had reportedly been warned by locals about high tide, but they had ignored them and stepped into the water.  The guidelines on college trips, Karisiddappa said, would be issued to all colleges under VTU. “These have been laid down by the All India Committee of Technical Education (AICTE) and University Grants Commission (UGC) for the safety of students. Normally, colleges take insurance for students in such cases. I do not know if this college had done it. So from now onwards, all colleges will have to follow the guidelines,” he said.  The AICTE had issued these guidelines for all the technical institutions across the country a year after the tragic death of 24 students from Hyderabad at Beas river in Himachal Pradesh in 2014.  “The college administration must compensate the families who have lost their children,” he said, adding that although he didn’t blame the college, it would be a thoughtful gesture.
SOME KEY GUIDELINES
The head of the institution should ensure that security i-cards are issued to students; college must maintain a database of personal details of students

Permission to be obtained for the place to be visited from local authorities
Insurance / accident cover for students
Permission from parents or guardians
Fitness certificate from a doctor
College faculty accompanying students must take accountability for the safety of students
Activities in a waterbody must be taken up under the supervision of a trainer/lifeguard.   –   Courtesy

AICTE Approves Measures To Improve Technical Education Standards

ND TV | Shihabudeen Kunju S |  April 10, 2017  |

New Delhi:  With a view to improve the standards of technical education and to provide competent technical manpower for the Make-In-India campaign, the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has approved various packages of measures to be implemented by all the technical institutions.  Minister of State (Human Resources Development), Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey today in a written reply to a Lok Sabha question listed these measures taken bay AICTE:
Induction training
Every student, on admission, shall be put through a mandatory Induction training to reinforce the fundamental concepts and the required language skills required for the technical education.
Revision of curriculum
Every affiliating Technical University shall constitute subject-wise industry consultation committee (ICC) with the mandate of examining the existing curriculum and for making suitable changes in the curriculum every year. This process shall be completed in the month of December each year for the courses to be offered in the coming Academic year. Each institution, while applying for approval, shall certify completion of this process, which will be mandatory.
Mandatory internships

Every student in technical institution shall do three internships each spanning 4 to 8 weeks before completion of the under-graduation. The responsibility will be on the institution for helping the students in finding suitable industry or organisation for the internship.
Industry readiness
All students passing out of the undergraduate courses shall be imparted technical and soft skills required for working in the industry encompassing – managerial skills, entrepreneurial skills, leadership skills, communication skills, team-working skills and technical skills.
Promoting innovation/start-ups

There shall be efforts at every level for promoting innovation and creativity in the students. The innovation drives like Hackathon shall be promoted, so that innovative ideas would emerge that can be incubated in the start-up centres.
Exam reforms
The final exams being conducted by the institutions shall test the understanding of the concepts and the skill – rather than the subject knowledge. A model exam format would be prepared and shared with the institutions and the technical universities for suitable adoption. This aspect would be reviewed at the time of approval.
Training of teachers
Every teacher in each of the technical education disciplines shall mandatorily undergo an annual refresher course delivered through SWAYAM portal, encapsulating all the major advances in the field of their study. Online courses would also be prepared and delivered through the SWAYAM platform for improving the pedagogical techniques of the teachers. The participation in the courses by atleast 50% of the faculty would be a mandatory condition for approval of the institution. Similarly, there should be leadership training to the heads of the institutions once in 2 years. These trainings would also be hosted through the SWAYAM platform.

Mandatory accreditation
At least half of all the programmes in the technical institutions shall be accredited through the NBA before 2022. Unless there is credible progress each year, the approval of the institutions can be refused. In order to assist the institutions in meeting the mandatory requirements for applying for accreditation, a separate mechanism will be put in place. – Courtesy

Bajaj engineering college (BIT) shuns Nagpur University, seeks affiliation from BATU

The Times of India | Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Apr 12, 2017 |

Nagpur: In what could be termed as a big setback to Nagpur University, automobile giant Bajaj Group which is opening its first ever engineering college in Wardha, wouldn’t be seeking affiliation from it. Instead, it would be seeking affiliation from the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technical University (BATU), based in Lonere in Raigad district.  To be named as Bajaj Institute of Technology (BIT), the institute would commence admissions from this academic session, after getting clearance from AICTE, which is expected by April end. Shiksha Mandal, the NGO under which Bajaj Group runs its education institutions in the region, had already applied to Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) to include BIT’s name in the centralized admission process (CAP).  “We want our college to be the best and at par with top ones in country. For that, we need to have best of the curriculum which fulfils today’s industries’ needs. We came to the opinion that BATU, which is established with special purpose for enhancing quality of engineering education and research, is best suited to our aspirations,” said Sanjay Bhargava, president of Shiksha Mandal.

The mandal currently runs seven colleges in Wardha and Nagpur, of which six are government aided. The group’s colleges are known for providing quality education at affordable cost with over 10,000 students and 250 teachers on rolls. TOI, on April 9, 2010, had first reported about automobile bellwether’s plans to open such a college in Vidarbha, quoting Bhargava.  Bhargava told TOI that soon the government would be announcing its plans to start single engineering university on the lines of Maharashtra University of Health Science (MUHS) in Nashik, to which all colleges offering health science courses were affiliated. “The government has already announced BATU’s name and all colleges would need to be attached with it. Therefore, we decided to take its affiliation now, so that we wouldn’t face troubles in future,” he said, adding that fees would be kept affordable for the students, keeping in view group’s philosophy.

BIT would offer 240 seats across four branches — Mechanical, civil, electrical and electronics. “It would be coming up at a land adjacent to the GS College on Arvi Road in Wardha. Against requirement of just 10 acres, we’ve provided 31 acres for the colleges, considering the future expansion plans. Even our main administrative building is almost ready. We’ve received over 500 applications for the teachers’ posts, which we’ve kept on hold till we get apex body’s approval,” Bhargava said.  Interestingly, all of group’s colleges are affiliated to NU, three among them — two GS colleges and JB Science — have already applied for autonomy. The JB Science and GS colleges in Wardha have figured among top 150 institutions of the country in recently released rankings of ‘National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)’ issued by the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD). – Courtesy

AICTE all set to release model examination format

The Hindu | NEW DELHI April 09, 2017 | Vikas Pathak |

To test students’ understanding of concepts and skill

The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has set the ball rolling for the provision of a model examination format to technical education institutions to test the students’ understanding of concepts and skills, as part of a slew of reforms finalised recently by the technical education regulator. “The final exams being conducted by the institutions shall test the understanding of the concepts and the skill — rather than the subject knowledge,” says a recent resolution of the AICTE. “A model exam format would be prepared and shared with the institutions and the technical universities for suitable adoption. This aspect would be reviewed at the time of approval.” Curricula will also be revised annually, the AICTE has resolved.  “Every affiliating technical university shall constitute subject-wise industry consultation committee (ICC) with the mandate of examining the existing curriculum and for making suitable changes in the curriculum every year. This process shall be completed in the month of December each year for the courses to be offered in the coming academic year. Each institution, while applying for approval, shall certify completion of this process, which will be mandatory,” the resolution says.

 Refresher course

Teachers in technical institutions will also be required to mandatorily undergo an annual online refresher course to ensure better quality in teaching. Heads of institutions will also have to undergo leadership training.  “Every teacher shall mandatorily undergo an annual refresher course delivered through SWAYAM portal, encapsulating all the major advances in the field of their study. Online courses would also be prepared and delivered through the SWAYAM platform for improving the pedagogical techniques of the teachers. The participation in the courses by at least 50% of the faculty would be a mandatory condition for approval of the institution,” the resolution says. “Similarly, there should be leadership training to the heads of the institutions once in 2 years. These trainings would also be hosted through the SWAYAM platform.” This apart, there will be compulsory student induction training to ensure the brushing up of fundamental concepts and required linguistic skills. – Courtesy

AICTE Seventh Pay Commission – Online Questionnaire

06 April 2017 | New Delhi |

AICTE Seventh Pay Commission –Online Questionnaire

Review Feedback:

AICTE : Engineering colleges to be penalised for violating pay scales

Business Standard | Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi  April 5, 2017  |   Action to be taken against engineering colleges for violating pay scales  |

Non-adherence to pay scales for teachers, and student-faculty ratio may lead to suspension of admission process or reduction in intake in tech institutions under new norms of All India Council for Technical Education.  In a recent meeting, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) approved new norms for grant of approvals to technical institutions.  There are over 3,000 AICTE-registered engineering institutes.  The decision comes at a time when faculty members at various central universities including the DU, the JNU and the AMU are protesting against the non-adherence to pay scales and are demanding that recommendations of UGC’s seventh pay review committee be made public.

“Institutions not adhering to pay scales or qualifications prescribed for teaching staff for more than 12 months and not maintaining prescribed faculty-student ratio shall be liable to punitive actions including suspension of approval for supernumerary seats and reduction in approved intake,” a senior AICTE official told PTI.  The council may also decide to suspend admission in the respective courses for one academic year and withdraw approval of the course or of the institution altogether, the official added.  The AICTE may also initiate penal action against technical institutions for not disbursing the salary of the faculty and other staffers regularly and not adhering to timings for the colleges that operate in two shifts.  The second shift has to be run as per the declared timing — from 1 PM to 9 PM– with 50 per cent additional faculty, which would be subject to surprise inspection. Any violation of timing and of number of faculty members may lead to closure of the course, official said. –  Courtesy

Top 25 engineering colleges in India : NIRF ranking 2017

The Indian Express | April 3, 2017  |

Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday announced the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) rankings for the top universities in India. Among the engineering institutions, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras has bagged the top position.  IIT Madras took the top position among engineering institutes even in the 2016 NIRF ranking. Among the top 10 this year, there are eight IITs including IIT Bombay, Kharagpur, Delhi and Roorkee. The other non-IIT institutes among the top 10 are Anna University, Chennai and Jadavpur University Kolkata.

Top 25 Engineering institutes  –    https://www.nirfindia.org/EngineeringRanking.html

1. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
2. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
3. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
4. Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
5. Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
6. Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
7. Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati
8. Anna University, Chennai
9. Jadavpur University, Kolkata
10. Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad
11. National Institute of Technology, Titruchirapalli
12. National Insititute of Technology, Rourkela
13. Vellore Institute of Technology
14. Institute of Chemical Technology
15. Indian Institute of Technology, Indore
16. Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
17. Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur
18. Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneshwar
19. Indian Institute of Technology, Patna
20. Jamia Millia Islamia
21. Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar
22. National Insititute of Technology, Surathkal
23. Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines)
24. College of Engineering, Pune
25. Shanmugha Arts Science and Technology and Research Academy –   Courtesy