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Academia-Industry Linkage- a Burgeoning Necessity

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Dr. Avinash Sharma, Principal, Rajasthan College of Engineering for Women believes in imparting quality education to students. In an exclusive interview with Elets News Network (ENN), he talks about improving the pedagogy and how the institute associates workshops for those subjects whose practical implementation is not covered in university curriculum.

Institutes across the world are coming up with new ways of imparting education. How are you bringing innovation in pedagogy at Rajasthan College of Engineering for Women?

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As we are govern by university syllabus so to improve pedagogy we associate workshops with those subjects whose practical implementation is not covered in university curriculum thus improving and enhancing problem solving attitude along all verticals among students.  Each individual faculty is innovative in their own aspects and has to be updated for the latest technology and techniques to upgrade themselves. The faculty is given training in different fields of imparting education by renowned institutes like National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR), Chandigarh. Our institute train students with new technology, with field exposure to cope up with industrial needs.

How important is to have a strong academia-industry linkage for an engineering institute and how it is beneficial to the students?

For engineering institute, it is of utmost requirement that a cordial linkage should exist between industry and academia in terms of information exchange, such that student’s knowledge should constantly keep up with current industry trends also enabling institutes to embed more information into its curriculum.

The strong academia –industry linkage for an engineering institute is crucial so that our students while doing their graduation can have different upgraded courses and trainings imparted by companies. Companies have tie-ups with college under knowledge sharing sessions. These make students better for industry.

Please share some of the unique initiatives taken by your institute? How can the gap between industry and academia be bridged?

Our students carry out the industrial and field training for 45 days and they learn their requirement, need of industry along with the latest trend in technology. Our institute, Rajasthan College of Engineering for Women, Jaipur organised various International and National conferences, workshops and training programmes from time to time. We have tie ups for knowledge sharing sessions and placements from Ericsson, BSNL, RIEL, IGATE, Naggarro Software, Pratham Software Solutions, Thermax, APPRIO, SAP Labs, Aricent, IBM, Cognizant, Wipro, HCL, Syntel, Car Dekho etc.  Various companies give their presentation about their products which make them aware about industry scenario. Additionally, our institute has introduced E-learning by using LMS (MOODLE) into our regular curriculum. Further we keep a regular interaction between our alumni and industry members to regularly upgrade on student knowledge requirement

Students complain that most engineering institutes pay more attention towards imparting theoretical knowledge rather than giving practical assignments. Has this trend changed in the last few years?

The engineering institute is abiding with university academic curriculum which they have to complete in the semester/year. However, our institute also covers beyond syllabus activity and the work which is in favour of students as per the market requirements. Students are supported and encouraged to publish research papers as compulsory part of their curriculum presentation.

India may get the full-fledged membership status of the Washington Accord by June, enabling global recognition of Indian degrees and improving mobility of students and engineers. In your opinion, how it is going to help Indian students and engineering education system?

As per requirement of Washington accord, our institute has National Board of Accreditation (NBA) for two departments and we are also pursuing NBA accreditation for other departments besides working on renewal of already NBA accreditation departments. All this process will raise the academic standard of the institute which in turn benefits the students. This will definitely improve the status of Indian degrees which will allow foreign students to take education from India and the standard has to be enhanced according to world level.

What is the importance of an incubation centre and tells us about your plans to install one?

With increasing competitive world, an incubation center plays role of enhancing overall problem solving skill set of student and makes a student industry ready. Also it enables team building and team leadership skill into a student. Business incubators are more dedicated to startup early-stage companies.

How has your college placement been in recent years? Do you think there is sufficient demand in the industry for the engineering graduates?

Industry is continuously striving for engineering graduates with either a particular skill set or an attitude towards solving complex real world problem. The normal placement is in both the areas in government sector as well as private sector as per the vacancy availability. However, the college placement is quite remarkable.

What are the new engineering courses which are becoming popular?

All the core courses such as electrical, civil, mechanical and sub core courses are important and have demand all the time. Minor differences are observed on annual basis depending upon the government planning and policy.

In India, there are multiple agencies which look into the accreditation, but majority of them have failed to bring quality. In your opinion, does accreditation per-se helps in enhancing the quality of education?

Yes, accreditation helps to increase the quality of education up to certain extent. Accreditation is the need of the hour for colleges as people look for good colleges. Due to this colleges have to maintain a standard infrastructure, laboratories, and qualified faculty which results in good graduates. Hence, imparts good quality education

Please share your institute’s expansion plans in the coming years? What are the challenges which you face nowadays?

As IT, MCA & MBA are facing some problem nowadays due to global reasons. We are planning to strengthen more in the core branches by providing superior quality in existing courses.

What is your policy expectation from the government?

Government should provide some funding to the private institutes also to strengthen their lab and Research & Development facilities. Government can hire the human resource generated from the engineering colleges as the students are multitalented but government should have policies to provide work opportunity.

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