What changes would you like to see in engineering education?Emphasis should be given to humanities and the social sciences as engineering is not purely a technical field. It requires students to be well-versed with other subjects. Having good industry-driven research programmes based on a pull model will help.
Is there something that needs to be done to boost the IIT system?All engineering institutions, including the IITs, must work on tie-ups with foreign universities. There needs to be better coordination between the IITs, the NITs and other technical institutions so that they can transfer credits and even allow students in one institute to take up certain courses at the others. An ideal BTech degree should be a combination of all engineering disciplines and I may propose this to the University Grants Commission in the future. The IITs need to think beyond the JEE. The old IITs must emphasise more on postgraduate education and the new one must focus on 21st century education.
Tell us about Mahindra Ecole Centrale. The engineering institution has been established through a collaboration involving Mahindra Group, Ecole Centrale Paris, a French engineering university, and the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad. It is based on the Anglo Saxon model of education. The institution will promote research in energy, environment, and so on, and also ficus on social sciences and humanities. Students must qualify the JEE (Main) and have 60% aggregate marks in the Board exams to qualify. Admissions will begin in July 2014. The academic programme will begin post the AICTE approvals and it willl also work towards approval of an international accreditation organisation such as CTI (Commission des Titres d’Ingénieur, an independent body involved in the development of the European Higher Education Area, established by France).