'End disconnect between academics and industry'

Survey asks colleges to get real, seek outside inputs

Engineering institutes that are working jointly with industry members in areas of governance, curriculum, faculty, infrastructure, services, placement and entrepreneurship ranked higher and had better placement opportunities, according to a survey by AICTE and CII.

“A mechanism is needed to ensure that what comes out of the university is relevant to the industry and vice versa. We have been seeing a disconnect between academics and the industry,” said P Rajendran, chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry, national committee on higher education.

Out of 3,600 engineering institutes affiliated with the All India Council for Technical Education, 1,070 met the criteria for the survey, and 156 institutes participated.

“It is the first time that a survey like this has taken place. Although I am not happy at the absolute figure of the sample size, considering the given criteria for selection, the current sample size is satisfactory,” said AICTE chairperson S S Mantha.

The selection criteria of the survey was that the eligible institute should have been operational for at least 10 years, offering three mandatory streams — civil, electrical and mechanical engineering — and two other courses.

“The average composite score at the national level is 30.9. The minimum and maximum scores obtained by the institutes in the study are 4.4 and 75.7 respectively. Out of the 156 institutes, the highest was 99 institutes scoring moderate. Institutes scoring high were 28 and low were 29,” stated the survey.

The survey also observed the level of sustainability of the institutes scoring high.
“In governance, 60 per cent institutes have three or more industry members on their board of governors, and six or more committees with industry members on board,” the survey found.

As far as the curriculum is concerned, over 70 per cent institutes amended 10 or more of their courses after inputs from the industry since 2007.

“Fifty per cent of the institutes has more than five refresher courses being provided by their faculty to the industry, with more than 50 industry executives attending such courses,” stated the survey.

Over 80 per cent institutes have two or more centres financially supported by the industry, with 50 per cent or more financial contribution by the industry in the particular centre.

The Prime Minster’s Fellowship Scheme for doctoral research by the Science and Engineering Research Board under the Union science and technology department and the CII was also launched on Friday. “There will be 100 fellowships per year, through which Rs 6 lakh scholarship per PhD student will be given,” said Mantha.

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