AICTE Chairman stresses on industry-academia partnership

Kolkata, July 19 (IANS) It is the responsibility of the industries to associate themselves with academic institutes throughout the year to enhance employability and teachers should be well equipped for the holistic development of the students, AICTE Chairman Anil Dattatraya Sahasrabudhe said here on Friday.

Addressing the issue that fresh graduates in technical fields are not employable the head of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) laid stress on industry-academia partnership.

"The students often fail to answer during interviews as there is no experience-based learning. Just conducting seminars is not enough, there should be industry-institute collaborations throughout the year," Sahasrabudhe said in an interactive session.

It is important for the industries to get involved in the curriculum design, supporting the laboratory facilities, funding centres of excellence, arranging industry visits by the college students, and even partial off-loading of Research and Development projects to colleges. They should not come to colleges every year only during placements.

"Basic foundation has to be created in the institution and specialised learning has to happen in the respective industries. More than specific skill gaps academia should worry about generic skill gaps like communication skills and so on," he said.

He laid importance on the curriculum design, role of the teachers, to initiate innovations and examination reforms. Also, research is of monumental importance as in the prospect of technology one needs to think about tomorrow.

Technology is gradually changing, so the basic foundation is very necessary for technical studies. Apart from learning the core requirement of a particular discipline, the student needs to learn across disciplines.

Different faculty development programmes are conducted in the AICTE Training and Learning (ATAL) Academies in Jaipur, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and fourth will be in Gujarat. Another 5-6 such academies are in the pipeline.

An 8-Module teacher certification programme has been introduced for college faculties in all AICTE-affiliated and deemed institutes. These modules stress on a teacher's all-round development that will help them to engage student's attention.

"The teachers training is theoretical and will be evaluated by some senior teacher to see if they are able to connect with the students. End of the year they will be given a certificate after which they will become regular faculty member," he said.

Also, a 3-week induction programme is being conducted to boost students to student relationship as well as student to faculty member interaction, thereby forming a common platform for mutual exchange of ideas and strengths for holistic learning. He reminded about the Gurukul system of learning where teachers and students worked together.

Talking about inter-disciplinary learning Sahasrabudhe said: "An engineering student may take up psychology or sociology, which will allow them to explore. This would also make their innovations more acceptable and relevant".

Humanities and social sciences in the curriculum to create sensitisation in students regarding the need of the society, planet and universe, he added.

--IANS

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