Engineering teachers in Chhattisgarh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands will now be trained by the faculty at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

The Board of Governors of IIT Kharagpur has approved the creation of extension centres at Raipur in Chhattisgarh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Damodar Acharya, IIT (K) Director told The Hindu on Thursday. Details are being worked out, he added.

There are concerns over the quality of teaching in engineering and technical institutions because of lack of facilities for training of teachers.

In Chhattisgarh, the admissions to undergraduate engineering programmes in the various colleges show that in as many as 17 colleges (all of them in the non-government sector), 60 per cent or more seats remained vacant. Even though many of these institutions do satisfy the minimum requirements in terms of number of faculty as laid down by the All India Council for Technical Education, the quality of instructions is always questionable.

Prof. Acharya explained that teachers and engineers from these two places would be trained through video-conferencing and contact mode and granted an M.Tech. degree but this course would be extended to three years instead of two which is the regular course duration. The faculty would have to attend classes on weekends at an identified centre – possibly in Kolkata or Bhubaneshwar – and once a month visit Kharagpur for laboratory classes. “If this does not work out, we can have the students visiting Kharagpur once in a semester for longer duration,” said Prof Acharya. Neither Madhya Pradesh nor Chhattisgarh has an IIT.