May 2, 2019

Future of Technical Education in India

By MVJCE

MVJ College of Engineering is a member of MHRD Innovation Incubation Council (MHRD-IIC). MHRD-IIC organized a live session on ‘Future of Technical Education in India’ by Prof. Anil D Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE, at Seminar Hall 6, MVJCE, Bengaluru. The session was held on 22nd April 2019, from 12.00 pm to 12.45 pm.

The Episode 4 of the India First Leadership Talk was an interview of Prof. Anil D Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE, by Dr. Abhay Jere, Chief Information Officer, MHRD, Government of India.

Participants

The live session was attended by 61 students and 14 faculty members.

About the Interview

Prof. Anil D Sahasrabudhe is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from Karnataka University. His Post-graduation and Ph. D are from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Professor Sahasrabudhe is a recipient of numerous scholarships like National Merit Scholarship, Gold Medal from Karnataka University and UGC fellowship during his Doctoral programme. He was conferred the award of Maha-Intrapreneur  in 2011, for his Entrepreneurship initiatives.

Dr. Anil D Sahasrabudhe has served in many high-profile positions during his career. His academic career started at North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST), and he later joined IIT, Guwahati. He was the Director of College of Engineering, Pune, before taking up the post of Chairman of All India Council of Technical Education.

Photographs of the Event

Excerpts from the Interview

The first question was on the Chairman’s (Dr. Anil D Sahasrabudhe) opinion on the surveys which suggested that 60% of the current graduates are unemployable. Professor Sahasrabudhe differed with the findings of the survey. According to him, the survey might have focused on a very specific requirement of the industry which may not have been included in the curriculum. He cited the participation of students in Smart India Hackathon and solving  inter-disciplinary problems and placement records, to refute the suggestion of the survey. Dr. Sahasrabudhe, however, opined that generic skill sets needed for working effectively in an industrial environment – like team work, inter-disciplinary skills and soft skills – need to be imparted to students.

When asked about AICTE’s plans to facilitate learning through experiments, Professor Sahasrabudhe informed that AICTE has prepared a model curriculum, which has been drafted by experts from reputed institutions and industry, which would guide universities and autonomous institutions. He emphasised the importance of internship programs, and clarified that AICTE’s vision of internships includes working at start-ups, and also applying technology for solving the problems faced by villages.

The Chairman listed out the steps taken by AICTE for transforming the learning environment at technical educational institutions, such that students are encouraged to learn outside the class rooms. He mentioned that workshops are being organised for Vice-Chancellors of technical universities and Principals, to bring about the transformation. He also briefed  on the availability of Examination Reference Manual, and a database of Sample Question Papers that have been prepared based on Bloom’s Taxonomy for implementing Outcome-based education.

With regard to the challenges faced by teachers in their endeavour to update themselves in tune with changing technologies, the Professor explained the steps taken by AICTE to address the situation. He said that AICTE has mandated that teachers must get certified by passing an examination, after attending an eight-module course spread over a semester, which involves MOOCs too. He urged the teachers to adopt new teaching methods like Flip Class Rooms and Blended Learning. He informed that AICTE has introduced manuals for Teacher’s Training, Internship and Student’s Induction, besides Exam Reforms manual. He added that teachers will have to undergo periodic Faculty Development Programs and Internships at Industry, as a part of life-long learning.

Professor Sahasrabudhe intimated that plans for certifying students on the basis of credits earned from different universities, MOOCs, internships and projects, are under discussion between UGC, MHRD and AICTE.

With regard to the availability of laboratories for all students, the AICTE Chairman spoke about the existence of about 500 incubators across the country, incubators which are sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology and NITI Ayog. He added that AICTE has framed a policy on start-ups, and also intends to introduce courses on Innovation. He agreed that weightage allocated for attributes such as number of students placed, number of student entrepreneurs and number of students taking up higher studies, in NIRF and ARIIA ranking framework, has to be increased gradually.

Professor Sahasrabudhe said that currently India is ranked 57th in Global Innovation Index, whereas China is ranked 17. He believed that the education system of the country has to be changed, to achieve a better Innovation Index. He expressed the hope that initiatives like Hardware Hackathon are a step in the right direction, and the current trend of reduction in brain drain is a positive indicator.

The AICTE Chairman urged the academic community to utilise ‘Swayam’ for life-long learning. He appealed to the students to be honest, confident, and also to work hard with a passion for learning.

Outcome of the Event

The talk made the attendees aware of the vision of AICTE in technical education, and the initiatives taken for achieving this vision.