Undergraduate engineering courses have long faced low demand. However, courses recently introduced in undergraduate education might be the solution.
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) reveals that since 2019-2020, nearly 127 degree institutes and 663 undergraduate colleges across the country have opted for courses including artificial intelligence (AI), science and data analysis, blockchain, machine learning, robotics among others. Although this covers less than 10% of the total number of engineering institutes in India, officials believe it is a positive step in the right direction.
This includes 222 institutes for AI and machine learning, 186 institutes for AI and data science, 52, 45 and 29 institutes for computer science and design courses, and data science courses and of AI respectively.
“In 2020-21, the electronics and communications industry managed to win over the best minds and many also opted for BTech in the fields of AI and data science. As jobs in the electronics and AI industries gain popularity, students are also very clear on their ambition and aim for seats in specific departments, ”said Gopakumaran Thampi, director of Thadomal Shahani Engineering. College, Bandra.
In early 2019, to attract more students to the engineering sector, AICTE had asked all affiliated engineering schools to introduce new courses, including data science and analytics, blockchain, machine learning and robotics. Since 2020, AICTE has also implemented a general two-year ban on new engineering institutes across the country and has asked colleges to apply for new age courses.
In some cases, engineering institutes have also chosen not to apply for the new courses due to a lack of state government support for the same. “We have not applied for any new courses because to date the state government has not approved a teacher for the electronics and communication course we started in 2009. This particular course has attracted brightest minds over the years and is popular. demand among recruiters as well, which is why the institute is funding the course without any government support, ”said Dhiren Patel, director of Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), Matunga.
“Trend for a short new-age course”
As the demand for new age courses increases, more and more institutes are showing interest in introducing them into their institute. However, experts have pointed out how short-lived this decision could be, especially for courses like AI and data science and analytics due to the evolution of technology in these areas.
“These sectors are evolving and new trends are emerging. At present, these courses might be able to provide many jobs for graduate students, there is no guarantee that the trend will continue for very long, ”said SS Mantha, former president of AICTE.
He added that in recent years, basic engineering courses like civil and mechanical engineering courses have seen a decline in applications due to the lack of employment opportunities for students after graduation. diploma. However, an undergraduate degree in basic engineering, Mantha said, is very important for students. “The curatorial value of new age courses may be limited as basic knowledge in basic engineering areas takes students far,” he added.