The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has new reforms in the pipeline to make technical education more student-centric, improve the quality of teaching and enhance the competitiveness of India’s technical manpower. This was shared by Dr. R.K Soni, Director and Regional Officer, NWRO-AICTE, in his inaugural address at a three-day, AICTE sponsored Faculty Development Programme (FDP) which commenced at Chandigarh Group of Colleges (CGC) Landran. Over 200 educators from technical institutions from across the state are participating in this FDP.“To improve the quality of teaching, next year onwards, it will be mandatory for new teachers to undertake a six month teacher training course followed by six months of mentored teaching under the guidance of a senior teacher from their institution. Their probation will be confirmed only after successful completion of this one year course”, stated Dr. Soni during his address. AICTE also aims to train select number of teachers from across the country as master trainers every year and plans to open academies for the same. One such academy is being planned to be opened in Baroda with another one in Jaipur, he added. FDPs such as the one being conducted here at CGC Landran are also a part of AICTE’s efforts to train faculty members to further conduct three-week mandatory student induction programme for AICTE approved institutions to help students adjust to the new environment and inculcate in them the ethos of the institution with a sense of larger purpose, Mr Soni informed.
In terms of improving the quality of technical education, AICTE is planning to introduce a new model curriculum which will be revamped every three years to keep up with the latest requirements of industry and help strengthen academia-industry connect. Salient features of the new curriculum would include mandatory summer internships, student induction programmes, reduction in total credit requirement to encourage students to spend time on research, innovation and activities which encourage their holistic development. To promote experiential learning the apex body will be introducing 1,000 hours activity programme for students. Of these, 600 hours to 700 hours would be used to fulfill mandatory internship requirements while remaining 300 hours to 400 hours would be aligned for community services and allied activities.Efforts are also underway to revamp the examination pattern by evaluating a student’s performance on the basis of application, critical thinking and aptitude, shared Dr Soni. Elaborating on AICTE’s plans further, he added that AICTE plans to promote online education by connecting technical institutions through SWAYAM platform. Satnam Singh Sandhu, Chairman, CGC Landran and Rashpal Singh Dhaliwal, President, CGC Landran, while appreciating AICTE’s efforts at reforming technical education, drew the apex body’s attention to address issues faced by private engineering colleges including lack of research grants being provided to researchers, inadequate equipment and infrastructure for conducting research projects, reforms in exam evaluation process in light of mass suplies that put a spanner in students’ placement and career. They also suggested AICTE to open one center of excellence in each state to support and promote Research and Development activities.