For the first time in India, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has given up to 20 credits for subjects like artificial intelligence, internet of things, machine learning and robotics. In December 2017, the AICTE had revised the curriculum for the four year undergraduate (BTech) program. AI, robotics and IoT had been made mandatory from academic year 2018-19.
In a move which is being clearly welcomed by academicians as well as students, over 80 percent of all the technical and engineering colleges in India have agreed to follow the new curriculum as well as the grading system.
Now, this new move by AICTE is being hailed by everyone as the students are hoping to get better placements, and employers are expecting to hire more industry-relevant workforce.
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Dinesh Kumar, vice chancellor, YMCA Faridabad said, “In many colleges, the students are not getting jobs as the course followed is dated. The focus of the new syllabus on new emerging technologies will help colleges improve placements as teaching would get more industry relevant.” He also added that the average salaries may also go up at these institutes as a result the new curriculum as well as the credit weightage.
According to a report released by AICTE last year, India has more than 3,000 registered engineering institutes. But while these institutes produce about seven lakh engineers every year, only half of them manage to get hired during campus placement rounds.
MP Poonia, vice-chairman of AICTE told a newspaper, “This is being done to take pressure off students who come to engineering institutes after undergoing board examinations and extensive coaching. We don’t want to drain them further. We want to capitalise on their creativity.”
Nirmal Singh, CEO of Wheebox told a news wire, “The revised curriculum by AICTE establishes the fact that emerging next generation technologies have started its germination for large number of businesses and thus the new access to information using such curriculum will make engineering graduates more employable. However next generation technologies shall not be taught in theory, but using applicability in businesses.”
More and more companies are adopting artificial intelligence in their ecosystems in order to achieve business efficiency and revenue augmentation. In fact, according to a recent report by Intel India, undertaken by the International Data Corporation (IDC), nearly 75 percent firms anticipate benefits in business process efficiency and employee productivity with the use of AI. The report also suggested an impending lack of skilled talent in the AI sector.