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Hit by employability concerns, HRD ministry brings in changes in engineering curriculum

prakash-javadekar-cbse (File) Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar

The ministry of human resource development, through All India Council on Technical Education (AICTE ) announced wide-ranging changes in technical education. The measures are expected to improve employability of technology and management graduates and augment the overall quality of technical education.

As a part of this technical education reform exercise, AICTE has come up with a new model curriculum. Technical colleges and universities will have to now align their curriculum in line with the model curriculum which is designed to match industry requirements.

One of the salient features of this model curriculum is the focus on internships. Internships have been made mandatory in all the four years of engineering degree programmes. There will be lesser credits for theoretical part now—it has come down from 200 credits earlier to 160 now.

Apart from internships, there are other mandatory activities as well. These include project work, institutional workshop, voluntary community services, contribution at the incubation cell of the institute and working for a consultancy/research project. The students will also have to voluntarily undertake community services such as helping local schools achieve good results and devolving sustainable water management system among others.

"Inclusion of mandatory internship, both industry and social, will help engineering graduates connect with the need of the industry and society at large", said HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar. He further said the government is committed to provide best teachers, best infrastructure and best scholarships to all the students.

AICTE had constituted subject-wise heads of the committees from IITs, with respective teams of 2-3 academic experts along with industry experts to develop the model curriculum of undergraduate engineering courses and faculty induction program.

"A three-week mandatory induction program for students has been introduced in the first year which will help the students to adjust to the new environment as they come with diverse thoughts, backgrounds and preparations. A novel concept of virtual laboratories has also been introduced in the model curriculum", said Anil D. Sahasrabuddhe, chairman, AICTE.

A draft national policy on training of technical teachers has also been prepared, which will be submitted to the ministry in the next few days. The policy will address issues of academic leadership and lack of problem solving, innovative instructional methodologies among teachers.

The government is also focusing a lot importance on usage of Swayam—the government's own massive open online course (MOOC) platform. It will also be used for training of technical teachers.

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