Industry-Relevant Disciplines To Be Added in Engineering Colleges: AICTE Chairman

  • CalendarOn January 23, 2023

In the academic year 2021–22, more than 4 lakh sanctioned seats in various engineering colleges across the nation remained unfilled. Out of the 12,53,337 sanctioned seats, close to 1/3rd  remained vacant. 

According to TG Sitharam, Chairperson, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Govt. will work to strengthen the core engineering courses and introduce "industry-relevant" disciplines in these colleges to address the problem of open seats in engineering colleges across the nation. He added that to close the gap between Academia and Industry, it is necessary to establish an "Institutional Mechanism" for routine input. 

Reasons Behind Crisis of Vacant Engineering Seats

Several reasons may contribute to a decline in the number of engineering seats:

1.Outdated Curriculum and Lack of Practical knowledge 

The recent Aspiring Minds report found that only 40% per cent of engineering graduates do an internship upon completion of the program. Varun Aggarwal, the co-founder of Aspiring Minds, stated, "Faculty rarely discuss how principles are applied in the workplace or expose students to such topics through industry speakers. These need to be fixed by gamification, capacity building, and aligning the incentives of all stakeholders.”

2. Inadequate Career Services and Guidance

Engineering graduates of today need significant “soft skills” in addition to technical expertise they receive in college in order to stand out to potential employers. Skills like communication,  critical thinking, and problem-solving are some of the top soft skills that an institution has to offer for their students, especially during placement sessions. 

3. Lack of Qualified Teaching Pedagogy

The quality of engineering education is also a reflection of the quality of educators, most of whom lack expertise in the new age technical domains like AI and ML, Data Science or UI/UX. As new technologies and techniques are developed, it can be difficult for colleges to find specialized teachers who are up-to-date on the latest developments. 

It's important to note that these are general factors, and the actual reasons for the decline in seats may also vary depending on the location and program. 

AICTE's  Recommended Reforms

To ensure that students who graduate from academic institutions have the skills necessary for in-demand jobs, AICTE has recommended that all Higher Education Institutions(HEIs) to regularly assess future skill requirements and make appropriate modifications to content and pedagogy. It has also urged to set up an institutional system for regular industry feedback on the advancement of technology and how it may affect employment positions.

Action Steps by AICTE 

The AICTE will work on improving the quality of technical education by strengthening the core engineering courses and introducing “industry-relevant” disciplines in these colleges to enhance the employability of graduates. 

The chairperson intends to focus on strengthening AICTE to create better opportunities in the field of employment generation and entrepreneurship and establish an ecosystem for co-innovation and start-ups.

upGrad Campus: Bridging Industry-Academia Gap 

upGrad Campus partners with HEIs across the country to offer programs in new-age specializations like AIML, Data Science, Business Analytics, etc. to students. Our Long term Joint Degree(JD) Programs and Short-Term Job Ready Certification Programs(JRCP) come with hands-on experience through live classes by industry experts, capstone projects and case studies. 

We also offer Placement Assistance and Training on soft skills, aptitude etc, to all enrolled students.  By collaborating with upGrad Campus, Higher Education Institutions can ensure that their students are receiving an education that is in line with the needs of the industry, helping prepare students for the workforce, and increase their employability. 

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