CU to make BTech job-ready
The heads of the four-year BTech programme at Calcutta University will meet on Monday to decide on adopting an industry-specific curriculum to make engineers job-ready.
The new industry-specific syllabus framed by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) — the apex body that regulates engineering education across the country — was launched early this year to combat the crisis of unemployability among engineering graduates.
The new curriculum focuses on practical knowledge and laboratory work, with the credit requirements for theory reduced substantially.
The meeting has been convened so that the changes can be introduced from the 2019-20 academic year, a senior university official associated with the engineering faculty said.
“AICTE has been insisting on introducing the revamped curriculum. The salient feature of the advisory include revision of the syllabus to make it industry-ready by engaging experts from the industry,” he said.
In Maharashtra, the state directorate of technical education formed a core advisory committee with representatives from Larson and Toubro this April to enhance employability.
A professor of information and technology said it was crucial to include industry components in the curriculum as mere knowledge of theory won’t fetch a job.
“These days recruiters organise events such as Hackathon (tech fest) ahead of recruitment drives to assess whether a student is gaining knowledge on the industry through the curriculum he is studying,” he said.
The model engineering curriculum has been drawn up based on the recommendations of 11 subject committees, set up by AICTE for engineering and technical institutes, excluding IITs and NITs.
The revised curriculum would also enable an engineering student to undergo a mandatory period of internship to gain practical experience, a decision also prompted by industry complaints about the poor employability of BTech graduates, an official said.
The internships can be done any time starting from the second year of the programme and must be completed before campus placements in the fourth year. The schedule for internships is likely to be decided at the meeting, the official said.
The university will decide the duration of the internship on the basis of the requirements of individual courses, with the council only stipulating that the period be between a month and a semester.
“Internships will make students industry-ready before they step out of college. Students will be exposed to the work environment, hone their professional skills, including technical, managerial and communicational skills,” council chairperson Anil Sahasrabudhe had said last year.
The university would also take a call on whether to increase the number of BTech seats next year. At present, it offers four-year BTech in 165 seats. The university plans to raise it to 240.
“The expansion plan is held up as the university does not have a workshop on its tech campus in Salt Lake, where the first-year classes are held. Work has begun. We have to take stock of the work in progress and then decide whether the seats could be raised,” an official said.
Only the Ballygunge campus of CU has a workshop for the students of the four-year BTech course in jute and fibre technology and students have commute from Salt Lake to Ballygunge for training.