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Need for flexibility in engineering education, says M.G.K. Menon

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KEEPING DECORUM: A student greeting S.C. Tripathi (extreme left), Chairman, Board of Governors, NIT-C, and chief guest M.G.K. Menon, Adviser, ISRO, Department of Space, before receiving the degree from G.R.C. Reddy, Director, NIT-C (looking on) at a convocation ceremony of the National Institute of Technology-Calicut on Friday. - Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup
KEEPING DECORUM: A student greeting S.C. Tripathi (extreme left), Chairman, Board of Governors, NIT-C, and chief guest M.G.K. Menon, Adviser, ISRO, Department of Space, before receiving the degree from G.R.C. Reddy, Director, NIT-C (looking on) at a convocation ceremony of the National Institute of Technology-Calicut on Friday. - Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

Staff Reporter

NITs and IITs should work in coordination: M.G.K. Menon

  • Says universities should specialize in narrower disciplines
  • 280 students convocate from NIT-C

    KOZHIKODE: The advance in science and technology with the new globalised economy calls for flexibility in engineering education with a strong coupling between the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs), M.G.K. Menon, advisor, ISRO, Department of Space, has said.

    Delivering the convocation address at the second convocation ceremony of NIT, Calicut, (NIT-C) at Chathamangalam near here on Friday, Prof. Menon said such a move (of coupling IITs and NITs) could bring rapid progress in technical education in the country. A total of 280 students received degrees at the convocation. S.C. Tripathi, chairman, Board of Governors of NIT-C, presided. Director G.R.C. Reddy presented a report of the institute.

    "Engineering education should be looked upon as a national system, with significant free movement within institutions as well as between institutions of both faculty as well as students. This flexibility should apply not only to these educational institutions but also in respect of industry.

    More particularly, one can start with a strong coupling between NIT and IIT systems.

    It does not necessarily have to be one-to-one relationship between one IIT and one NIT; it can be between departments, between faculty as well as students, who can be exchanged and get credits," Prof. Menon pointed out.

    Specialisation

    The new globalised economy, Prof. Menon said, calls for specialised professionals. Hence, instead of old-fashioned broad-based university system, the tendency at present was for universities to specialise in narrower disciples such as agriculture, engineering, law, management, medicine and the like.

    Experimental science

    Prof. Menon, who was a former Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, said that experimental science in the country was weak since the outputs of the science stream of education and training have not been through a system with the infrastructure and broader capabilities that training in an engineering establishment would have given them.

    "In my view, there is a great opportunity for students who wish to go into the experimental science stream in engineering institutions like the IITs and NITs that have the ambiance and infrastructure relating to rigorous training in engineering education. Equally, there would be advantages for those in economics, management and policy making areas to work their way in engineering institutions to benefit from the ambiance and infrastructure that already exists for engineering education," he said.

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