Remedial measures, including reduction in B.Tech credit requirements and emphasis on entrepreneurship courses and soft skills, on the slate
Thiruvananthapuram, July 27: Observing that the recent downward trend in engineering graduate employability was due to outdated curriculum, All India Council for Technical Education Chairman (AICTE) Dr Anil Sahasrabudhe said here today that a slew of remedial measures, including a reduced credit requirement and more practical tests, are set to be launched.
“Antiquated syllabi and run-of-the-mill modes of setting exam papers are the reason why surveys label a high percentage of graduates from our engineering schools as ‘unemployable’. To allow them the time to self-learn and give them freedom to experiment, the number of credits needed to graduate with a B.Tech degree in four years will be reduced to 160 from the current 200-credit requirement,” Dr Sahasrabhudhe said.
The reframed credit system, which works out to a 10 credit reduction per year of study, is expected to be implemented in the coming academic year, he added, noting that this would greatly decrease the pressure students are put under. Exams too will feature questions that require students to apply their lessons instead of regurgitating them by rote.
Dr Sahasrabhudhe was speaking on the sidelines of ‘Sankethapravesam – 2017’, an induction function for incoming engineering students held at Tagore Theatre. Organised by APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) and Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in partnership with the IT Department, the high-profile event stressed the importance of a vibrant startup culture to furthering technological development.
Induction programmes for students are also slated for a makeover, growing into a three-week experience that goes beyond the prescribed textbooks to sensitise them to the grand-scale challenges facing the country besides helping develop inter-personal skills, upgrade their English proficiency and improve soft skills. Faculty members will also undergo a six-week induction programme.
“This will not only change student experience; it will create a more level playing field that will help turn students into good citizens. With one teacher designated to mentor and counsel a group of 20 students, the programme will help facilitate their entry into academic and campus life,” Dr Sahasrabudhe said.
In addition, the ‘Swayam’ IT learning portal indigenously developed by the Union Government and AICTE will help ensure access to quality instruction for all. Interactive courses, prepared by the country’s best professors, will be available free of cost, which will help augment and enrich student learning, he added.
Dr Sahasrabudhe also participated in a panel discussion that further explored the possibilities of developing an entrepreneurial startup culture among students from within educational institutions.
“Engineering colleges must include courses on entrepreneurship and encourage students to cultivate new ideas. If the faculty supports new ideas from students , it will empower them to take them forward,” he said, adding that perseverance from students’ side was as important.
The other panelists were Startup Village Collective (SV.CO) Chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar, former director of executive engagement at Microsoft India and founder of the Jackfruit365 initiative Shri James Joseph, Principal of Trinity College of Engineering Dr Arun Surendran and Shri Santhosh Kurup, CEO of ICT Academy Kerala.
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