AICTE-CII Survey of Industry-linked Engineering Institutions gives colleges insight into their academic shortcomings

When the results of the second ‘AICTE-CII Survey of Industry-linked Engineering Institutions’ were published recently, only eight colleges bagged awards from among 660 in six engineering streams, and one each in pharmacy and management. Three among the eight were from Tamil Nadu, four from Maharashtra, and one from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. There is a sense of achievement that three colleges from Western Tamil Nadu have bagged awards. Other colleges say they are motivated to better their performance because the survey gave them an insight into where there were shortcomings.

A. Ramesh, Head, Mechanical Department, Sri Krishna College of Engineering and Technology, who filled the survey details, says that it is a comprehensive document that includes every aspect and parameter.

“Even when we filled the application / questionnaire, we were able to assess our strengths and limitations. Under certain categories there was much to fill, while under others, there was less. From this it is easy to infer the areas we have to improve upon,” he adds.

The trend that is evident from the results of the survey is that colleges that had their own industries had high level of institute-industry interaction. College heads in Coimbatore say that having one’s own industry is a major advantage. There is no restriction on time and number of students using the industry facilities for hands-on experience.

Though the curriculum is industry-oriented, when it comes to practical experience, most of the external industries are not able to accommodate many students because of space and time constraints.

Also, another limitation pointed out by some staff members is that when colleges ink memoranda of understanding with industries, it has very limited functions, mostly related to having guest lectures from industry or aiding placements, etc. The MoUs should be revisited to include more industry-orientedness for the students, they say.

Another major area of lacuna is in the industry experience of faculty. Exposure of faculty to industry is very limited in the real sense and is restricted to attending workshops / seminars, etc.

The award-winning colleges agree that having their own industry is definitely an advantage.

Also, encouraging companies to establish centres of excellence on the campus is a win-win situation for the institute and industry. The centres train students and the faculty of the college use the facilities to conduct courses for the employees on a need basis. This ensures that the industry also gets to enjoy many benefits.

The AICTE and CII have made the survey available in a booklet form. This also includes the case studies of the award-winning colleges.