Engineering Students in deep Quandary
An Open Letter to Hon’ble Chancellor of Varsities
In 2012 academic session, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir had given a nod for Government Polytechnic Engineering Colleges in every district of Jammu and Kashmir, to run Diploma Engineering Programmes. Some state and autonomous Universities and Private Engineering Colleges in state are also running Diploma Engineering Programmes. It is significant. However, there is always scope for improvement in professional disciplines. I would like to bring following points to the notice of Hon’ble Chancellor of the varsities.
As the building and proper laboratory infrastructure was not put in place, but the concerned authorities have given a nod for running the Diploma Engineering Programmes in every district, for which Board of Professional Entrance Examination (BOPEE) was the competitive authority for conducting the entrance examination. After conducting the entrance examination, the BOPEE has filled up 180 seats for every district, except for Government Polytechnic College Pulwama, which was handed over to Islamic University of Science and Technology, to run the college under their norms.
For every district three engineering branches were allotted. But irony is that, most of these Polytechnic Engineering Colleges are running in rented accommodations. If somewhere a government land was available, CGI Sheds were put in place to run the daily class work. From past six years, none of the Engineering branch was upgraded and no another Engineering branch was allotted to these Polytechnic Engineering Colleges. Where Civil Engineering branch was given, still now Computer Science branch was not allotted. Where Electrical Engineering branch was given, Civil Engineering branch was not allotted. Where Food Technology branch was given, Electrical Engineering branch was not allotted and contractual based staff had been deputed in all Polytechnic Engineering Colleges.
Sir, your Hon’ble Excellency knows it better that,after completing Engineering Diploma the candidates want to join Bachelor of Engineering Programme through Lateral Entry Mode (LEET) in which Diploma Engineering candidates are directly admitted in 3rd semester of Bachelor of Engineering Program. But the intake capacity of seats for every Engineering College and University in J&K is 3 seats per branch for lateral Entry Mode. However, Thousands of Diploma Engineering candidates appear annually in (B-Tech LEET) entrance examination, for which every candidate is paying INR 1000 for only appearing in entrance examination, conducted for 10 seats, for admission to B-Tech Lateral Entry.
In 2004-05 The Jammu and Kashmir State Government came up with a proposal to upgrade Kashmir Government Polytechnic College (KGP) into an Engineering college, but it reminded on papers only. Until now the Jammu and Kashmir Government has not put any proposal on board for Diploma Engineering candidates, to set up an Engineering college for Diploma Engineering candidates or increase the intake capacity of seats for (B-Tech LEET) in state Universities. Somehow, many candidates who are financially sound move outside J&K for studies, but those candidates whose financial back ground is not sound, didn’t full fill their dreams.Last year state Government has taken an initiative with All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to admit Diploma Engineering students under Prime Ministers Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS). But this (PMSSS) scheme will only benefit those candidates, who will be get admitted outside the state.
How long the Diploma Engineering students have to wait, as the authorities are always saying this that the proposal is in line with the Government’s policy? If Government is completely failed to tackle with the present situation, to provide proper infrastructure to Diploma Engineering students, then why they make such kind of mockery with Technical Education? This is not the right way to play politics. In other states the engineering students are making the mark in various international seminars and workshops, besides that various student centric activities where put in place. Because they have a good infrastructure and academic support.
In a TV show “Best Universities in India” on New Delhi based News Channel NDTV, I was strained to see, that most of Private Engineering Colleges and Universities are making their space in top twenties. The Private University in Bangalore namely RIVA University, where they show their Central workshop, where a single student was doing the practical on his/her lathe machine, which costs lakhs. But here in our Universities and Diploma Engineering colleges, 15 students are doing the practical with installation of only two such kind of machines.
Your Hon’ble Excellency must take the University and Engineering college officials on board to increase the intake capacity of seats in our state Universities and Engineering colleges for B-Tech Lateral Entry Programme,which will not only augment the existing Higher Education facilities in Jammu and Kashmir, but also helps in diversification of academics. This concept will also provide an opportunity to students to join Higher Education within Jammu and Kashmir, instead of getting trapped in the hands of un-recognized institutes outside J&K, which become problematic for them. To increase Gross-Enrollment ratio of students The PDP-BJP led state cabinet while approving to set up cluster Universities under a cabinet decision, have also pointed out this decision of making evening classes in state Universities to increase Gross Enrollment ratio.
The intake capacity in all state Universities and Engineering Colleges must be filled by a single competitive authority to conduct an entrance examination for admission to B-Tech LEET. This decision must be taken to bring greater transparency, maintain high standards and also try to ensure that students are saved from the burden of taking too many tests. The entrance examination must be designed in a way, so that the linguistic diversity of the state is taken into consideration. Your Hon’ble Excellency must take up the matter with the Hon’ble Vice Chancellors of different Varsities, especially with the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of Islamic University of Science and Technology, to introduce Diploma Engineering courses, in the branches of Computer Science Engineering and Electronics and Communication Engineering, under the supervision of their concerned B-Tech Engineering Departments and giving a nod to tie Diploma Engineering Departments of Polytechnic College of IUST campus, with their concerned B-Tech departments, So that Diploma Engineering students will take a benefit in workshop practice, LAB’s, and other infrastructure which is lacking in Diploma Engineering Departments.
It should be a great pleasure for Diploma Engineering students, if two newly established Engineering Colleges one at SafaporaGanderbal and another one at Kathua Jammu under RashtriyaUchatarShikshaAbhyian (RUSA) scheme by Hon’ble Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) will accommodate minimum number of students for admission to B-Tech LEET Engineering Programmes.The state cabinet under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Chancellor, should give a nod to upgrade Kashmir Government Polytechnic College (KGP) into Engineering College. So that special admission reservation must be granted for Diploma Engineering Students of J&K State.
Your Hon’ble Excellency must give a nod to introduce integrated Programmes in various Engineering branches, and the infrastructure in District Polytechnic Colleges must be up-graded, with sufficient machinery.Proper buildings must be provided for smart classes and modern Computer Labs must be installed in all Polytechnic Engineering Colleges.Browsing Centers must be opened in all Polytechnic Colleges, so that students can get benefit by e-learning process.
Sir, Your Hon’ble Excellency knows, that the Information Technology sector, Mass communication, Broadcasting Engineering, Bio-Medical Engineering and Cyber Law, is rising in engineering sector. So concentrated and collaborative efforts are needed in broaden student choice through liberal arts education, so it would help in repriotising efforts and working around the complexities in Technical Education sector especially in conflict torn Kashmir.
The demand for Technical Education has been increased gradually in recent years as the industrialization is increasing gradually to boost the skill oriented youth globally. As the data available with Hon’ble Ministry of Higher education, that the enrollment have increased more than 50% in the past decade and now exceed 150 million worldwide, with more than half of the students coming for emerging market countries. India’s enrollment has also grown from 10 million to 23 million till 2013 fiscal year.
So there is a need to promote quality Education in the field of Engineering and Technology in view of large expansion in Technical Education sector globally. Policies on affirmative action, financial aid, and review of Technical Education teachings should be taken with other Universities and Engineering colleges outside the state, especially with National Institute of Technologies and Indian Institute of Technologies.
There are many ways to improve the Engineering Programmes in our state Technical Colleges and Universities, which are running the Engineering Programmes. But these are some suggestions, which I hope your Hon’ble Excellency will find valuable.
(Shah Khalid is a freelance Journalist, having a Diploma in Mass Communication & Journalism from MANUU Hyderabad, and Electrical Engineering from IUST Campus Awantipora. He is also a member of J&K RTI Foundation)