One of the members of the Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) to the Prime Minister of India is not in favour of promoting the concept of virtual laboratory and the virtual classrooms in the country.
Talking to Hindustan Times, the SAC member, Dr Vinod K Singh, and the director of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal said that the virtual laboratories and the virtual classroom teaching would not help in producing quality students. Direct interaction of the teacher and the student was essential for better learning, he added.
Dr Vinod, who is one of the twenty three permanent members of the SAC, was here to attend four days 5th J-Nost conference at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-K) on Friday. The conference was organised by the Department of Chemistry at the IIT-K.
Dr Vinod said as a member to the council his efforts would be to convince the government for creating more IISERs and the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in different states.
Dr Singh said that the country needed to strengthen the system of ITIs in every state. “The ITIs should have rich infrastructure. Besides, ITIs should be more than one in each state to cater to the needs of the students having technical bent of mind but somehow they cannot get admissions to the prestigious institutes of engineering,” he added.
He suggested the students who did not prefer joining courses at the ITIs should be given training on short basis in the trade of their choice like carpentry.
He said that at the first meeting of the SAC scheduled for December 12, 2009 he would endeavour to get the proposal of IISER and the ITI included in the agenda for detailed discussion on the issue as it has become very pertinent in the fast changing technological scenario in the globe.
He further said that he would pursue the government for abolishing the system of several entrance tests for the different engineering colleges to facilitate the students and their parents. “I am of the opinion that we should introduce one test system on the pattern of Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) of USA for admission to any of the engineering colleges. The
scholars should be tested for their skills in Mathematics, English and Aptitude. They should not be asked to solve hundreds of relevant and irrelevant questions at the entrance test,” said Dr Singh.
“I also feel that like USA we should construct multi-storied academic buildings in smaller plots of land and should provide education to more students at one institute. We should not exploit the farmers’ fertile land for buildings only. In USA over a plot of two hundred acres more than fifteen thousand students get education while in our country only five thousand students are accommodated in an academic complex created over 1200 acres of land. This wastage of farmers land should be checked. We should construct multi story academic buildings and not the guest houses, Dr Vinod said.