Provide start-up grant to initiate innovative activities, says Tezpur University Dean
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Careers360 spoke to Dr. D K Bhattacharya, Dean, Academic Affairs at Tezpur University on problem areas of India’s engineering education. The Tezpur University Dean shares his insights on the need for change in curriculum of engineering programmes and importance of interdisciplinary curriculum.

Read the exclusive interview of Dr. Bhattacharya to know what he says on closing of a large number of engineering institutions.

Careers360: Tezpur University received the ‘Best University’ award recently. How did the Engineering Department contribute to this?
Dr. D.K. Bhattacharya: Around 50 percent of Tezpur University’s students belong to the School of Engineering (SoE). Hence, SoE certainly played a major role in the University getting the ‘Best University Award’. However, there’s no room for complacency, we have to work even harder to bring more glories in both teaching and research at national as well as in international level. Some departments of SoE have already been able to achieve recognition at the national level. Department of CSE achieved MHRD’s Centre of Excellence under FAST. This department was also nominated by the UGC as a member of BRICS-NU under the theme ‘Computer Science and Information Security’.

Also, I feel that after achieving this Best University award, we would be able to attract more qualified and brilliant teachers. Further, the placement scenario for both UG and PG students will definitely improve.

Dr. D K BhattacharyaDr. D K Bhattacharya,
Dean, Academic Affairs and Professor,
Computer Science and Engineering,
Tezpur University

While designing an interdisciplinary curriculum, we should be careful, especially from its sustainability point of view. I believe it will sustain, only when it is socially just, environmentally sound and economically viable.

Careers360: In the past few years a large number of engineering institutions have closed down. What are your views on this?
Dr. D.K. Bhattacharya: A decreasing trend of student intake is the major reason for closing down of such institutions. I strongly feel that it is happening mostly because of lack of competent faculty members, lack of experienced administrators, lack of adequate laboratory and other infrastructure. These institutions also lack appropriate job opportunities for students. Most available jobs are low salaried and students (especially girls) face difficulties to survive in a metro Further, most companies also do not have good career prospects. Another important reason is that the centre and state governments have launched several Government engineering institutions.

Careers360: Do you think traditional engineering disciplines are being eclipsed by emerging ones?
Dr. D.K. Bhattacharya: No, I don’t think so. In order to build strong foundations in basic domains, traditional engineering disciplines are still essential at undergraduate level. However, accepting the emerging trends in both research and application and to address the need of the present day society, we should give priority to some select interdisciplinary programmes at both UG and PG levels.

Careers360: Is an interdisciplinary curriculum the way forward?
Dr. D.K. Bhattacharya: While designing an interdisciplinary curriculum, we should be careful, especially from its sustainability point of view. I believe that any interdisciplinary curriculum will sustain, only when it is socially just, environmentally sound and economically viable.

Careers360: Any changes needed in engineering curriculum to make it competitive?
Dr. D.K. Bhattacharya: The engineering curriculum should include adequate number of discipline-centric and open electives to give more options to students, both industrial training and major project should be offered, monitored, and evaluated in association with industries or R&D organizations. There should also be provision for some start-up grant to initiate good innovative activities. We at public-run institutions should also have research methodology; a three-credit core course should be integral to all undergraduate programmes.

Stay tuned to engineering.careers360.com for more news and feature articles on Tezpur University

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