Should Internship be made compulsory for Engineering

Engineering – Right from addressing underemployment among engineering graduates to handling them degrees only on completion of four months of internship, significant changes are on the cards in technical education in India, according to Anil Sahasrabuddhe, Chairman, and All India Council for Technical Education.

Unemployment

According to statistics, around 60% of the engineers who pass out of various colleges are without jobs, thus reflecting a permanent loss of 20 lakh person days a year. Though they are not unemployable, nevertheless, they are underemployed.

According to industry sources, around 60% of engineering graduates are not adequately prepared; they need further training. In other words, these candidates will not get the same pay in contrast with the 40% of the candidates. Ideally, this 60% candidates should start with a salary of Rs.4-5 lakh per annum are not even getting Rs.1.5 lakh.

Mandatory Internship

To solve this issue, Sahasrabuddhe says, AICTE had made internships necessary to fill the gap so that they become suitably employable. Each engineering student will undergo two summer internships with the industry of two months duration each. As there are more than 10,000 technical education institutions in India, it is not possible for AICTE alone to monitor the implementation of internships. Therefore, it is urging the universities to make courses compulsory and also to make provision for it in their academic calendar. Sahasrabuddhe said that the universities should also give grades or offer credits for the same, at least as qualifying.

NEET Apprehensions

Stating that there has been some apprehension about the single National Entrance Examination for Technical Institutions (NEET) from the states, he said that AICTE is waiting for the outcome of tests like NEET.

As the HRD Ministry was contemplating on significant reforms such as mandatory annual teacher training for approval of institutions and annual revision of curriculum, when quizzed about the status, Sahasrabuddhe said the curricula of its engineering institutions had not been revised for quite some time.  The announcement of its new model curriculum will come soon. The AICTE will urge all states, universities and institutions to adopt the new curriculum, allowing some contextual changes if they feel necessary. He also added that a Committee of renowned Professors and experts from the industry would continue to work for the next five years.

MTech curriculum

Sahasrabuddhe said that the MTech curriculum was also equally poor. MTech graduate might prefer a teaching job rather than joining the industry, thus adversely impacting the engineering education. As part of finding a solution, the AICTE is aiming at changing the curriculum from 2018, along with introducing industry internships.

Regarding the quality of engineering education offered by private institutions, he said although not all of these institutions are bad however there are quite a large number of these institutions having poor infrastructure and lousy quality students. Also, the lack of trained faculty is impacting their quality. Of late, the parents are also aware of these poor institutions are avoid applying there. These private institutions, who fail to fill 30% of the seats for five consecutive years will have to close down.

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