Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 30, 2011
Thousands of untrained faculty in engineering colleges in India would soon get a chance to obtain a degree in engineering and education from Indian Institutes of Technology without joining the premier technical education institute or leaving his or her job.
Shortage of faculty had forced large number of engineering colleges to hire fresh engineering graduates as faculty. But, these graduates are not trained to educate and found to lack in skill in orienting students towards research, leading to poor quality of engineers.
For this endearing problem, the government has found solution – a new part-time Masters’ degree in Engineering Education to be conducted by the IITs. The course is aimed to focus more on research aspects of engineering than just clearing the examination.
“The degree, designed for faculty from engineering colleges will be conducted online, through live video lectures the National Knowledge Network, thus eliminating the need for participants to be relieved of normal teaching duties,” says a planning committee headed by Department of Higher Education secretary Vibha Puri Das.
The ministry estimates to train six to seven thousand young faculty members each year. Training so many will require skills of 1,500 faculty of IITs and other institutions. The teaching for the course will be carried out in the evening and during weekends.
In addition to getting a dual degree, the government believes that the IIT faculty will able to identify and motivate many of these young candidates to pursue a
Part-time Ph.D programme. On its own, the IITs are also expected to produce a Ph.D scholar for every department in the next five years.
In all, the government estimate is that about 30,000 faculty members will be trained in the 12th five-year plan period starting from April 2012.
The government also plans to start a new three year programme leading to a dual Masters Degree – a M. Tech and a Masters degree in educational skills and pedagogy. The course will help the post graduate students from IITs to take up teaching in engineering colleges, where the demand for faculty is expected to rise by 70 % by 2020.
The number of students in technical education in India has increased to over two million from less than a million in 2007-08. To make the future students employable, the government wants the industry to run a pilot project to train engineering faculty in colleges.
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