Monday Oct 02, 2023

Industry-academia partnership key to popularise core engineering courses

Summit on ‘Academic excellence in higher education through industry collaborations’ organised by CII

A senior official in the Telangana Department of Collegiate and Technical Education on Tuesday mooted a collaboration between manufacturing sector and autonomous engineering colleges to address the issue of fewer students opting for Civil and Mechanical engineering courses.

Developing a curriculum customised to needs of the industry as well as through offer of internship for students, the later possibly for a semester or more after second year of the course, ought to be facets of such a collaboration, said Navin Mittal, Commissioner, Department of Collegiate and Technical Education.

“We need to collaborate… it is becoming imperative,” the senior official said, addressing the 3rd edition of EDU Summit on ‘Academic excellence in higher education through industry collaborations’ organised by CII Telangana in partnership with the Department and the Telangana State Council of Higher Education.

“If group of industries can collaborate with some of the autonomous engineering colleges… the students will get a flavour [of working environment] and gain confidence,” he said, pointing to how the move would help reverse, in coming years, the trend of core engineering courses attracting less students. Highlighting the importance of manufacturing sector growth too for the economy, he said “students will go where jobs are, they are very smart. They will select a field and institution which will ultimately result in a job at the end of it.”

Mr. Mittal stressed on the need for enhancing popularity of the core courses, while citing how B.Tech admissions that closed last week saw about 40,000 students taking admission in computer science and related courses; around 11,000 in electronics and communication engineering and related fields; and close to 5,000 in EEE (electronics and electrical). Only 2,600 opted for Civil and 1,900 for Mechanical engineering programmes. He said this would pose a challenge, in terms of getting manpower, for the manufacturing sector, something that could be addressed through the collaboration.

In support, the official cited the success of CII-ALPLA’s dual apprenticeship programme, which has positive transformation in the select diploma students in one year. “More and more members of CII can come forward to partner… we will be solving the conundrum… industry’s complaint that students are not ready when they pass out,” he said.

Listing initiatives of the State government, Mr. Mittal said some of the soft skills have been made part of the core curriculum and about 24,000 seats have been added in new and emerging areas.

CII Telangana chairman Sameer Goel said with education system in the country focusing more on knowledge acquisition and less on skills development and employers expecting new hires to become productive as soon as they join there is a clear case for effective On the Job Training (OJT) for youth to become employable.

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