Biggest challenge before us is getting qualified faculty for engineering and specialty education institutions, said Dr. N.R. Shetty here on Friday.

In his key-note address at the ‘10th ISTE State-level Students Convention 2010'' of the Indian Society for Technical Education at Jayam College of Engineering, Nallanur, in Dharmapuri, Dr. Shetty asked policy makers to chalk out a plan of action to solve the acute shortage of qualified and competitive faculty for the engineering and specialty institutions in the country.

He said there was an urgent need to bring in drastic changes to the accreditation procedure, granting of affiliations, and awarding autonomous status to institutes of excellence. Continuous evaluation of institutions was necessary. Stress should be given to revamp the system of education to make it student-centric.

Dr. Shetty said the quality of education should be improved to meet global standards. Institutions should give more importance to research-based education. Research should be the part and parcel of the education system. Students should be motivated to become entrepreneurs. As more and more industries were giving thrust on training new recruits through Occupational Training Centres, the need of the hour was to develop trainers, master trainers to equip engineering graduates.

Dr. K. Karunakaran, Vice-Chancellor, Anna University of Technology, Coimbatore, said technical education was facing many challenges in responding to societal, technological and economic changes in the local and global environment. The real challenge was to reposition it in response to the global forces driving change in a knowledge-based economy.

Because of globalisation, many low and medium technology industries have been relocated to developing countries like India to reap the benefit of cheap and knowledgeable labour.

He stressed the immediate need that for an effectively leveraged technology to improve the quality of society.

Earlier, Dr. Shetty and Dr. Karunakaran gave away Best Student Awards to the students of the ISTE chapters of various colleges.

Dr. Karunakaran launched the website www.azhaguboomi.org created by the students of Master of Computer Applications (MCA). The theme of the website is global warming.

M. Ramesh, chairman, in his inaugural address said that 1,023 students from 112 engineering colleges have registered for the two-day convention. Of this, 463 students presented their papers for the convention. About 156 students exhibited their projects.

R. K. Suresh, chairman, ISTE, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry presided over the inaugural function.