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Indian engineers, IT professionals, doctors and teachers among thousands being denied visas to UK

The New Indian Express | 17th May 2018 | PTI |

UK data showed Indians as largest chunk of skilled work visas granted (57 per cent) to nationals from outside EU, indicating that Indians are like likely to be the hardest hit by the visa cap.

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LONDON: Indian engineers, IT professionals, doctors and teachers are among 6,080 skilled workers holding a UK job offer who were denied visas to the UK since December 2017, according to a data released today, indicating that Indians are likely to be the hardest hit by the country’s annual visa cap. The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) acquired the figures via a Freedom of Information (FOI) to the UK Home Office to highlight the “scale of the problem” being created due to the British government’s annual immigration cap for skilled professionals hired by UK-based companies from outside the European Union (EU). Latest UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures record Indians as the largest chunk of skilled work visas granted (57 per cent) to nationals from outside the EU, indicating that Indians are likely to be the hardest hit by the visa cap. “Science, engineering and technology has long benefited from mobility of talent and collaboration across borders” including between India and the UK. The figures we’ve obtained from the Home Office show that currently our immigration system is hampering this ambition, said CaSE Deputy Director Naomi Weir. “We’re calling on government to make immediate changes so that employers can access the talent they need, and in the long term to ensure that the UK immigration system is aligned with the ambition to be open and welcoming to science, engineering and tech talent,” she said. While there is no nationality-wise breakdown of the 6,080 visa refusals under the Tier 2 category between December 2017 and March 2018, it has emerged that more than half (3,500) were for engineering, IT, technology, teaching and medical roles. The cap under the Tier 2 visa category to allow companies to bring in professionals from outside the EU is set at 20,700 per year, with a monthly limit of around 1,600. Until December 2017, that limit had been exceeded only once in almost six years but since then that limit has been breached nearly every month. Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association Council (BMA), called for a more “flexible” immigration system which does not end up turning away doctors desperately needed to fill staff shortages in the state-funded National Health Service (NHS).

“The Tier 2 visa quota has been reached for the fifth month in a row, yet there are still more than 100,000 NHS posts unfilled, with vacancy rates rising. At a time when the NHS is under enormous strain and struggling to fill positions, the current visa restrictions and arbitrary caps for non-EU workers entering the UK are inexplicable and threatening patient care and safety,” he said. Last month, it had emerged that at least 100 Indian doctors were denied visas after being recruited by the NHS due to the Tier 2 monthly quota being over-subscribed. In other fields as well, experts warn that access to overseas professionals remains crucial for the growth and development of the UK economy. “Employers know and accept that there is a need for highly skilled immigrants as do the majority of the general public.The people standing in the way are those who set random immigration limits that seem to be plucked out of the air for political purposes,” said Nobel Prize winning Indian-origin scientist Prof Venki Ramakrishnan, the president of the UK’s Royal Society. CaSE has been lobbying the UK government to make job offers in areas where there were clear shortages, such as science and engineering, exempt from the Home Office cap. “The cap is beginning to cause damage and it needs to be addressed quickly. In the immediate term, shortage and PhD level roles should be made exempt from the cap. In the long term, an immigration system for a Global Britain that supports research and innovation should not feature a cap on the international specialists we want to attract,” said CaSE Executive Director Dr Sarah Main, who had written to the British Prime Minister Theresa May earlier this year on the issue. The UK Home Office said that while it recognises the “contribution” of international professionals, it is important that the country’s immigration system ensures that employers look first to the UK resident labour market before recruiting from overseas. “When demand exceeds the monthly available allocation of Tier 2 (General) places, priority is given to applicants filling a shortage or PhD-level occupations. No occupation on the Shortage Occupation List has been refused a place,” a Home Office spokesperson said. It also highlighted that any applications refused during over-subscribed months can re-apply for consideration in the next month. However, critics believe the the Shortage Occupation List does not go far enough and the entire quota-based system in unworkable. – Courtesy


VTU takes the first stretch, makes yoga a part of induction program

Bangalore Mirror |

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Come July, and engineering aspirants joining Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) can look forward to yoga, field trips and a curriculum on startups, besides the regular syllabus, at the start of the new academic year. This batch will be the first to experience a model curriculum introduced by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), as VTU becomes the first university to offer it.  AICTE’s model curriculum is all set to mark the beginning of a new era in technical education in the country. VTU will be training its 7,000 teachers who will be teaching the first year students from 220 engineering colleges in the State over the next few days. The university has called the first-year teachers to train them over four days, on how to teach the new curriculum. The teachers will also be taught about the induction program and how to conduct it in all its 220 engineering colleges. This training is set to take place in Bengaluru, Belagavi and Mangaluru.  Dr. Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman of AICTE told BM, “The new curriculum has concepts which are relevant to our times and the teachers themselves wouldn’t have learned it as students. So, they will be trained about the new syllabus.” The induction program is a holistic one that will help students fit in as they begin a new phase of life. Says Dr Sahasrabudhe, “A lot of students do not exercise. There are many who come from rural areas and find it difficult to assimilate with their city counterparts. There are also many students who fail in their first few semesters and lose confidence.

We wanted to tackle these problems and that’s why our induction program is designed to include yoga, and a lot of other activities so that the new students feels at home.’’ The induction program will include creative art classes, excursions, teach universal human values, introduce students to literary works, offer English language proficiency models and will even include student visits to industries and institutions which are of national importance.  Registrar of VTU, H Jagannath Reddy told BM, “The induction program is very important for both students and faculty. It will help them interact better with each other and for students to understand their peer group too. It can help to relieve a lot of mental stress.”  BM took a look at the new curriculum and some of the highlights are – reduced number of credits, introduction of induction programs, importance of hands-on experience, focus on outcome-based education and courses on socially relevant topics. The Registrar adds, “The new curriculum will introduce a novel concept of virtual laboratories. It will also provide mandatory internships to equip the students with practical knowledge and provide them with exposure to real time industrial environments. This curriculum will also encourage innovation, research and employability skills. Importantly, it will include a course on entrepreneurship.” – Courtesy

NIT’s first centre for excellence in manufacturing to open in Trichy

Times of India | Sampath Kumar | Mar 22, 2018 |

Trichy: The much-awaited ‘centre for excellence in manufacturing’ at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Trichy will become operational from May this year. The centre, the first in an NIT, is intended to improve the job prospects of engineering graduates in the central region as it is open not only to students of NIT Trichy but also of other engineering colleges. The centre is being raised with 10 state-of-the-art laboratories at a cost of Rs 198 crore and is aimed at linking the educational system to the industry through a learning model. With major funding from Germany- based automation company Siemens, the centre would offer courses extending from 3 week to 3 months thereby helping engineering, diploma and ITI students from colleges around Trichy.

With employability becoming a stumbling block for a majority of engineering candidates, the benefits of the Siemens centre are expected to enhance the employment opportunities of the students. This will particularly benefit students from self-financing engineering colleges around Trichy who can make use of the expertise available for a nominal charge. “Most of the graduates lack training in a specialised area and thus don’t meet the requirement of an employer,” says the director of NIT Trichy, Mini Shaji Thomas. The centre would help them to choose a field of their interest and get trained in it.  “Siemens offers hundreds of programmes ranging from a duration of 3 weeks to 3 months. For instance, a candidate with Siemens-certified product validation course or CNC programming course will have greater chances of grabbing a job opportunity,” says M Duraiselvam, head, department of production engineering at NIT Trichy who is also the centre’s coordinator. “Lack of practical knowledge has been the biggest challenge for a majority of engineering college students to become employable in recent times,” says executive committee member, consortium of SF professional arts and science colleges M A Maluk. – Courtesy

Engineering Students Build Drone Ambulance That Can Deliver Emergency Medical Aid!

The Better India |

The engineering duo has designed a high-speed hybrid unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) which can zoom past traffic and obstacles to serve as an air-ambulance for patients. No one likes to be stuck in a traffic jam, but for those who are in an ambulance and struggling to survive, the situation is nightmarish, to say the least. Thankfully, Goutham Sharma and Jervis Anthony Saldanha, final year students of the MV Jayaraman College of Engineering (MVJCE) in Bengaluru have come up with a solution to ensure that people who are stuck in a dire medical situation have access to intensive medical aid and emergency medical services. The duo has designed a high-speed hybrid unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) which can zoom past traffic and obstacles to serve as an air-ambulance for patients. Equipped with emergency medical equipment, and able to manoeuvre in tight spaces with a vertical take-off and landing, the drone-ambulance will make medical emergencies easy to attend to.

Drone ambulance developed by engineering students

The UAV will carry automated external defibrillators, in addition to automated blood pressure apparatus and other emergency medical equipment. Jervis who spoke to the New Indian Express said that the idea was to provide timely medical aid to those who needed it urgently. They are also working towards improving the capability of the device “Right now it is devised in such a way that it can carry a person weighing 50 kg, but due to space constraints, the person has to be in a sleeping position. We are working on that,” he says. Goutham is an electronics and communication engineering student, while Jervis is pursuing a degree in aeronautical engineering. They were able to research and develop the prototype, with a little help from their friends. The two spent over a year in developing the UAV and hope to launch it by April 2018. In addition to this, they also plan to build a drone which will be especially used to transport organs across cities. The duo will participate in a contest for drones in Australia in September this year. The students were guided by Air Commodore (Retd.) SC Gupta, who is a Professor, and the Head of the Aeronautical Engineering Department at MVJCE.


For patients in need of urgent medical care, it is essential that the right medical care is provided at the right time. The drone is probably a look into future of air transportation and is a vital innovation for the benefit of the public. However, a major obstacle it faces is the ban on drones in India. Goutham commented on this, saying that, “We have sent an email about this to Jayant Sinha, the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation. We really hope something good happens.” – Courtesy

In a first, AICTE gives credits for new technologies including AI, robotics, ML, IoT

Economic Times | 15 February 2018 | Prachi Verma | In a first, AICTE gives credits for new tech courses |

New Delhi: Artificial Intelligence has caught the attention of the government at the campuses. New technologies including AI, robotics, machine learning (ML), Internet of things (IoT) have been given up to 20 credits, as per the new curriculum prepared by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE ) for the first time. This new curriculum is likely to be followed by at least 80% of the 3,000 engineering and technical colleges in the country. Recruiters are happy with this as it would give them access to a larger talent pool to hire from in new technologies. The much-talked-about new syllabus was launched last month which has also reduced the credits given to theory-based courses. Universities such as Delhi Technical University, Punjab Tech University and YMCA Faridabad are looking forward to embracing the new curriculum that would make their students more industry-relevant, thus increasing their prospects during placement. This is an effort by the government to ensure India is talent pool proficient in AI and other emerging technologies. All IITs and NITs have a full semester course on AI at B-Tech level. AICTE, in its model syllabus for other engineering colleges, is focusing on emerging areas like AI. With this, all new grads coming out of IITs/NITs and standard engineering colleges would come with fair competence to work on AI, confirmed a senior official at the ministry of human resource development (MHRD). To ensure that the faculty at these institutes are ready, AICTE is soon going to roll out e-courses for faculty on new emerging technologies. The new course would also include programmes on vedas, yoga, Indian traditional knowledge, universal human values, etc. Over 80% of the institutes (3,000) have agreed to implement the new syllabus, according to an AICTE official. Course Correction .In many colleges, the students are not getting jobs as the course followed is dated. The focus of the new syllabus on new emerging technologies will help colleges improve placements as teaching would get more industry relevant, said Dinesh Kumar, vice chancellor, YMCA Faridabad. He said that average salaries may also go up at institutes as a result of this. * How Indias energy demands are being efficiently met Toshiba * Easy Method To Lose Weight Without Any Diet.. Manorama’s Blog. Recommended By Colombia The average salary at YMCA was about Rs 4 lakh per annum until last year. In the coming months, YMCA has also lined up workshops for faculty of engineering colleges in Haryana to train on the new courses.

Starting the next academic session, DTU would offer students two credit elective course on yoga & meditation. The new framework includes all essential elements for engineering like new technologies and soft skills apart from core engineering courses, said Yogesh Singh, vice chancellor at DTU. Almost 80% of the institutes would be implementing the new curriculum, confirmed Rajive Kumar, advisor at AICTE. IITs are already offering these courses on these new technologies since a couple of years now. Credit system in the existing UG programme is up to 220 credits followed by many institutes which is now being eased and lowered to around 150-160 credits in a total four-year UG programme, according to AICTE. “This would avoid undue burden on the students,” said Kumar. The prevailing curriculum focuses only on core and elective subjects of the respective disciplines of engineering. AICTEs new curriculum includes non-engineering courses on subjects such as history of science and technology in India, psychological processes, gender culture and development, advance course in ˜Peace Research. The existing curriculum followed at the colleges does not have industry requirements, market trends, employability and problem-solving approach. New model curriculum encourages innovation and research with reduced total number of credits, said Kumar. The new curriculum also suggests readings on Shankara (an early 8th century Indian philosopher and theologian who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta). There was a suggestion to maintain meta-level status of philosophy. Interestingly, this suggestion came from an engineering faculty, said an AICTE official. – Courtesy

Fresh teacher rules on HRD table

The New Indian Express | S Mannar Mannan  |  Express News Service  |   25th January 2018 |

COIMBATORE: Teachers of universities and colleges are likely to have separate sets of guidelines governing recruitment and working conditions, if the HRD ministry accepts recommendations of the UGC’s Seventh Pay Review Committee. There are three types of teaching positions in universities and colleges: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor. The committee headed by V S Chauhan has suggested six levels: Assistant Professor, Senior Assistant Professor, Selection Grade Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor and Senior Professor.

While only PhD holders would be allowed to enter the university system, where teachers would focus more on research, college teachers would be asked to concentrate on teaching, as per the recommendation. To become an assistant professor in a university, PhD would be mandatory, while in a college, those with 55 per cent for postgraduation along with NET/SLET or PhD can be appointed as assistant professors. In universities, up to 10 per cent of a department’s professors can be senior professors. – Courtesy

Scrapping of 75 Per Cent Attendance Rule’ Circular is Fake: AICTE

Education | NDTV Education Team |  January 20, 2018  |

AICTE: ‘Scrapping of 75 Per Cent Attendance Rule’ Circular Is Fake.  The circular which has become viral on Social Media is misleading and mischievous, said AICTE in a statement.

NEW DELHI: All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) said averted the engineering students and teachers that a recent circular issued on AICTE letterhead regarding scrapping of 75% Attendance rule and introducing Vocational Projects as fake. The circular which has become viral on Social Media is misleading and mischievous, said AICTE in a statement. The council also said it has not issued any circular in this regard. “Your attention in drawn to a fake circular issued on AICTE letterhead regarding scrapping of 75% Attendance rule and introducing Vocational Projects which has become viral on Social Media / Network. The Circular is misleading and mischievous,” the statement said. AICTE is now planning to lodge a complaint against the fake circular in the Cyber Crime Cell of Delhi Police. The ‘fake circular’ in question which was addressed to ‘all Directors/Principals of AICTE approved institutions’ was named ‘Scrapping of 75% Attendance Rule and introducing Vocational Projects’. General Public is hereby notified that the circular issued by anonymous sources in the name of AICTE is fake and misleading. It is further informed that AICTE has got no connection whatsoecer with the said circular . pic.twitter.com/YOCHKqoXXR

– AICTE (@AICTE_INDIA) January 20, 2018

It claimed ‘to address the declining employability of over 12 Lakh Engineering Graduates, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has decided to to scrap the 75% attendance rule w.e.f. 18/01/2018 due to inability of updating the syllabus on new technologies and advancements regularly’. ‘fake circular’ carried the name and a purported signature of AICTE official Prof. G.K. Gokhale. – Courtesy

Click here to View / Dowload AICTE CircularFake Circular on Scrapping of 75% Attendance Rule and Introducing Vocational Projects

IIT Kanpur starts service on Hindu sacred texts, ‘Gita Supersite’, says ready for criticism

The Times of India | Rohan Dua | TNN | Jan 11, 2018 |


  • The services are being offered on the official portal of the premier college.
  • One of the objectives of the website describes “Vedanta” as “knowledge gyana” of a qualified “adhikari”.

LUCKNOW: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has become the first engineering college in India to start a text and audio service related to Hindu sacred texts. The services are being offered on the official portal of the premier college which displays the link gitasupersite.iitk.ac.in. Srimad Bhagwadgita, Ramcharitmanas, Brahma Sutra, Yoga Sutra, Shri Ram Mangal Dasji and the Narada Bhakti Sutra are among the nine sacred texts uploaded. Among its latest offerings are Sanskrit renditions of the Sundarkand and Balakkand of the Valmiki Ramayan, introduced, incidentally, a month before the Supreme Court was to hear the Ram temple matter on a dailybasis.  Though the IITs operate autonomously, their charter has often seen controversial proposals by the ministry of human resource development which funds them. This project was started with Rs 25 lakh in funding in 2001 by the Union ministry of information technology of the then Atal Behari Vajpayee government.

“We have from time to time worked on this project with a team of scholars from within the IITs and outside to make available the sacred texts. This is the first of its kind in the world and in India and it must be respected,” said T V Prabhakar, professor, Resource Centre for Indian language Technology Solutions, department of computer science and engineering, IIT Kanpur. Both Prabhakar and IIT Kanpur director Mahendra Aggarwal rejected controversies on thrusting Hindu religion through these services. “There will be criticism for the sake of it for every good thing. Secular credentials can’t be questioned on such a noble and pious initiative,” added Prabhakar. One of the objectives of the website describes “Vedanta” as “knowledge gyana” of a qualified “adhikari (worker, officer, employee)”.  Subject specialists holding post-doctoral degrees in philosophy from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) have been roped in to render the English audio tranlsation of the Bhagdvad Gita while the Sanskrit chanting has been done by Swami Brahmnanda. Similarly, the rendition of the Ramcharitmanas in Awadhi is by IIT Guwahati faculty member Dev Ananand Pathak. The IIT intends to seek more funds from the Centre to include more sacred texts. – Courtesy

Click here to visit the Portal…Take a Look at—–>   https://www.gitasupersite.iitk.ac.in/

Mandatory induction programme for engineering students from next year

Hindustan Times | Neelam Pandey | New Delhi| Nov 28, 2017 |

Students will have to follow a daily routine of physical activity with games and sports including Yoga. Each student will pick one game and learn it for the three weeks.

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Engineering students across the country will undergo a compulsory induction programme from next year as part of their undergraduate programmme. Students will have to follow a daily routine of physical activity with games and sports including Yoga. Each student will pick one game and learn it for the three weeks. Also, the programme will also be used to rectify some critical lacunas, for example holding special English classes for those students who have deficiency in it. Each student will also be asked to choose one skill related to the arts whether it is visual or performing arts and they will also hold discussion on universal values that students should have. The first three weeks of the students in the institute would be earmarked for the induction programme. Under the universal values module, apart from drawing the attention of the student to larger issues of life, it would build relationships between teachers and students which last for their entire 4-year stay and possibly beyond.

All the institutes approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will have to follow it, officials said. There are over 3000 engineering institutes under the AICTE, the technical regulator of the country. There is a mad rush for engineering today, without the student determining for himself his interests and his goals. This is a major factor in the current state of demotivation towards studies that exists among UG students. The success of gaining admission into a desired institution but failure in getting the desired branch, with peer pressure generating its own problems, leads to a peer environment that is demotivating and corrosive. Start of hostel life without close parental supervision at the same time, further worsens it with also a poor daily routine,” reads the note on the induction programme. The induction programme was discussed and approved for all colleges by AICTE in March 2017. “It is a good move as students who join the institute after a rigorous training in terms of the coaching they undergo and then rather than getting any breathing space they are plunged deep into academics. They need to unwind and forge new relations with fellow students and familiarize themselves with the new environment,” said an IIT director.

“To come out of this situation, a multi-pronged approach is needed. One will have to work closely with the newly joined students in making them feel comfortable, allow them to explore their academic interests and activities, reduce competition and make them work for excellence, promote bonding within them, build relations between teachers and students, give a broader view of life, and build character”. Under visits to local areas it has been recommended that a couple of visits to the landmarks of the city, or a hospital or orphanage could be organized. This would familiarize them with the area as well as expose them to the under privileged. The proficiency module, would be used to overcome some critical lacunas that students might have, for example, English, computer familiarity among others. “These should run like crash courses, so that when normal courses start after the induction program, the student has overcome the lacunas substantially. We hope that problems arising due to lack of English skills, wherein students start lagging behind or failing in several subjects, for no fault of theirs, would, hopefully, become a thing of the past,” it said. – Courtersy

AICTE Model Curriculum for 1st Year UG Degree Courses in Engineering & Technology, November 2017 – Click here View / Download

AICTE shuts 1,400 ‘bad standard’ technical courses

DNA | Kritika Sharma |  Nov 6, 2017 |

The number of courses closed is the highest in the last five years…

In a bid to improve the standard of technical education in the country, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has closed nearly 1,400 courses that did not meet required standards in various technical institutions in the academic year 2017-18. The number of courses is the highest in last five years. The maximum number of institutes where courses have been closed are in Maharashtra with over 400 situated in the state. Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka also have a high number of such institutes. Maximum courses that have been closed are on engineering and information technology, while a minuscule percentage are courses on pharmacy and management. Authorities have advised students to check details about courses as well as the institute before applying. After various surveys on engineering education in India pointed that majority of the graduates in the country have become unemployable, the Ministry of Human Resource Development started taking initiatives to improve the quality of technical education, specially engineering. As a part of this, the government regulator has also decided to close 800 engineering institutions that are not getting any admissions. These institutions will be shut over the next two years. The courses that have been shut by AICTE did not meed required educational standards. According to data obtained from AICTE, 468 courses were closed in 2012-13, 912 in 2013-14, 604 in 2014-15, 1,093 in 2015-16, 670 in 2016-17 and 1,389 in 2017-18.

“A high number of course closures shows that we are going after improving the quality of technical education in the country. Courses that either do not have any students of are not meeting the required standards of curriculum have been closed. There are many institutions where popular departments like civil and mechanical engineering have also been closed because they were not performing well,” said a senior official in AICTE. “We want to advise students to check credentials about the course, apart from the institute before seeking admission in an institute,” the official added. India has, over the last three years, seen a dip in number of students opting for engineering. After failing to secure a seat in the top technical institutes like IITs, NITs, students have steered clear of private engineering colleges.


  • Maharashtra has the highest number of institutes (400) where courses have been closed
  • A total of 1,398 courses did not meet required standards. …Courtesy