Engineering through correspondence, experts say No!
The decision of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to allow technical courses such as engineering through correspondence has not gone down well among those in the academic circles.
According to academic experts, technical courses require practical knowledge without which industrial acceptance of such candidates remains abysmally low. They say Association of engineers also runs such courses in which students have to study themselves and later do a six-month course but they are also less preferred over the candidates doing regular study.
Director of Truba College of Engineering and Technology, professor PK Chande said, "One cannot compare classroom study with the self-study. Such courses will only motivate students to take the degree without acquiring practical knowledge. When there are thousands of seats vacant in engineering colleges, allowing engineering courses through correspondence will only result in increase in crowd having only degree and no knowledge."
Instead, more vocational courses in engineering colleges should be introduced. There can be certificate courses in different stream, experts of which are required in the industry, he added.
Echoing similar sentiments, MD Agarwal of Acropolis Institute of Technology and Research said, "Though guidelines to run such courses have not arrived yet, correspondence courses do not have wide acceptability in industry as competition is intense among candidates having regular degrees. Candidates having correspondence degree lack practical knowledge and are inferior to that of regular students."
Allowing correspondence courses in technical education will deteriorate the educational standard, he added.
In a recent meeting with AICTE chairman, SS Mantha had said that based on recommendations of several committees, the council had decided to allow more technical courses through correspondence. However, "there will be strict conditions of eligibility."
Mantha said: "Nearly all courses except medicine and architecture would be allowed through correspondence."
The proposal is likely to be finalized by February next year. Students are presently allowed to pursue management (MBA) and computer application (BCA, MCA) programmes through correspondence. But the AICTE does not allow engineering courses through this mode.