KTU syllabus revision: Reduced credits for maths irks faculty

KTU is the affiliating university of around 142 engineering colleges across Kerala.
As per the new draft curriculum, the total credits for the subject have been cut short to 12.
As per the new draft curriculum, the total credits for the subject have been cut short to 12. Photo | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The BTech curriculum revision process of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) has run into rough weather with a section of the faculty protesting against the reduction in credits awarded to Mathematics in the first four semesters of the course.

KTU is the affiliating university of around 142 engineering colleges across the state. Earlier, the overall credit for Mathematics across four semesters was 16 in the current BTech curriculum of KTU, which was adopted in 2019.

As per the new draft curriculum, the total credits for the subject have been cut short to 12. According to Mathematics faculty members in various engineering colleges, the foundational mathematical rigour essential for engineering problem-solving is being compromised.

“The move is driven by vested interests aimed at reducing the workload of faculty members, rather than enhancing the quality of engineering education. The changes have been implemented in secrecy without adequate consultation with all stakeholders, including faculty, students, and industry representatives,” said the faculty member of an engineering college in the capital.

The faculty member pointed out that the move could have far-reaching implications for the employability of KTU graduates. “Engineering sectors highly value strong mathematical skills, and a diminished focus on this critical subject could impair graduates’ ability to tackle complex engineering problems and diminish their appeal to potential employers,” the faculty member said.

Meanwhile, KTU authorities have said that the changes in the credit structure have been done in tune with the model curriculum of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and also taking into account the undergraduate curriculum of national engineering institutes.

“AICTE has prescribed credits ranging from 8-12 for Mathematics but KTU has ensured that the upper limit of 12 is maintained across all branches. Not only Mathematics but credits have also been reduced from subjects such as Physics and Chemistry. The aim is to award such credits for emerging domains such as Artificial Intelligence and Data Science,” said a senior official of KTU involved in the curriculum revision process.

The official added that all 51 engineering branches under KTU were following the same course content in Mathematics to date. This will be revised so that branches such as Food Technology and Agricultural Engineering will have lesser course content in Mathematics compared to Electronics or Computer Science. However, the total credits will remain at 12 for all branches, he added.

‘Year out’ suspended

The Syndicate of KTU has decided not to implement ‘year out’ this year. The Syndicate meeting presided over by vice-chancellor Saji Gopinath chose to forgo the minimum credit criteria needed to advance to the fifth and seventh semesters after considering the petitions given by various student organisations. Typically, students need 21 credits from the first two semesters to progress to the fifth semester, and 47 credits from the first four semesters to advance to the seventh semester. This requirement will be suspended for this year, KTU announced.

CREDIT STRUCTURE: MATHEMATICS

1 credit = 1 hour lecture/tutorial per week

AICTE model curriculum

For circuit branches (Computer Science, Electronics)

4 hours x 3 semesters. Total credits = 12

For non-circuit branches (Mechanical, Civil etc)

4 hours x 2 semesters. Total credits = 8

KTU draft curriculum

For all branches

3 hours x 4 semesters. Total credits = 12

(Earlier: 4 hours x 4 semesters. Total credits = 16)

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