The government body for approving technical institutions, All India Council for Technical Education, popularly known as AICTE has announced they will only offer new approval to Institutes and engineering colleges only if they offer the courses in emerging fields like Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Robotics, Quantum Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Cyber Security, Alternate Reality or Virtual Reality (AR/VR) and 3D Printing & Design. The government body has said that this decision will be followed from the 2020-2021 academic year. The new institutes who are looking for approval will only be given approval if they offer these 9 new age emerging courses on their campus.
The AICTE has informed the Lok Sabha on 15th July 2019, Monday, that new conventional disciplines that have low employment potential will not be allowed by the council from the academic session of 2020-2021. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, the Union Cabinet Minister of Human Resource Development (HRD), responded to all supplementaries during the Question Hour and said that engineering students are given training so that they can be a part of the famous ‘Make in India’ initiative that has been started by the Government of India.
The AICTE has brought forth several steps in order to bridge the gap that exists between industry requirements and the courses that are taught at engineering institutes. One of these initiatives is making internships compulsory for all engineering students.
Pokhriyal responded to a question on employability and said that students from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) get employment in 200 of the top 500 companies of the world. Shashi Tharoor (Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha) claimed that there is a significant mismatch between the demands of the industry and the courses that are being imparted. He laid emphasis on the removal of this mismatch.
Workshops are being conducted by the AICTE in NITs and IITs across the country for faculties to make them familiar with the courses which are currently emerging as new age requirements. The workshop is being conducted since January and 500 to 600 teachers are being trained in these workshops and are given hands-on exposure to the Quality Improvement Programs (QuIP) in various fields such as Artifical Intelligence, Machine Learning, 3D Printing, Robotics, etc. These faculty members would eventually end up teaching the other teachers in their institute on the mentioned subjects.
As per sources, to reduce the seats and occupancy in the traditional engineering courses, AICTE has directed the existing institutions to introduce multiple specialisations based courses such as Biotechnology, Environmental Engineering, Aerospace engineering, mechatronics, biomedical technologies, etc. Pokhriyal also said that the organisation of Smart India hackathons is under process and will be started soon so as to encourage innovations which can act as a “funnel” for Startup India.
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