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

National (India) Employability report - Poor Employability of Andhra Pradesh Engineering Graduates

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2014 National (India) Employability report - Poor Employability of Andhra Pradesh Engineering Graduates

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A few days ago, The Hindu had this article, A.P. fares poorly in employability of engineers,

I sent the following comment to the letters email of The Hindu (for the print edition):

I am very happy to see the persistent work done by Aspiring Minds to draw attention to the pathetic employability situation for engineering graduates from Indian, especially South Indian, colleges and universities.

I think its CEO, Himanshu Aggarwal, captures the situation perfectly when he says, “States like A.P. and Tamil Nadu, which have the highest number of engineering colleges, continue to have lowest employability. States need to be conscious towards better education quality rather than building more capacity”.

Hopefully the higher education policy makers/regulators and administrators will be able to step in and ensure that suitable career growth incentives are provided to academics who provide good education to students instead of such career growth incentives being focused only on research publications and research projects (with large amount of tax payer grant money). I am not against academic research but the way most academic administrators and regulators seem to focus on research and ignore educating students to become employable is deeply shocking to me. In my humble opinion, the first and foremost duty of an academic should be to teach and teach well - research should be secondary, no matter how much grant money or fame is involved.

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The above comment did not get accepted for publication in the print edition of The Hindu. However, a shorter version of the above comment (due to the limitation of web page comment size to 1000 characters) on the web page of the article (link given above) was accepted by the moderator and is now shown on it (under my name - Ravi S. Iyer).

Yesterday the "Education Plus" supplement of The Hindu carried an article on similar lines, Engg. graduates lack domain skills, I found the following extract in it to be quite significant:

“It is a fact that majority (of) colleges have totally neglected teaching quality. Some blame shortage of good teachers while others genuinely want to hire good teachers but fail to do so due to their non-availability,” agrees N.V. Ramana Rao, Registrar, JNTU Hyderabad.
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The Registrar of JNTU Hyderabad (an important technical university of Andhra Pradesh) openly acknowledging that majority of (engineering) colleges have totally neglected teaching quality is a vital acknowledgement of a serious teaching crisis in engineering colleges of Andhra Pradesh. Now who can fix the problem? I don't claim to have all the answers for this tough problem. But a no-brainer suggestion to help solve the problem would be to provide career-growth incentive to those academics who are good teachers instead of focusing only on providing career-growth to those who acquire significant project grant money and publish research papers. For this, the UGC/AICTE regulations for promotion of academics must be changed to introduce some measures of teaching quality, even if they are not perfect, and provide career-growth incentive for those academics who achieve appropriate measure of teaching quality even if they do not have research publications. Let us face it, there is a conflict of interest between teaching and research in Indian academia today, and the poor students face the negative effect of this conflict of interest.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Andhra Pradesh (India) Engineering Colleges - Half Empty!

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There seems to be a serious crisis in engineering colleges in Andhra Pradesh (AP), India according to this recent media article, "No new engineering colleges in Andhra Pradesh from next year".

Some specifics:

In 2004-05, AP engg. college students intake was 82,225 in 238 colleges. 
Now, AP engg. college students intake has been 3,44,986 in 717 colleges. [Another news media report given later on in this post, mentions AP no. of engg. seats as around 3,50,000. So I think this news media article's word 'intake' may be incorrect.] 

In 2010-11, 30 % AP engg. college seats were vacant.

In 2012-13, 40 to 50 % AP engg. college seats are vacant.

Here's a recent media article which speaks about colleges closing down degree programs (referred to as 'course' in the article), "JNTUH flooded with requests for closure of nearly 350 courses". 

Some specifics:

"Out of the 17,317 seats only 4,983 students opted for the B.Tech (IT) course leaving 12,334 seats vacant."

"... 21,776 seats out of the 67,518 seats going vacant in MBA and 15,224 seats out of the 23,532 remaining vacant in the MCA stream"

"The MCA courses suffered the worst with not a single student joining in 159 colleges while MBA was better with zero admissions in 29 colleges."

A slightly dated media report, 10th June 2012, "Slowdown hinders campus placements" states that companies have postponed campus placements indefinitely citing “tough global economic conditions”.

Some specifics:

Every year the number of engineering college graduates produced are:
Andhra Pradesh - 2,00,000 
Tamil Nadu - 1,80,000
Karnataka - 80,000
Maharashtra - 80,000

Country wide, 12,00,000 B.Tech. seats are available, of which AP has 3,50,000. 

Here's another news article, which seems to be very recent, though the article does not show a date, (the content on this page may be transient as it is labeled an update), giving some additional input on the AP engg. college situation.

Some specifics:

AP government has introduced a cap in intake of number of students per college (420 or 540) to ensure that city based colleges do not take up most of the students thereby threatening closure of rural and semi-urban colleges!

Many AP private engg. colleges are facing closure due to few students joining them and so they are working out deals to shift students between them!

In Tamil Nadu (TN), 50 new engg. colleges get added every year. Available seats were around 1,20,000 in 2011-12 and went up to around 1,49,000 in 2012-13. In 2012-13, around 1,04,000 seats were allotted and around 45,000 seats fell vacant.

Please note that the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY) does *not* apply to this post.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

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