All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has announced some major amendments in the existing rules for technical education in India. This is likely to rectify the curriculum, faculty roles and research programmes in technical institutes across the country.
Technical institutes affiliated to AICTE will now have to allocate separate budget for research activities. The notification states that, “All the AICTE recognised institutions shall create a separate budget and provide financial assistance to their faculty members for strengthening research activities.”
“We as a nation have been performing fairly well in terms of research; however, most of the contribution is from some elite institutions like IITs, NITs, IISc, IISERs whereas there is lot of potential at the bottom of the pyramid. Allocation of research fund will inspire faculty and students from affiliated colleges, autonomous institutes and state universities to contribute towards research and innovation. This will improve employability potential, more job creation and strengthen the startup ecosystem,” said Anil D Sahasrabudhe, chairman, AICTE.
At the moment, all the institutions are ranked on the basis of their academic performance and students’ achievement. But, with AICTE’s new rules, technical institutes might soon be ranked as per the number of startups created. “In future, it may also be based on a number of startups and entrepreneurs created by the institute. Therefore, technology incubation centres shall be established and frequent interactions between entrepreneurs, industrialists, alumni and students shall be arranged for motivating students to initiate start-ups,” read the notice.
Confirming the news, Sahasrabudhe said, “MHRD innovation cell @ AICTE has already initiated AARIA ranking, where focus is on innovation, entrepreneurship and startups. In future, institutes will be recognised by the number of innovative products created and number of startups setup annually by an academic institute rather than mere placement records.”
To strengthen the industry-academia synchronisation, AICTE has partnered with a number of organisations to provide industrial training to the teachers. “AICTE in consultation with Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), FICCI, NASSCOM and other such industry bodies will devise a suitable mechanism for facilitating all faculty members to undergo industrial training,” stated the circular.
All the teachers appointed will also have to mandatorily undergo eight online modules of MOOCs on SWAYAM portal as per the AICTE teacher training policy, preferably within the first year of their service. “The aim behind such a programme is to create passion in the field of teaching and profession. The offline courses will also be available in National Institutes of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTRs) and few select universities,” added Sahasrabudhe.