EDUCATION PLUS

Signalling a new course

N. J. NAIR

ALL-PERVADING: There is no facet of life which has been untouched by signal processing.

ALL-PERVADING: There is no facet of life which has been untouched by signal processing.  

THE COLLEGE of Engineering, Thiruvananathapuram (CET), is all set to make yet another stride in technical education. The college will have the distinction of starting M.Tech. in Signal Processing this academic year. CET is the first college to start a postgraduate programme in signal processing in Kerala. There are not many institutions that offer the course in the country either. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, are the other institutes that offer the course. At present 18 seats have been allotted for the two-year course of four semesters.

According to K. Rajeev, lecturer at the Department of Electronics and Communication of the college, signal processing is one field that has wide-ranging applications in diverse areas, including space technology, designing of life-support systems and complex process control in industry. It deals with information in all forms at the physical level.

All major players in the IT industry have signal processing divisions. Among other sectors, signal processing is also applied in the biomedical sector, wireless communication and remote-sensing too.

"This is a fundamental area and it has immense applications. There is practically nothing around us where we do not find the use of signal processing," says Mr. Rajeev.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has given the nod to start the course in the current academic year itself and this is one of the rare instances in which the council has sanctioned a funded course to a Government college.

Education Minister E.T. Mohammed Basheer had evinced keen interest in sanctioning the course. He had played a significant role in expediting the procedures to facilitate its launch this year itself.

The number of seats for the degree courses in electronics has swelled to around 4,000, but there are only 80 seats for the postgraduate courses put together, including those at the CET, the National Institute of Technology, Kozhikode, Kerala University and the Cochin University of Science and Technology.

The steep increase in the number of seats has also brought to sharp focus the need to have highly qualified teachers, says Mr. Rajeev.

The council would meet the expenses incurred for paying the salary of the faculty and also the stipend of Rs.5,000 per month to the students.

The scheme and syllabus of the course have been approved by the University of Kerala at the preliminary level.

On getting the clearance to start the course, the college authorities are getting ready to improve the laboratory facilities with the financial assistance of the World Bank under the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQUIP).

The CET has already been selected as a lead institute under the programme and Rs.30 crores has been allocated for developing its infrastructure facilities.

The Department of Science and Technology has granted Rs.42 lakhs under the Fund for Improvement of Science and Technology Infrastructure in Universities and Higher Education to the Electronics and Communication Department of the college.

Two new laboratories, for advanced communication and embedded systems, are being set up using the funds.

The college would not spare any effort in providing all facilities to the students who join the new course, Mr. Rajeev said.

The students of the existing M.Tech programmes in the college had got placement last year and securing a job for those completing the course would not be a problem at all, says Mr. Rajeev.

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