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Money Control News | Dec 11, 2017 | Opinion |
AICTE data suggests that less than half the of engineering students in the country have got jobs through campus placement over the last five years.
Technical education institutions in India, particularly those that offer BE (bachelor of engineering) and B Tech (bachelor of technology) courses, are running at 49 percent capacity, according to a report by the Financial Express. The report also stated that according to data from All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), less than half the students passing out of these courses have found job via campus placements in the last five years. The job placement figure is even worse if you see only the standalone figure for last year, which stood at a paltry 40 percent. After a series of extremely disappointing numbers like these, the apex technical education body of the country – the AICTE – is now considering asking colleges with less than 70 percent occupancy to wind up and shut shop. This shocking situation also gained prominence after various reports online suggested that the quality of education in the country is worsening. The reasons for such a poor state of affairs are various, including corruption at various levels, poor infrastructure facilities like labs, and lack of skilled teaching faculty.
Factors like these are hampering the quality of graduates these colleges are churning out every year. External factors like poor connections with an industry body add insult to injury. However, industry stalwarts have a different take on the story. RC Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki, who is also Chairman of IIT Kanpur, was quoted by Financial Express as saying, “Most of the graduates don’t know the basics of engineering. The reason these vacancies keep increasing is because graduates can’t find jobs. That’s because employers don’t think they are worth employing. Most people will tell you that 80 percent of engineering graduates are not employable.” Experts also blame market factors for this situation. In the wake of the dotcom bubble during the late 90s and early 2000s, when the IT industry saw a rush of software-related jobs, companies were in dire need of engineers. The situation was so grave that employers even chose to ignore a candidate’s branch of engineering, if he or she could code. DK Subramaniam, professor at IISc, said that private players have now stepped up in order to keep pace with the booming demand but government institutions have stayed away from the software engineering branch. Although this helped calm things down back then, the situation turned serious when scrupulous institutions started cropping up by the hour. The situation has resulted in a vicious circle in which low quality engineers are forcing the industry to hire less. Reduced demand in turn results in lower number of people choosing to enter the field. Unless and until universities step up their game, courses like BE and B Tech will continue turning more and more unviable by the day. – Courtesy
Engineering colleges vacant seats: Students alert! The horrific nature of the situation revealed
The Financial Express | December 12, 2017 |
That engineering colleges across the country have failed for some years to fill their seats was known—but over half the seats in the country remaining vacant in 2016-17 is shocking indeed.
That engineering colleges across the country have failed for some years to fill their seats was known—but over half the seats in the country remaining vacant in 2016-17 is shocking indeed. As per The Indian Express, 51% of the over 15 lakh seats in over 3,900 engineering colleges in India had not been filled last year. There are many factors to blame, from an explosion of career choices, professional courses and relevant employment opportunities to the general decline in demand for engineers, mainly in the IT sector. The IT sector fuelled the mushrooming of engineering colleges in the country; as the nature of IT employment changed over the years with greater focus on technologies like cloud and digital—and automation entered the workplace—appetite for engineering courses that geared one for a traditional IT job waned. Similarly, employment opportunities in other engineering disciplines had also thinned—somewhat compensated by IT till a few years ago—except for a few core disciplines like mining/metallurgy, civil, mechanical, etc. However, engineering education has been hit the hardest by lax quality-checks even as engineering institutes proliferated. As a result, recruiters have gotten very selective over the last couple of years—the IT boom had meant the exact opposite. Various studies finding a large chunk of engineering students unemployable—the oft-cited Aspiring Minds study found 80% of 150,000 engineering students across 650 engineering institutions unfit for engineering jobs—has only highlighted the problem, making recruiters even more cautious about quality. Most of the blame for this lies at the door of the technical education regulator, AICTE. The AICTE has been more than generous with granting approval even as it has turned a blind-eye to the infrastructure and instruction quality at the institutions it approved. Many well-meaning experts have suggested putting a moratorium on AICTE approvals for some years. However, that is no solution because such a move will also choke off creation of educational infrastructure in a country that is looking to improve its gross enrolment ratio in the tertiary education age population. Instead, setting strict standards of quality for approval and cancelling the approval of existing institutions that fail to meet these—perhaps through a new regulatory framework—works better. – Courtesy
Financial Express | PTI | December 8, 2017 |
An Indian-American firm is planning to introduce a new method of teaching science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to middle and secondary school students in India through experiential learning.
An Indian-American firm is planning to introduce a new method of teaching science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to middle and secondary school students in India through experiential learning. The Atlanta-based STEM Academy has said that it will open a “Center of Excellence” in Delhi next month that will train and certify teachers. It will be launched in selected schools across India from January 1 for students enrolled in grades four through 10. The Academy’s mission is to ignite the innovative trait in young Indian students and “create a new generation of youngsters who will think out of the box,” said Amitabh Sharma, a co-founder of the Academy. Noting that this is quite in line with former US president Barack Obama’s drive ‘Educate to Innovate’, Sharma said “if US can get benefitted with STEM, so can India with its current focus on aggressive programmes like ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘New India’ etc.” The programme targets students enrolled in schools affiliated with four major boards that regulate primary and secondary school education in India: the Central Board of Secondary Education, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination, State School Boards and International Baccalaureate. “It is an interdisciplinary way of teaching maths and science, integrated with day-to-day engineering and technology,” said Sharma, who has an MBA, a law degree and a doctorate in marketing. A serial entrepreneur with experience in oil and gas, information technology and education, Sharma is the founding chair of the American India Foundation’s Atlanta Leadership Council. Sharma said the Indian school outreach and implementation is being done by Gurgaon-based India channel partner MPower Global STEM Education.
Observing that STEM has come to assume great significance in view of re-igniting innovation and creativity amongst school going children, he said this methodology is increasingly finding more followers every day as far as in India. “Yet the efficacy of STEM based learning has by far been limited due to apparent lack of structure,” he said, adding that STEM Academy of USA has developed a unique implementation strategy for India. “The world has acknowledged the strength and significance of practical project based learning. Perhaps it is time to move away from traditional rote learning to out-of-the-box creativity oriented learning that nurtures well rounded leaders.” “Indian youngsters then will well be on the path to becoming capable world citizens and catapulting India to its inventive best,” Sharma said. – Courtesy / Do visit——-> MPower Global – MPower Global / http://www.stemacademyofusa.com/
Deccan Herald | Prakash Kumar | DH News Service | New Delhi | Dec 11 2017 |
The All India Council for Technical Education has kick-started the process to fix minimum and maximum fees for engineering courses, and assigned the task to a committee headed by Justice (Retd) B N Srikrishna. The move comes two years after the council accepted the recommendations of a 10-member committee – headed by the same judge – on capping the fees for engineering, architecture, information technology, management, pharmacy and nursing courses. But that committee had prescribed only the maximum fee limits. Many technical institutions from different states demanded a uniform minimum fee limit, too. They argued that they were struggling to run technical courses as several states had fixed the minimum fee limit in the absence of guidelines from the AICTE, official sources in the council said. “To address their grievances, the council has decided to fix both minimum and maximum fee limits for all technical institutes. The Srikrishna committee has been asked to make fresh recommendations,” a source added. The fee limits, to be notified on the basis of the panel’s recommendations, will also apply to the deemed-to-be-universities that offer technical programmes in various disciplines, the sources said. The AICTE had formed the Justice Srikrishna committee, asking it to prescribe fee limits so as to check profiteering by private institutions. The council’s move followed the Supreme Court verdict in the TMA Pai Foundation case. The committee submitted its report in 2015, prescribing varying maximum fee limits for technical programmes on the basis of factors such as tuition and development fees in tier-1, tier-II and tier-III cities. – Courtesy
AICTE wants a minimum fee for technical courses – Neelam Pandey | Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Dec 10, 2017 |
Justice Srikrishna committee had put a ceiling on maximum fee institutes can charge but did not prescribe the minimum amount for courses.
A year after the regulatory body put a ceiling on the maximum fee technical institutes can charge students, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has now prescribed a minimum fee for the colleges governed by it. A government-appointed committee had recommended putting a cap on the tuition fee last year, following which AICTE directed all the states to implement the recommendation at all private institutes for technical courses, including engineering and MBA. But no word on minimum fee meant several states lowered the fee for various courses. The AICTE has written to the Justice Srikrishna committee that was set up to fix a fee cap for technical institutes, asking them to prescribe the minimum fee as well. Sources in the HRD ministry said the committee has accepted the suggestion in-principal. There are over 7,000 institutes under AICTE.
“A number of institutes have written to us that in some states they have been asked to lower the fee to Rs30,000 per semester which is not feasible. They said they are adhering to the maximum fee cap but a minimum limit should also be set. We have written to the committee and they have agreed to it. It will be worked out soon,” said a senior AICTE official. The AICTE last year made it mandatory to implement proposals of the National Fee Committee, a 10-member panel headed by former Supreme Court Judge BN Srikrishna, which was formed in 2014 to prescribe fee guidelines for technical institutions. The AICTE had said that institutions failing to comply with the recommendations will face legal proceedings and cancellation of their AICTE approval. The report prescribed caps on tuition fees and related funds charged by institutes for engineering, management, pharma and technical courses. But autonomous and accredited institutions will be allowed to charge an additional 10% and 20% tuition fees respectively. IITs will not be affected by the move as they do not require the AICTE’s approval. For instance, the committee had fixed the maximum (tuition and development) fee for a two-year MBA course at Rs1.57 lakh to Rs 1.71 lakh per annum, depending on the location of the institute. The annual fee for a four-year engineering degree (BE or B Tech) was fixed at Rs 1.44 lakh to 1.58 lakh. Similarly, maximum fee for technical courses like B Arch, B Pharma, MCA and M Tech were are fixed by them. – Courtesy
Hindustan Times | Neelam Pandey | New Delhi | Dec 07, 2017 |
Failing to follow these norms will mean that colleges will have to pay a fine — the amount being twice the total fee collected per student.
All technical institutes in the country will now have to publish a complete list of fees, on their websites and will not be permitted to charge students for any other costs, according to new rules notified by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) on Thursday. Failing to follow these norms will mean that colleges will have to pay a fine — the amount being twice the total fee collected per student. Not only this, the AICTE can also suspend approval for NRI and supernumerary seats given to any institution for one academic year. Also, according to the new rules, no institute will be able to name itself a way that the abbreviated form of the name matches the country’s premier institutes — IIM, IIT, IISc, NIT or government bodies such as AICTE, UGC, MHRD, GoI. The council says this rule was brought in to avoid confusion. “This (naming institutions along similar lines) is often done to mislead the students and they end up taking admission in such institutes,” said a senior AICTE official. The regulations have been notified in a document called the All India Council for Technical Education (Grant of Approvals for the Technical Institutions) (1st Amendment) Regulations, 2017. As per the notification, fees charged by these institutions will have to be clearly announced on their website. No other fees can be collected from the students aside from those that are fixed by the state/fee regulatory committee. The norms have also prescribed penalties for violations. For instance, the penalty for charging excess fees will be twice the total fees collected per student.
The excess amount collected will also have to be refunded to the student. Additionally, the sanctioned intake of the institute will also be cut down. The institute can also lose its approval to operate along with its approval for the programme/course. “The applicant shall also not use the word(s) Government, India, Indian, National, All India, All India Council, Commission anywhere in the name of the Technical Institution and other names as prohibited under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use), Act, 1950…” reads the notification issued by the council. The notification also extends to foreign universities/institutions operating in India by opening their own centres or having entered into partnerships with domestic institutions. The notification adds that in such cases, the council will inform concerned agencies including the ministry of external affairs, the home ministry and the Reserve Bank of India of their decision and advise them against issuing visas to employees/teachers and to stop repatriation of funding. – Courtesy
The New Indian Express | Express News Service | 03rd December 2017 |
CHENNAI: In a bid to expose students to real-time developments and technological needs of the industry, the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has partnered with the European Union for a novel concept in technical education for developing countries called ‘Dual Education’. This concept merges classroom learning with industrial experience and allows students undergoing internships to spend considerable time in industries as full-time workers. Usually in internship, students tend to work in industries as part-time workers as part of their curriculum. TEEDE (Towards Excellence in Engineering Curricula in Dual Education) is a consortium, funded by the European Union and Erasmus+, of eminent universities in Europe and Asia. The consortium is working to take this novel model of technical education to the developing countries. It has selected Rajesh Nair, associate professor in Petroleum Engineering, Department of Ocean Engineering, to be the project coordinator at the IIT-Madras.
A three-day brainstorming was held at the institute from November 30 with delegates from India, Russia, Europe and Asia taking part in it. Professor R Nagarajan, Dean of International and Alumni Affairs, said internationalisation and industry relations are the two biggest priorities of the IIT- Madras and this initiative brings these two in the most effective way. “We are proud of partnering with EU in this pioneering effort,” he said. The partners of this TEEDE consortium are various eminent universities from Russia, Italy, Cambodia, Germany, India, China, Finland, Belgium and Spain. The expected outcome would be an upgraded curriculum in engineering education in developing countries based on the economic needs of respective countries. Professor Rajesh Nair said that ‘Dual Education’ narrows the gap between industry requirement and curriculum. “As an example for doctoral research programme, there will be two guides – one for industry and another for academia. The purpose of the TEEDE is to add industrial component to the curriculum, thereby upgrading it, improving employability, ensuing career enhancement and giving a professional edge,” he said.
Hindustan Times | Neelam Pandey | Dec 03, 2017 | New Delhi |
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has started the process of registration of such students who will get an opportunity to write a test following which their degrees will stand validated.
Days after the University Grants Commission (UGC) suspended the degrees awarded to students of four deemed universities, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has started the process of registration of such students who will get an opportunity to write a test following which their degrees will stand validated. The AICTE and UGC on Sunday started the registration of candidates enrolled in deemed-to-be universities from 2001 to 2005 and were awarded degrees/diplomas in engineering through distance mode. Candidates have been given time till January 15 to register for the test. The degrees will remain suspended till they clear it, officials said. Officials said that the entrance exam will be conducted in May or June. “All the degrees of the students remain suspended. The last date for registration is January 15 and students need to register online. A written as well as practical examination will be conducted for the students,” reads the public notice issued by AICTE.
Financial Express | FE Online | December 2, 2017 |
Meanwhile, another 500 engineering colleges are under the scanner for not being able to fill up seats according to a senior HRD official.
In a decision taken by the government, more than 300 private engineering colleges would be reportedly asked to stop functioning from the 2018-19 academic session. The institutions which have less than 30 percent enrolment for five consecutive years, would be asked not to undertake any admission process for any fresh batch, as per the report by the Times of India. With total intake capacity of 13.56 lakh, India has close to 3,000 private engineering colleges offering undergraduate courses, as per the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) website. The report adds that out of these, there are around 800 engineering colleges whose enrolment percentage is less than 50 percent. Not only this, as per the Human Resource Department (HRD) sources, over 150 out of 300 institutions which would be asked to close operations as engineering colleges, have less than 20% enrolment. So, if your college is also having the same problem, it might have to face the heat. Meanwhile, another 500 engineering colleges are under the scanner for not being able to fill up seats according to a senior HRD official. All such colleges have been asked by AICTE to consider alternate options like converting to science colleges or vocational education institutions, the report added. The matter will, however, be finalised by end of December 2017.
AICTE earlier in the month of September wanted to shut down about 800 engineering colleges across India as there are no takers for their seats, and the admissions are plunging in these institutions. AICTE has earlier given a nod to the closure of more than 410 colleges across India, from 2014-15 to 2017-18. Out of these 20 are in Karnataka. The maximum number of institutions was approved for closure in 2016-17. Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have the maximum number of institutions that were shut, the report added. A progressive closure means that the college can no more admit students to the new batch but the existing students will continue. AICTE had also introduced the plan for teachers training keeping in mind the quality of engineering education and their employability being a big challenge. – Courtesy
The Times of India | Preeti Biswas | TNN | Dec 2, 2017 |
HYDERABAD: Soon, students and academicians may face penal action if found guilty of plagiarism as the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has instructed all technical institutions to install credible anti-plagiarism software for all academic and research and development (R&D) related activities. As part of its effort to inculcate a zero tolerance approach towards plagiarism, the policy and academic planning bureau issued a circular to all the AICTE-approved institutions on Friday urging them to undertake strong measures to curb plagiarism. “To develop a robust innovation ecosystem in technical institutions and to prevent the menace of plagiarism, it is advised that all AICTE approved institutions should create awareness about academic integrity and use credible anti-plagiarism software for all their academic and R&D related activities such as MTech/BTech project reports, PhD thesis and research publications etc in this regard,” reads the circular.
Students submitting thesis, dissertation, term papers, reports or any other such documents often submit an undertaking indicating that the document has been prepared by him or her and that the document is his/her original work and free of plagiarism. Teachers, however, argue that despite signing an undertaking, many students resort to plagiarism due to lack of guidance as well as an attempt to take the easier path. “A majority of students simply copy statements from journals and try to reproduce them. Since there was no notice issued by the AICTE so far insisting on institutions having certain software, plagiarism often went unnoticed, especially at undergraduate level,” said Ramakrishna Reddy, president of Telangana Affiliated Engineering Colleges Teachers Association, adding how most colleges don’t even have an anti-plagiarism software. With lack of advanced plagiarism detection options available, college managements claim they have to use open source tools from the web. “Since the AICTE has not asked us to buy any proprietary software, we end up using open source tools which are not very advanced. With the circular coming into effect, we are hopeful that advanced softwarewill be available,” said Srini Bupalam, vice-president of All India Federation of Self Financing Technical Institutions. AICTE has also instructed institutions to conduct workshops for promoting integrity and prevent plagiarism. “Institutes should warn the stakeholders about penal action in case of detection of plagiarism,” reads the circular. Even University Grants Commission has drafted a new policy to curb the menace. As per the draft policy, three types of penalties would be imposed on those found guilty of lifting someone else’s work. While in case of ‘Level 1and 2’ offences, the researchers would get a chance to revise their work, ‘Level 3’ offence, which is ‘60% similarities’ would result in cancellation of the researcher’s registration. Whereas for plagiarism in core areas, there will be ‘zero tolerance’. – Courtesy / Click hereto view / download the AICTE Circular: 01/12/2017-1 page pdf: Promotion of academic integrity and excellence and prevention of plagiarism.
WINTER COURSES through NKN (November – December 2017)
- Faculty Training
- Training and Consultancy
- Services for Industry
- Technical Incubation and Entrepreneurship
- Continuing Education for Students & Professionals
India is fast emerging as a world power in Information, communications Technology and Electronics (ICTE) sectors. To complement its growth and further development, there is an ever-increasing need for trained professionals with specialization in this space. This includes training of professionals not only in existing and changing technologies but also in the fields of R&D and electronics manufacturing. This will specifically be aimed at the ICTE sector to create a substantial resource pool of talent and generate ample opportunities for entrepreneurs. Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (Meity) has approved a scheme and set up Electronics and ICT Academics at 07 (seven) institutions viz.IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, NIT Warangal, NIT Patna and IIITDM Jabalpur (all five under Category-A); and IIT Roorkee, MNIT Jaipur (both under Category B). The Ministry had earlier setup two ICT Academies at Tamil Nadu and Kerala respectively. Estimated cost and targets for the Electronics and ICT Academy in the two Categories for a period of four years are as under:
|Category||Total Outlay||Internal Revenue
|Grants-in-Aid from Central Government||Training Target (Faculty members)|
|Category-A||Rs. 25 crore||Rs. 7.50 crore||Rs. 17.50 crore||16,000|
|Category-B||Rs. 10 crore||Rs. 3.00 crore||Rs. 7.00 crore||6,400|
These Academies are aimed at faculty/mentor development and upgradation to improve the employability of the graduates, diploma holders in various streams, through collaboration of States/ Union Territories. Each Academy is being provided funding support for four years and is expected to generate revenue by charging fee and taking up other activities to meet the recurring cost in a gradual manner and become self- sustainable by the end of fourth year onwards. All these Academies will cater to the requirements of identified neighbouring States and UTs also.
Activities of the Academies
- Faculty development for
–Specialized training with hands on on basis and advanced level topics for Engineering Streams and
–Domain based training on use of ICT tools and techniques for non-engineering streams
- Training and consultancy services for industry
- Curriculum development for Industry
- Continuing Education programme for students/working professionals
- Design,Develop and Deliver specialized modules for specific research areas
- Providing advice and support for technical incubation and entrepreneurial activities
About Winter Courses
Faculty Development Programmes in core areas of Electronics and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) streams have been planned by academies for delivery during Winter(i.e., November – December 2017). All these winter courses will be offered through National Knowledge Network (NKN) by inviting experts from IITs, IIITs and other premier institutes/industries. In addition, local course coordinators at respective academies will take care of practicals and practice sessions. The following three courses would be taken up for delivery during forthcoming winter vacation .