AICTE Brings Major Reforms In Technical Education

Y.S. Rana

The writer is a Hamirpur based Himachali settled in Chandigarh

newsTechnical education sector in India has faced criticism for lack of quality training and for its graduates not having the required efficiency to become productive at work after passing out. Setting a new academic standard in technical education, India’s apex technical education regulator, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), has planned a new set of ‘must have’ for technical colleges to improve their graduates’ employability. In a bid to revamp technical education, it has prepared courses to mandatory shop floor training to imparting managerial and entrepreneurial skills from July 1 next.

While sharing plan, Dr M.P. Poonia, vice chairman, AICTE with representatives of all India Federation of Self-financing Technical Institutions (AIFSFTI) stated that it was all set to complete revamp of syllabus of technical courses from July 1. “Work in this direction has already been initiated by involving best brains for decision making,” he said. He further states that AICTE is planning to amend the syllabus of engineering courses from July 1 next with the addition of new subjects to bring the uniformity in curriculum in the technical institutions across the country. Two months industrial training in a year has been made mandatory for all engineering students. Besides, technical teacher training would be must for all teachers, he added. It is also revealed that new engineering courses would be highly technical and job oriented. Syllabus will be industry linked in which it would be made compulsory for students to spend two months per year in an industry to link the theory with practical. For this, AICTE has decided to approach CII and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) to provide industrial exposure to the students.

First year syllabus will be practical oriented and student-friendly to check the dropout rate in the first year. It is found that when a student enters B.Tech first year, he felt pressure due to complete change in academics environment, curriculum, mode of examination etc. Hence a few of them preferred to leave the course. To minimize the dropout rate, AICTE has brought down the credit marks from 180 to 160 to make a student comfortable with the programme.

Revamp of technical education has been recommended by the government panel two years back. The effort would be pro-active in implementing some basic but much required changes in technical colleges, said Poonia. He hoped that it would make technical education contemporary and graduates job-ready as various studies showed that less than one-third of technical school graduates are job-ready and industries found it hard to hire them. The HRD ministry-controlled AICTE will regulate more than 10,000 technical colleges, including engineering and business schools across the country. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and the Institute of Technology (IITs) will not come under the purview of AICTE.

AICTE will impress upon the technical institutions to make annual examinations focusing more on clarity of concepts and will soon share a model examination pattern that each institution can adopt individually. After that students in technical schools have to undergo three internships of four to eight weeks each before completing their undergraduate course, as per the documents. Right now students do only one summer training. In fact, in many engineering and management schools, they either don’t undergo any internship or have to use their own contacts to find one. AICTE is now mandating that colleges must help find a suitable industry or organization for students’ internship programs, the HRD ministry official said. It will soon share a model exam pattern that each institution can adopt individually.

Besides this, AICTE will give five years’ time to each college to achieve accreditation for at least 50% subjects taught in the colleges. National Board of Accreditation will accredit individual subjects. Institutions that fail to do so will have an impact on getting AICTE’s approval. AICTE- regulated colleges will also make their teaching staff undergo an annual training course and get updated via the government’s massive open online platform.

300 Teacher Training Programmes

The AICTE will launch 300 teacher training programmes in June-July next to train over 15,000 new and old technical faculty to upgrade their content and delivery techniques. Of these, 100 programmes will be developed specially for new teachers while 200 programs have been made for existing faculty to update their knowledge and content. Training sessions would be conducted in engineering colleges with a batch of 40-50 teachers during two months of training session. Dr. Poonia also disclosed that as ETT, NTT, B.Ed etc courses have been made compulsory and pre-requisite for the school teachers on the same pattern. Three-month teachers training program would be made compulsory after M. Tech for every teacher to teach technical subjects. AICTE has given this task to Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE) and would spend around Rs nine crores on training program.


The state’s ups and downs this week

‘Dharamshala To Get World’s First Skyway’

Dharamshala: Smart city and Himachal’s second capital Dharamshala is going to be the first city in the world to have suspended skyway transport system, which will become operational within three years, said Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma. He said the feasibility of a high-speed skyway link between Dharamshala and Shimla was also being studied. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Himachal Pradesh government and Belarus-based company Skyway Technologies for skyway transport system. Sharma said a 15-kilometre stretch had been identified in Dharamsala where work would start in the next two-to-three months. Sharma added that skyway technology was ideal for the hilly terrain in Himachal Pradesh, where train, metro and monorail were not practical. The minister added that the system would be silent, safe and earthquake-resistant, as the area comes under the seismic zone. “The system can be used for passenger as well as freight traffic. So, it would help in reducing congestion and pollution as well as offering efficient and cheap mode of transport,” he said. While the suspended cars can be customised in size for carrying two to 34 passengers at a time, Sharma said six-person driver-less cars would be introduced in Dharamsala with a capacity of carrying up to 20,000 passengers per day.

Six Persons Killed As Vehicle Falls Into Gorge

Mandi: Six persons were killed while five injured when a vehicle they were travelling in fell into a gorge at Sarkaghat in Mandi district. While one person was killed on the spot, five other died on their way to hospital. The driver had reportedly lost control over the vehicle. According to the police, family members of a village near Ladbadhol were on their way to Bhadyar village to perform an engagement ceremony. Near Brang bridge, the driver lost control on the vehicle and it fell into a 600-feet deep gorge. The deceased were identified as Sharif Khan, Zafar Khan, Shabnam, Janki and Yashmin. Another seriously injured victim Zakir Khan succumbed to his injuries on his way to the PGIMER, Chandigarh. Additional SP, Mandi, Kulbhushan Verma said the cause of the accident was yet to be ascertained.

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