AICTE Chief Speech: Punjab University

At a time when the unemployment rate is so high in the country, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe on Monday asked the colleges and universities to emphasize more on startups, saying that a number of opportunities are there for engineering students to start their own start-up instead of looking for job opportunities.

“There are lots of opportunities for students starting their own entrepreneurial journey,” Sahasrabudhe said, adding, “Engineering graduates should focus more on startups rather than looking for jobs in large industries and corporations.”

While addressing a symposium in Punjab University, the AICTE chairman said that the types of jobs are changing and there are new emerging areas in which teachers need to be trained to teach students.

“We are encouraging startups in colleges and universities. They can develop their own way of funding through alumni, their college as well as industry. The Department of Science and Technology and NITI Aayog can fund only limited number,” he added.

Talking about new ways to handle the low employability of engineering graduates, Sahasrabudhe said that the curriculum itself is outdated in many colleges and universities, and it needs to be updated.

“The curriculum needs to be updated so that students learn what is required by the industry. In case the faculty is not trained to teach that syllabus, we will train them through massive open online courses (MOOC) so that they are able to learn these course content at their respective locations,” he added.

He talked about a three-week module where one faculty member can mentor a group of 25 students in the higher educational institutions, saying the programme was meant to connect students with the faculty and strengthen the bond.

“A group of 25 students will be associated with one faculty member under the programme and the students will interact with faculty members, hold discussions, exercise, go to picnic and movies together. The faculty member will automatically become a guardian for the students,” he said, adding, “Instead of agitating and creating problems in the college/university, they will go to that faculty member and resolve the issue.”

He said that the connection between the students and faculty is missing today and all agitations in the colleges and universities can be overcome by addressing the issue in this way.