“The mentoring by elite engineering institutes,” according to the letter sent to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by NKC Chairman Sam Pitroda, “was important for bringing about a qualitative transformation in engineering education to meet present and future needs.”
Stressing on the need for a massive reform in technical education, the Commission suggested that the elite engineering institutions should make maximum use of ICT tools to impart distance education.
It also called for the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) for making available content from best of the universities across the world.
Reiterating the need for establishing an Independent Regulatory Authority for Higher Education (IRAHE), Pitroda stressed on the role of a Standing Committee on Engineering Education within the Authority.
The NKC had recommended that the Committee should be made responsible for due diligence of an institution before permitting it the right to grant degrees and diplomas.
As part of the systemic reforms, the NKC has suggested progressively doing away with the system of affiliation of engineering institutions to universities, which is believed to encourage greater flexibility and autonomy.
Stressing that it was critical for institutes to retain good quality faculty, it said institutions should be encouraged to create adjunct positions and invite professionals from industry and research organisations to participate in the teaching process.
Pitroda further said that engineering education was among the key enablers of growth for transforming India's economy and will provide vital inputs for enhancing productivity across sectors.