Indian Computer Science (CS) & Information Technology (IT) Academic Reform Activism Consolidated Blog Document


Ten Computer Science (CS) & Information Technology (IT) higher education policy changes to improve practice of software development in India



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Ten Computer Science (CS) & Information Technology (IT) higher education policy changes to improve practice of software development in India


Net url: http://eklavyasai.blogspot.in/2014/08/ten-computer-science-cs-information.html



I submitted the following today (25th August 2014), with the same title as that of this blog post, to an appropriate Indian govt. online forum (which is accessible only to its registered users - but any Indian citizen can easily register in it for free):

1) Have two career tracks for CS/IT academics: Research Oriented and Software Development Oriented


2) Like the measure for competence in research for the CS/IT academic is the research publication record, the measure for competence in software development of the CS/IT academic should be the quality and quantity of his/her software contribution record.
3) Change teacher eligibility tests (NET/SLET/SET) for CS & IT disciplines to have 50% weight-age practical test (on computer) involving programming and some amount of design, and 50% weight-age on theory.
4) Allow industry-trained & self-taught professionals who are not academically qualified in CS/IT to become CS & IT Teachers by clearing teacher eligibility tests (NET/SLET/SET)
5) Encourage industry professionals to contribute as well paid visiting faculty/industry consultants.
6) Study CS/IT professional licensure & certification in USA and other technologically advanced countries and explore possibility of introducing similar CS/IT licensing and certification exams in India.

For more on points 1 to 6, see my paper, "Improve the Practice of Software Development in India by Having a Software Development Career Track in Indian CS & IT Academia", http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1202/1202.1715.pdf

7) Teachers who create course material for a course (as against using course material from other sources) should have their course material reviewed by other teachers just like research papers are reviewed. Appropriate career growth related credit should be given to teachers whose course material gets a good review. The review may include student assignment submissions including source code, so that reviewers get an idea of how students are benefiting from the course.
8) Lab. courses should be evaluated as strictly as theory courses. It should have external examiners like theory courses. There should be no hesitation in failing students who fare poorly in assignment submissions and exams. Administrators should examine lab. course result patterns and compare it with theory course result patterns. Very high success rates in lab. courses contrasted by quite different success rates in theory courses should ring alarm bells and invite investigation.
9) Lab. course credits should be at least equal to theory course credits. Further, the number of lab. courses should be roughly equal to the number of theory courses. [I believe, the typical current ratio is 4 to 5 theory courses and 2 lab. courses in a semester, with theory courses having 3 credits and lab. courses having 2 credits.]
10) The practice of relegating lab. courses to junior teachers must be abandoned. Given the vital importance of practice in CS/IT, senior teachers should teach lab. courses.

For more on points 7 to 10, see my blog post, Concrete Suggestions for Measuring Teaching Quality in Practice-Oriented Computer Science/Information Technology streams

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wrote to Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on improving practice of software development in Indian CS & IT academia


Net url: http://eklavyasai.blogspot.in/2014/05/wrote-to-prime-minister-shri-narendra.html

I sent the following message yesterday (27th May 2014) to Honourable Prime Minister (of India), Shri Narendra Modi, via the PM website link: http://pmindia.nic.in/feedback.php

Subject: Education

Comments: Sir, in an interaction you had with TV18 during your campaign, you had mentioned about employability issues in our education system. I share a similar concern in the field of Information Technology in India. I request you or your aides to go through my pre-print paper on arXiv.org, Cornell University, USA, titled, Improve the Practice of Software Development in India by Having a Software Development Career Track in Indian CS & IT Academia. Abstract link: http://arxiv.org/abs/1202.1715 and Paper link: http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1202/1202.1715.pdf.

Please note that for the past many months (if not a year or two) this pre-print paper of mine is the first or second result for Google search for the following terms
poor programming skills Indian CS graduates
poor programming skills Indian CS and IT graduates
poor programming skills Indian Computer Science graduates
improve programming skills Indian CS graduates
improve programming skills Indian software graduates

--- end comments ---

A little while after I submitted the message, I received a standard email acknowledgement from PMO Public Response Unit, do-not-reply@gov.in, mentioning, "Your Mail is being  reviewed."

So far, so good. Let's see whether matters go beyond this perhaps automated response.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Suggestions to Improve CS & IT Education in India sent to Think India - A Public Policy Advocacy Think-Tank


Net url: http://eklavyasai.blogspot.in/2013/12/suggestions-to-improve-cs-it-education.html

Day-before-yesterday on CNN-IBN, http://ibnlive.in.com/, perhaps the most popular and most powerful Indian English TV news channel, I saw a message on the ticker asking for suggestions to improve education in India from http://thinkindia.in.com/. The About us page, http://thinkindia.in.com/about-us/, states "The Think India Foundation is a brand new initiative of Network 18. The Foundation will act as a media-active think tank engaged in the task of public policy advocacy. It will be our objective to adhere to, and propagate, the principles of fiscal conservatism, regulated free markets and social liberalism, which are the hallmarks of most successful economies and advanced societies.   The main objective of Think India Foundation is to influence public policy through thoughtful advocacy, independent research, public speaking engagements and events, and regular interactions with policy-makers, business and social entrepreneurs, using partnerships with multiple media (print, TV, online, social and blogs) to achieve these goals."

I think Network 18 owns the CNN-IBN TV channel and so it has powerful media connections.

I have given below the main content (slightly edited to make it suitable for a blog post) of the two mails I sent to them (on Dec. 14th and Dec. 15th 2013).

-------- First mail ------------------
I have been making fair amount of effort over the past two years or so to share my views on how to improve the practice of software development in Indian Computer Science and Information Technology academia.

You may want to view my preprint paper (not yet published in a peer reviewed publication) titled, Improve the Practice of Software Development in India by Having a Software Development Career Track in Indian CS & IT Academia, http://arxiv.org/pdf/1202.1715.

You may also want to view my recent blog post having details of a mail exchange between me and Mr. Phil Baty of Times Higher Education Rankings which publishes The World University Rankings (response from Mr. Baty is a very short one). The post is titled, Suggestion of Separate University Rankings for Research Excellence and Teaching Excellence.

If you would like to know more about my views on Indian CS & IT academia - problems, suggestions for improvement and some other material - you may please visit my blog, http://eklavyasai.blogspot.in/p/table-of-contents.html.

--------- Second Mail -----------------------------------------------------------------

I forgot to mention in my mail of yesterday that Google search for the following terms (on my computer):



  • poor software development skills Indian Computer Science graduates

  • poor software development skills Indian CS graduates

  • poor software development skills Computer Science graduates

  • poor software development skills CS graduates

  • improve software development skills Indian Computer Science graduates

  • improve software development skills Indian CS graduates

  • improve programming skills Indian CS graduates

gives my paper, Improve the Practice of Software Development in India by Having a Software Development Career Track in Indian CS & IT Academia, http://arxiv.org/pdf/1202.1715, as the first non-advertisement result.

In addition the same paper comes up within the first ten results in Google Search for the terms:


  • poor programming skills Indian Computer Science graduates

  • poor programming skills Indian CS graduates

  • poor programming skills CS graduates

  • improve programming skills Indian Computer Science graduates

Friday, January 25, 2013



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