Indian Engineering Educators Gather to Develop Action Points for the next 10 Years

RAJ_1599sm

As part of the Second International Conference on Transformations in Engineering Education, Kurt Larsen, World Bank Education Specialist, and Krishna Vedula, Executive Director of the IUCEE, held a workshop on “Implementing Strategies for Engineering Education in India Towards 2025” at Infosys in Bangalore on January 9 2015.  The following is a summary of outcomes from the workshop.

The Workshop was very interactive with frank discussions between representatives from the engineering institutions; industry representatives and the regulatory bodies for engineering institutions. The Workshop focused on developing recommendations and action points for engineering education in India to be undertaken over the next 10 years in the areas of:

1) Strengthening Governance, Leadership and Management at Engineering Institutions;

2) Improving the Quality of Teaching, Learning and Research at Engineering Institutions;

3) Fostering Stronger Industry/Institute Collaboration;

4) Building Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Engineering Education.

Four working groups were asked to develop recommendations and action points for how to improve the quality of teaching, learning, research, entrepreneurship, innovation as well as governance at engineering institutions over the next ten years in the four above themes.

RAJ_1561smThe four Working Groups came up with 20 recommendations which provide a solid list of proposals from which engineering institutions (students, faculty and their Boards), companies, regulatory bodies in engineering education as well as the Central and State Governments can be inspired in their continuous efforts to improve engineering education in India over the coming 10 years.

Please find attached a PowerPoint Presentation edited by Krishna Vedula and myself with the 20 recommendations based on the proposals by the four Working Groups as well as a note summarizing the key conclusions from EEI 2025 Workshop.

Some of the key recommendations proposed are:

* Increase the number of autonomous engineering institutions by 200 per year over the next 10 years;

* Set up an Independent Committee to develop ratings of engineering institutions;

* Boards of engineering institutions should be independent with clear responsibilities and accountabilities;

* Up to 25 per cent of faculty in engineering institutions should be qualified personnel from industry and research organizations. Establish compulsory training in teaching pedagogy;

* Gradually make internship a routine mandatory practice for all engineering students over ten years;

* Create University /Industry Consortia for applied research, and engineering based on marked demands;

* Establishing Incubation-centers/warehouses, fabrication centers at Institutes based on marked demands.

The EEI 2025 Workshop culminated in a web-cast where Ashok Shettar, Director of BVB Hubli and Venkatesh Valluri, President of Ingersoll Rand delivered presentations of what they heard and learnt from the discussions at the Workshop. The web-cast is available on the following URL:  http://EEI2015Workshop.wstream.net

Dr. Ashok Shettar suggested strengthening the institutional academic autonomy as very strong prerequisite for improving engineering education; focus on developing out-come based education curriculum; faculty upgrading and pedagogical certification; building strong institutional and academic leadership; and establishing rating/benchmarking of institutions.

Mr. Venkatesh Valluri spoke about the strong need for talent development to strengthen the competiveness of companies and technology development in India; build research collaboration between institutions and industry to foster innovative ecosystems and strengthening entrepreneurship; and the need for competent industry representation in the Governance and Advisory Boards of the engineering institutions.

The web-cast, the key conclusions from EEI 2025 including the 20 proposals for improving teaching, learning, research, innovation and entrepreneurship as well as governance of engineering institutions will be disseminated widely on web-pages and other media resources both in India and internationally.

You are welcome to share the recommendations and proposals with your stakeholders. Should you have suggestions of how to implement the recommendations are these also very welcome.

RAJ_1507sm

Leading up to the ICTIEE was another important event—the Second Indian Student Forum, a regional extension of SPEED’s Global Student Forum. The ISF took place from January 4-6, and attracted over 160 participants.  The following is an excerpt from their Forum. You may download the full ISF report here: 2nd ISF Report

WP_20150106_045

The first day of the forum began with a team activity to make the
participants realize the feel of being engineers. As a part of this
activity the students designed and made a model of a solution
to protect the cargo during the drop as members of the design
team for a humanitarian aid organization. This activity was
mainly conducted to create a realization of basic concepts among
participants, irrespective of their engineering discipline. The students as well as the industry facilitators made cost efficient models. The cargo drop activity was followed by a formal kick-start of the Indian Student Forum by Rohit Kandakatla, President, SPEED. Rohit spoke about the idea behind ISF and about the activities of SPEED. He also stressed on the importance of taking up the grand challenges as the theme for the ISF.

Dr. David Delaine spoke about “Action Planning an Educational Life”. He spoke about the importance of multidisciplinary research in engineering education. He encouraged the participants to be a
reflexive engineer rather than just being a traditional engineer. He asked the participants to first understand the purpose of pursuing engineering. He emphasized on a peaceful change through love, peace and networking. The importance of having an action plan for education that included aspects such as a theme, objectives, tasks, responsibilities, timeline and evaluation was also made known.

The participants then broke into their respective tracks. They were introduced to the tracks where the track experts gave them the picture of the current situation as well as the barriers that came in the way of solving the respective challenge. There were three tracks:

1. Sustainable and economical energy
2. Infrastructure
3. Access to clean water

Each of the tracks had two facilitators. The track experts for the track on Energy were Dr. David Delaine and Mr. Dhinesh Radhakrishnan. They put forth the current scenario in the energy. They stressed on the fact that as of now the energy that is sustainable is not economical and the energy that is economical is not sustainable. They helped the participants to explore sources of energy that were sustainable and economical. The barriers in the proper harnessing of energy were also spoken about.

The track on Infrastructure had Mr. Daniel Justus and Mr. Rohit Kandakatla as the track experts. They spoke about the problems that citizen’s face in daily life due to infrastructural problems. Examples of good infrastructural practices were given and the need for better infrastructure was emphasized upon. The need for global competency, economic development, efficient ways of utilizing the resources and the facilities that are required for a better living were discussed.

Aswin Karthik Ramachandran Venkatapathy and Kashyap Suresh guided the track on access to clean water. The various reasons for lack of clean drinking water in various parts of the world were spoken about. The various methods such as rainwater harvesting and water treatment were discussed. Examples of efficient water storage techniques across the country were shown for the better understanding of the action plan.

After the brainstorming activity, knowledge gathering and dynamic dialogues, the action packed first day ended with the cultural evening, with participants across the country showcasing their culture by sharing various delicacies with the others, brilliant music and dance.