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IIT course in offing to train engg faculty

Course to focus more on research aspects; govt plans to train 30,000 in 12th five-year plan. Chetan Chauhan reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 02, 2012 01:23 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times

Thousands of untrained faculty members of engineering colleges in India will soon get a chance to obtain a degree in engineering and training from Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) without joining the premier technical education institute or leaving their jobs.

Shortage of faculty had forced a large number of engineering colleges across the country to hire engineering graduates as teachers. But these graduates are not trained to be teachers and lack skills in orienting students towards research.

To tackle this enduring problem, the government has found a solution—an online part-time Masters’ degree in Engineering Education conducted by IITs. The course is aimed at focusing more on research aspects of engineering than just equipping students to clear the examination.

“The course, designed for faculty members in engineering colleges will be conducted online, through live video lectures, ensuring that the ‘students’ do not need to stop normal teaching duties,” said a member of the plannig committee headed by higher education secretary Vibha Puri Das.

The ministry plans to train 6,000-7,000 young faculty members each year. Training such numbers will require the participation of 1,500 faculty members of IITs and other institutions. The classes will be conducted in the evening and during weekends.

In addition, the Union government believes that the IIT faculty will be able to identify and motivate many of these candidates to pursue a part-time PhD programme.

On its own, the IITs are also expected to produce at least one PhD scholar in every department in the next five years.

In all, the government hopes to train around 30,000 faculty members in the 12th five-year plan period starting April 2012. The government also plans to start a new three-year programme to help post graduate students in IITs take up teaching.

The demand for faculty in engineering colleges is expected to rise by 70% by 2020.

The number of students acquiring technical education in India has increased to over two million from less than a million in 2007-08.

To make the students employable, the government wants the industry to run a pilot project to train faculty.

First Published: Jan 01, 2012 23:03 IST