Engineering students at colleges apart from IITs and NITs will have new subjects included in their curriculum, from the next academic session. The newly added subjects are- humanities, social sciences including management, environmental sciences, Indian Constitution and “essence of Indian traditional knowledge”.
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) which is the regulatory body for technical education in India has made these add-on subjects a part of the model curriculum. The additions are notified for undergraduate level.
According to the officials, the union human resource development ministry has approved the addendum. Over 3,000 engineering institutions across India will be implementing the new model curriculum.
Indranil Manna, the professor at IIT Kharagpur, welcomed the change, saying, “This is absolutely necessary as engineering is all about creating something, which has societal benefits. Unless you know the society and its challenges, how will you produce something that’s required? The overall objective of engineering will not be met if engineering students are not taught psychology, aesthetics, well-being of the human society and the ethical issues related to what they create. In IITs, almost one-third to one-fifth of the total credits are dedicated to humanities, social sciences, economics and management in various forms. Engineers need to produce applications which have societal benefits.”
The amended curriculum makes it necessary for the students to earn up to 12 credits in humanities and social sciences including management, out of the 150 – 160 credits there are supposed to earn throughout the four-year-long programme. A course on environment and a paper on either the Indian constitution or the Essence of Indian Traditional Knowledge is a must to opt for. However, students will not get any credit for these.
Speaking on this addition, another senior AICTE official said, “Right now some institutes offer humanities and other similar courses but it is not mandatory. Universities can decide whether they want to offer English literature, psychology, political science or economics but they have to comply with it. Engineering students need to follow a holistic approach and the programmes will have an inter-disciplinary approach. This will help in their overall growth and development.”
“Under the environment, paper students can be taught about air and water pollution, and global warming, among others, he said.
“Under the traditional knowledge category, they will learn about the culture and the knowledge system that was followed in the past. Books will be recommended for this,” the official further added.
Recommendations of 11 subject committees were taken into consideration to devise the model engineering curriculum by the AICTE. It has a model curriculum that is used by affiliated universities as a base for preparing their own syllabi.
Amendments are also made in the number of theoretical classes per week. The number has been brought down to 20 from the existing 30. The officials said that the new curriculum will allow final year students to take up project works to understand the industry requirements better.
Information source: hindustantimes
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