A Symposium on Emerging Technologies: Curriculum, Industry and PolicyConducted by Awareness in Action, a non-profit Think Tank,August 2, 2019, Friday at UGC Auditorium, JNTUH, Hyderabad

Engineering students must be connected in real-time with the industry to be ahead of the emerging technologies, said Omkar Rai, Director General of STPI.

Speaking after inaugurating a symposium on 'Emerging Technologies: Curriculum, Industry and Policy', organized by Awareness in Action at JNTU on August 2, Dr. Omkar Rai said there is no choice but to embrace emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, robotics and IoT etc. Not just embrace, but India should be ahead of the emerging technologies.

“The topic itself is very apt. It focuses on how to bring industry and other stakeholders in curriculum formation together by way of policy creation. This is crucial because the students coming out of our institutions should not only readily employable but also up-to-date with the latest trends and knowledge in their respective fields. Moreover, they should be able to indulge themselves in innovation, ideation, product creation, knowledge creation and wealth creation. That is why it becomes very important for all of us to deliberate on this very important issue,” he said.

The curriculum should be industry written. Unless you feel real time how the whole thing is going to change with the application of emerging technologies, the students coming out of institutions will not be readily employable, he said.

Commending the initiative of Awareness in Action (AiA), Dr. Omkar Rai said any policy formulation for developing curriculum for embracing emerging technologies must happen in collaborative manner. He shared various activities taken up by STPI for bringing the stakeholders together.

Speaking on the occasion, M. Ramakrishna, Managing Director, Kistler-Morse Automation Limited, said, “We don't have great product companies. We are afraid of failures and would not experiment and fail due to which there were very few good product companies in India.”

Due to insurance and Y2K problem, industry pulled engineering graduates into jobs. However, the situation is completely different now. Jobseekers lack domain knowledge, Ramakrishna said adding that academic projects must be evaluated by industry experts and not by faculty. He also insisted that faculty should undergo industry interactions.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Vishnukanth Chatpalli, former advisor, NAAC, Professor, RCU, Belagavi said tthere is wide gulf between emerging technologies and existing technology on the ground in India.

He said the future is not only about new technologies, but also about new ways of learning, especially self-directed learning and problem solving.

“I am very happy that AiA has organized this symposium at a very apt time when the NITI Ayog has initiated dialogue on emerging technologies. I only request the organization to create awareness and support institutions in implementing the new technologies,” he said.

Speaking at the first session on 'curriculum issues, Dr. B.N. Bhandari Director, Academic & Planning, JNTUH, insisted that there should be strong collaboration between academia and industry in curriculum development process since it is crucial to produce industry ready graduates. The education system needs correction. The curriculum must be evaluated by the industry. Experts from industry should interact with academia and students, while the teachers and students should continuously develop new skills.

Addressing the session, Vijaya Kumar Khaderbad, Chair, Association of Enterprise Architects, Hyderabad Chapter said, part of the curriculum is archaic and Institutions do not have the freedom to change.

He said institutions do not have enough Infrastructure in laboratories and not up-to-date and faculty research is old-dated. There is an urgent need to update these things. Those who have passion to learn and make lifelong learning as a habit will be winners, he said adding that academically strong students should be encouraged to pursue higher learning and choose academics as career.

Arunachalam Karthikeyan, AVP, Manufacturing & PQ, 5BARZ India Private Limited, said technology has to help reduce the industry waste besides managing it efficiently.

Addressing the session titled 'Industry and Policy', Prof. Vishnukanth Chatpally said, industry is already providing support to the institute to some extent. However, is it the responsibility of the institute to produce industry ready material? The paradox is the student is not ready for training, he wants degree. Industry is not ready to invest on training because they want ready to use material. Government is not ready to invest on training and development because government says it is not their work.

“We are aware of what the industry requires, we are aware of the ground reality of the institutes. The industry and institutes have been working together, but there is a higher role of engagement required so that institutes are benefitted by industry largely. Therefore, attempts be made to bring awareness among students and the faculty that initiatives are being taken and the need of the hour is to speed up and rise to the occasion,” he said.

Addressing the session, Krishnakumar Thiagarajan, Vice-president, Delivery & Partnerships, eGovernments Foundation, said industry expects high learnability in students.

He stressed on the need to correct the education system and the validation of the education institutions. He opined that orchestration and collaboration has to be at a scale that the institutes can produce the industry ready students.

Speaking at the valedictory of the symposium, Dr. V. Kamakshi Prasad Director of Evaluation, JNTUH, urged the AiA to come up with such recommendations, which will help in bringing a policy to bridge the gap between industry and institute.

Speaking on the occasion, M.S.Chaitra, Advisor for AiA said, one of the fundamental crises in India today is that 80 percent of the engineering education rests in private institutions. Private institutions do not get students anymore because they do not have quality faculty and quality laboratory and infrastructure, he said and added that individual colleges must come together and set up quality laboratories and adequate infrastructure.

India has already lost opportunities on AI, robotics and 3D technology. The present generation of students has to take care of the next 20 years and the industry, institute is ready to help the students, he said.

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Dr. Omkar Rai

Director General, STPI, Govt of India

Prof. Vishukant Chatpalli

Former Advisor, NAAC

Professor, RCU, Belagavi

Shri M. Ramkrishna,

Managing Director

Kistler-Morse Automation Limited

Shri Krishnakumar Thiagarajan

VP, Delivery and Partnerships,

eGovernance Foundation

Dr. B.N. Bhandari

Director, Academic & Planning

JNTUH, Hyderabad

Shri Vijaya Kumar Khaderbad

Secretary, AEA

Dr. Kamakshi Prasad

Director of Evaluation, JNTUH

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