Industry-academia collaboration, or the lack thereof, has been a topic of debate for long. Working towards getting a factual position in this regard, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) conducted a survey of industry-linked engineering institutes.

The study has revealed that the country’s technical institutes are not doing very well in terms of joining hands with the industry, with the average score at the national level standing at 30.9, with minimum and maximum scores at 4.4 and 75.7, respectively.

S.S. Mantha, Chairman of AICTE, said that the Council has been trying to improve the quality within the system, which requires stronger linkages with the industry. He added that given that there are 2.2 million seats at the entry level of technical education, the scale already exists, but now the focus has to be on quality.

“We need to ensure that what happens in education is relevant to the industry and vice-versa, said P. Rajendran, Chairman of CII National Committee on Higher Education and Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of NIIT Ltd.

He added that it is the “selfish need” of the industry to join forces with the academia, so that they can get the best people into the job market.

The voluntary survey was open to accredited engineering institutes, which have been functional for 10 years and offer at least three streams out of six: chemical; civil; computer and IT; electrical; electronics & communication; and mechanical engineering.

However, out of the 1,070 institutes that have completed 10 years only 156 participated in the survey.
The institutes were evaluated on seven parameters: governance, curriculum, faculty, infrastructure, services, placements and entrepreneurship development.

Mantha said that the approval process of AICTE has stringent requirements for industry collaborations. Despite this, Indian institutions appear to be doing poorly in this field.

Almost 18 per cent of the institutions mapped fall in the ‘low’ category in terms of industry collaborations, while a massive 63 per cent are in the moderate category.

Mantha said that to ensure high-quality education, there is a need to ensure that teachers have some exposure to the industry. He said that it is important to figure out how many teachers are actively involved with the industry in research, have patents, or have filed for intellectual property rights.

Source: Hindu Business Line