AICTE is working on a proposal that will make it mandatory for graduating engineers to appear for an 'Exit Exam' that will assess their employability skills. This exam will be mandatory for students in their final year of B. Tech. Basis the Exit Exam score, the employability of the students will be determined, because the government intends to share this information with their prospective employers. Given the nature of this exam, it will be implemented in both government and private engineering schools in India and the government will share the scores of the exam with prospective employers.
Aim behind the proposal to conduct 'Exit Exams' in B. Tech colleges:
- Skewed standards of India’s engineering education
- Improve Employability: Only 20% - 30% of engineering graduates in India are able to get a job, in spite of the fact that roughly, seven lakh engineering students graduate annually from across 3,000 registered technical institutes (approximately)
- Fix the lack of requisite skill set amongst engineering graduates to make them job ready
This landmark proposal has been in the offing for a while now. With growing questions on the credibility of engineers passing out of engineering colleges in India every year, this exit exam will test their ‘attainment levels’, said a spokesperson from AICTE. He further confirmed that this decision is still at a discussion level at present and will be taken up for discussion at a meeting of the AICTE later in January 2017. As of January 2018, there is no update on the status of this proposal. However, recently, AICTE received a shock when a fake news on scrapping of 75% mandatory attendance in B. Tech colleges in India was doing the rounds.
Conducting the Exit Exam for engineering graduates will serve a dual motive:
- AICTE can then check the engineering student’s skills, aptitude, critical thinking, besides theory
- Will give AICTE a feedback on the standards & teaching methodology of engineering institutes in India
- AICTE will be able to come up with remedial measures for the betterment of the education quality in each of these institutes like teacher training etc.
The intention to better the education standards is so motivated that a committee has even suggested making GATE exam mandatory for passing out of engineering institutes! GATE otherwise is conducted for admission to M. Tech courses in the Indian Institutes of Technology by Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore & seven IIT’s across India.
Just like the Medical Council of India (MCI) has proposed a compulsory exit exam to obtain a degree in medicine, similarly, the AICTE is planning to replicate this model for engineering as well. Even though students will be awarded with an engineering degree from their respective colleges regardless of their performance in the exit exam, it will, however, be mandatory for students to give the Exit exam (unlike GATE).
However, for all engineering institutes in India to comply with this new rule, AICTE will have to issue a regulation in this regard. So that if institutes refuse to follow the regulation, they will stand a chance of losing out on the approval status of their institutes. In the event of all this, NITI Aayog is seeking UGC & AICTE’s views on allowing foreign universities in India.
While this move by AICTE seems to be directed towards making engineering education at par with global standards, we are yet to see how colleges, as well as students, react to this milestone ruling.