Markets need new talent
Ramesh Unnikrishnan, Advisor, Policy & Academic Planning Bureau of AICTE says, “All AICTE approved institutes have been informed to design relevant industry-oriented course modules in consultation with leading industries or national level industry associations. Technical universities need to collaborate with industries to impart relevant training in technical, digital and vocational skills to students.”
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The rapidly changing technical education system in our country has brought employability hurdles for engineering graduates, says Unnikrishnan. “Providing training in upgraded skills in a wide variety of trades, suited to the needs of Industry 4.0 is essential. The step, AICTE has taken will help reduce the skill-talent gap.”
“The idea to insert a course module within the existing curriculum has to be done after taking insight from market trends. This will prepare students for better job opportunities and the whole essence of basic engineering sciences should remain intact to deliver the best of both conventional and novel courses,” says Abhay Bansal, director, International Collaboration for Engineering and Technology, Amity University.
Benefits and challenges
Aligned with AICTE’s directive, K C G College of Technology, Chennai has signed MoUs with FullStack Labs – web development and software consultancy company. They have jointly designed an industry-led curriculum to teach the students for three semesters. P Deiva Sundari, principal, K C G College of Technology, says, “MNC Capgemini Engineering will impart training to students in skills, coding required for technical publications and VLSI designing. The MoU mandates the delivery mechanism of the course module by these technology giants, as they also train our faculty staff in emerging technologies for 30 days.”
While accommodating new course modules in the current curriculum comes with its share of challenges. Bansal says, “A set of guidelines or a framework method of balancing and compensating for the fundamental and conventional engineering courses along with newly added modules might be a difficult task.
He further adds that certain branches of engineering like Computer Science, Electronics and Communication as well as Mechanical Automation are most suitable for infusing new courses. Bansal says, “These branches have been revolutionized with the advent of IT in the past decade, due to the proliferation of technologies like 5G, AI, cloud computing, IoT applications and automation. So, the demands for Software Engineers and Computer Engineers with updated skillset have risen to monumental proportions.”
Opportunities for students
Sundari highlighted that AICTE’s attempt at upgrading the curriculum will help students in learning applications of emerging technologies in core engineering disciplines. For instance, Machine Learning, AI are finding a place in aeronautical or automobile engineering. She says, “This will help Mechanical engineers take several technology-based jobs. Apart from this, internship opportunities have also increased in terms of quality. Our second-year BTech students, against the norm of the final year, can now join virtual internships. As many as eight BTech students are interning with IIT Madras on its technology-related projects for 10 hours a week, earning a decent stipend also.”