Following in the footsteps of international varsities and premier institutes in the country, Anna University may soon offer integrated engineering-management courses.

Recently, the All-India Council for Technical Education had asked affiliated institutes to apply if they wished to commence the five-and-a-half-year integrated programme from 2013.

The course is ideal for students aspiring to study management after engineering, experts said. “The objective of the course is to create engineers from all branches with management skills. This will ensure that the graduates are ‘industry-ready’ and also capable of starting and running entrepreneurial ventures,” said S.S. Mantha, chairman, AICTE.

The course will include 10 semesters of academics followed by another semester (6 months) of industry internship for engineering students. Once the student completes three years, she earns a bachelor’s degree in engineering. She can then opt out of the course, work for a while, and return to continue the fourth year as she retains admission in the university.

Anna University vice-chancellor P. Kaliraj said the varsity was now trying to examine the pros and cons of the proposal.

“Though the course offers multiple options, there are chances of an increase in the number of drop outs, as students who wish to work after engineering may not return for the management module,” said Prof. Kaliraj.

According to AICTE, some 500 institutions have applied for the integrated master’s in applied management course.

Experts, however, feel such courses may require separate entrance tests. “A student who failed to secure a mechanical engineering seat may opt for this course if cut-offs are lower,” said R. Krishnan, a former professor at Anna University. The University, as of now, offers an M.Sc integrated programme in computer sciences.

The move may be seen as an attempt to revamp the BCA-MCA courses that are losing their sheen. “MCA is not restricted to engineering graduates as various arts colleges too offer the course,” said Prof Kaliraj.

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