CHENNAI: The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has recently announced that B.Tech students can take admission to other branches of engineering, in addition to their main course, through lateral entry from this academic year.
However, the move has evoked mixed reactions from the engineering college authorities.Some feel the move will improve employability of the engineering graduates, which is a major concern now, some others claim that the initiative will create chaos and confusion among students.
According to this new initiative, if a student pursues two years of bachelors in electrical engineering, he/she can now shift to another stream like mechanical or computer science engineering through the lateral entry programme from the third year. The council has said candidates seeking such lateral entry may be given an exemption from pursuing courses they have already done in their first undergraduate programme.
The candidate may complete the additional degree in two or three years, “Without compromising on the credit requirements in core discipline and attainment of learning outcomes of the new programme,” the AICTE has said.V Venkateswara, principal of a private engineering college in Coimbatore said, “If the scheme is implemented it will help in filling up seats in private engineering colleges, but at the same time it will create lot of confusion among students. There will be complete chaos as students will struggle to find which is the right combination of course for them.”B Nagaraj, principal of Rathinam Technical Campus said a proper SOP should be chalked out to ensure proper and effective implementation of the scheme.
While few other engineering college authorities feel the move will push the demand for new age courses like computer science engineering, Artificial intelligence, Data Science while traditional courses like mechanical engineering, civil will become obsolete. “Engineering is all about skills and innovation. Another engineering course degree will not ensure a job for the students,” said S Shantiprava, a faculty at a leading private engineering college. However, according to Vice Chancellor of Anna University R Velraj, the move will immensely benefit students.
“There are a lot of students who have passed out without having enough skills or knowledge on emerging technologies. Such students face problems in finding suitable jobs, they can enrol into courses which are practical oriented or based on latest technologies. The initiative will improve their employability,” said Velraj.
Private engineering colleges in the state are sceptical about implementation of the scheme. “We are affiliated to Anna University, which has its own rules and regulations. We anticipate that this new scheme may not be implemented by Anna University from this year,” said TD Eswaramoorthy, joint secretary of Consortium of Self-Financing Professional, Arts and Science Colleges in Tamil Nadu.
To which Velraj replied, “It is a good move by AICTE and we will definitely implement it. But I need to discuss with our academic course director and other officials whether we can implement it from this year or next year,” said the VC.