Q: Are you optimistic of getting the nod for the passing of the Act for the formation of KTU before the beginning of this academic year? In the present scenario, the government and opposition are at severe loggerheads. Do you expect any inadvertent delay in passing the Bill?
See, as far as the State of Kerala is concerned, the establishing of a Technological University is a real Dream come True. As this is an important legislation which has a decisive role on the future of the technical education of our state, i m sure that both the govt and opposition keeping aside their political differences will join hands to turn this into a reality.
Q: Unfortunately, if the Act is delayed, what are the consequences?
Kerala Technological University has come into existence on May 21, 2014 with an ordinance and the KTU will be in existence by promulgation of this ordinance. The functioning of the University will not be affected at any case.
Q: Can we call KTU an 'ordinance' university for the time being?
We can see that most of the bills which come into existence are initially promulgated by an ordinance. If the assembly or parliament is not in session, this is the only possibility to avoid delay. An ordinance has the validity of 6 months. If it doesn’t turn to an act in the stipulated time, the ordinance has to be issued again.
Q:What are the major hurdles faced by KTU currently?
KTU is at an infant stage of its development. Like any other body we have constraints too which is quite natural at the initial stage. But the dedicated and relentless efforts of KTU team overcomes any hurdles on its path to creating a world class university in the soil of Kerala. Let me clearly tell you that the vision and mission of KTU is not just to remain as an “Affiliating University”.It is more concentrating on an Effective Industry Institute linkage and global exposure for students and faculty which as on today is very much lacking in our State
Q: The quality of engineering education in the state has become a cause of concern. What will be the role of KTU in improving the quality?
KTU has come into existence with an aim to give leadership to the technology related policy formulation and engineering planning for the state. KTU is formulated to unify the technical education system in the State and cater the needs of the technical community. All the technical institutions throughout the state will come under the umbrella of the university. E-Governance is suggested in all possible units of the University.
KTU has revamped technical education in such a way that the stress is on outcome based education. Practical side of engineering educational system will be be given prime importance to foster the real talent of a student. Credit system at par with foreign universities and IITs are implemented in the University. Transfer of credit is also allowed to make global acceptance. BTech Hons course is also introduced to promote research and excellence in engg education.
The university has also come up with a start up policy aimed at generating 10,000 start-up ideas a year aimed at encouraging young entrepreneurs. The aim is to help convert 1,000 start-ups into proof of concept, and eventually lead 100 of these student start-ups into successful and scalable enterprises. The policy aimed at encouraging enterprises, which served social and economic needs. The incubation policy would cover incubation amenities for all students and alumni, irrespective of their streams. The university will permit the concept of residential student entrepreneur. Students will be allowed to apply for grant of official leave for one year while working on their entrepreneurial activities during their academic sessions.
The focus will be on conducting examinations and publishing results in a time-bound manner. Conduct of examinations and paper valuations are made online and the results will be declared within 5 days of the last examination.
It is high time that the institutes in Kerala woke up and attract students from outside Kerala and outside India by improving the teaching-learning process, campus placements and infrastructure etc much above the desired level prescribed by the regulatory bodies. Kerala has a potential for attracting the students from abroad. We may utilize the ‘Gods own Country’ and 100% literacy tag’. I m happy to mention here that KTU has already initiated steps for Internationalization of Technical Education in Kerala attracting foreign students to Kerala.
Q: The syllabus is said to be revised and made uniform. Is it available for the public? Also, there was a mention from you that certain colleges will be allowed to make necessary changes in the syllabus at college level. Can you elaborate?
Technology is advancing minute to minute and as per the conventional system the syllabus once revised will remain for years for the next modification. KTU mission is to run a syllabus which is at par with the Global Technological needs and all relevant suggestions regarding the same are received and subject to scrutiny by the experts shall be implemented. As a principle of E - Governance and transparency, all such documents shall be made available in the public domain. Regarding Post Graduate education, the syllabus and mode of conduct are decided by the respective clusters but with the proper approval from KTU. A complete restructuring of engg curriculum has been done. The detailed syllabus of semester 1 and semester 2 is available to the public.
Q: You have said that management courses, hotel management courses, MCA and architecture will be brought under Kerala Technological University gradually. So is the present affiliation accorded on both BTech, MTech and other engineering programmes?
All the institutions which impart technical education will come under the umbrella of KTU. The institutes which conducts Engineering, Management, Architecture, Hotel management, MCA, applied arts& crafts programs will come under the purview of KTU. But during academic year 2015-16 the KTU affiliates only institutes which conducts UG and PG programs in Engg. ie BTEch and Mtech courses. From next year onward all the inst which conducts MBA, MCA, arch, hotel management will be affiliated. KTU is moving forward in a phase by phase manner.
As a special case KTU has given affiliation to MBA of school of management CET Trivandrum this year. All other MBA will continued in their existing university this year.
Q: How far will be the concept of open book exam successful?
OBT is in practice in many institutions especially foreign universities, IITs and Bengal college of engg (presently IIEST).The questions will be of analytical and design type in nature. The questions in the open book exam will be a test of the candidates’ intelligence and analytical skills and not a test of their memory. Engineering is a discipline which is to be learned by design and analytical study rather than mugging up the material available. The answers are designs and solutions to complex problems and hence a potential student can score better in this.The curriculum change adopted by KTU is outcome based education. Practical sessions are given more weight -age.
Q: Can you elaborate on cluster autonomy for PG programmes?
Kerala Technological University has introduced cluster autonomy for the conduct of the M.Tech programme, which is a novel scheme. This will be a first step towards granting autonomy to individual institutions. Each cluster will have approximately 10 to 15 colleges and these colleges will be identified based on their geographical location. The Cluster of colleges will have to formulate procedures for the smooth conduct of all academic activities associated with PG programme in line with the regulations of the University.
These clusters can have academic autonomy regulated by the Cluster Level Graduate Program Committee (CGPC) consisting of all Principals of the colleges in the cluster. CGPC shall have a Chairman nominated by the University and a Convener selected by the CGPC. CGPC will be responsible for all academic matters on Curriculum, Syllabus, Course Plan, Internal Evaluation, Semester Examination, Grading, as well as result declaration for the streams of M.Tech program offered by the colleges in the cluster.
The Chairman will be an eminent academician from the institutes of national importance.There are 104 institutes in the state which imparts PG courses in engg (Mtech).
Q: Can you name the members of the syllabus committee, who were involved in the formulation of the new uniform syllabus?
Panel discussions and brain storming sessions were conducted with almost all eminent academicians, experts, students and industry to formulate the scheme and syllabus. Professors from IITs and national level institutes have come up with innovative proposals on how to revamp the existing system. All the deans of engg of the present universities in Kerala and chairmen of the board of studies of the universities participated n the discussions and gave their valuable suggestions.