AICTE has revised the technical and higher education curriculum by involving experts from academia and industry. In the new curriculum, new areas like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Block Chain, Robotics, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, etc have also been incorporated, says Prof Anil D Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE) in an interview with Elets News Network (ENN).
With New Education Policy likely to be released in some time, how it will help in strengthening and improving the higher and technical education in India.
The policy itself will not improve the higher and technical education but its implementation will do. Therefore, the threadbare discussion on the entire policy and its implementation scheme will certainly make vibrant higher education system in our country.
It is important to facilitate learning through experiments. What are AICTE’s plans in this regard?
Learning through experiments or experiential learning is very important, not only in technical education but in every field. Earlier, the emphasis was not there but the New Education Policy talks about it in a significant manner. Experiential learning is not a new concept. From Gurukul system of old times and from ancient universities, it has been retracted back in the modern era to experience the real time challenges in any sector. If we talk about Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, people visit a village and experience the problems and try to solve them.
Similarly, internship in any industry helps students in observing what exactly happens there and learn outside of classroom through variety of activities. Under Such programmes, students experience a phenomenon and learn from it. This is what has been promoted in the New Education Policy.
For teachers, it is challenging to update themselves in tune with the changing technologies, how AICTE is helping them to overcome the same?
AICTE has revised its curriculum by involving experts from academia and industry. Once the curriculum is revised, new areas like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, Digital technologies, Cloud Computing, Block Chain, Robotics, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Data Analytics have been incorporated into it. The new curriculum will also help teachers to update with latest skills and inculcate new traits. There are two ways to do it, first that we run courses and where faculty can come and get themselves abreast with the new knowledge.
Second, through our Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) platform; it will help faculty to learn from the comfort of their homes. It is also significant to create a habit of constant, continuous learning – lifelong learning. This is what we want to bring in our faculty.
How incubators are encouraging student for entrepreneurship? What is the role of AICTE in it?
Incubators were earlier considered as different entity, where people from outside the academic institutes were ready to help in developing entrepreneurship and start-ups. But today, large number of incubators has come into existence in the Universities and Institutes.
AICTE’s role is how to promote entrepreneurship while students are graduating, not after completing their course. We have instructed institutes to encourage their students for the courses that will empower them to be entrepreneurs. And also create incubators, accelerators and support system in terms of entrepreneurship cell, innovation cell where students will start working right from their first year. So by the time they will graduate, instead of seeking jobs, they will be able to create jobs for others.
With fresh graduates lacking the relevant practical knowledge, how does the curriculum can be corrected for more exposure and industry engagement?
Mandatory industry training during a course will allow students to experience the industry life during their graduation. So, it is either three summer vacations of two months each or it will be one full semester where they will go to industry and learn those practices. Moreover, the industry problems given by industry for the students’ projects in their undergraduate studies will also be helpful. All this will nurture capable practical engineers in the future.
What message would you like to give to our youth?
Many a time’s people think that demand for engineers is declining. But, I am giving assurance that world is so large and there are ample opportunities present. Because engineering education is one where you methodically study physics, chemistry and math on one side, lot of hands on wherein you learn many things – experiments, critical thinking, analytical ability, mathematical ability which will help in any domain you go outside later.
Secondly, India due to its demographic dividend, the entire world which is aging, there are enough opportunities for jobs not only in India but the rest of the world. Within the country, whether it is Skill India, Make in India, Swachh Bharat, Digital India or Unnat Bharat Abhiyan; every activity of the Government has potential for engineers to play an important role.