It was a trend in very household to send children for either an engineering or medical course. But as the trend took a toll on almost all the parents of the country, the children were forced to join engineering colleges if or not they prefered it on their own. But now More than 60% of the eight lakh engineers graduating from technical institutions across the country every year remain unemployed, according to the All India Council for Technical Education.
Unemployment is a potential loss of 20 lakh man days annually. In addition this is also less than 1% of engineering students participate in summer internships and just 15% of engineering programmes offered by over 3,200 institutions are accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA).
The unemployment rate in a way points to the varied standards of the technical educational institutions from where the students graduate from as companies recruiting freshmen, rather than looking at the skill of the person prefers to know where he/she graduated from. To an end to this trend, the ministry of human resource development is planning a major revamp of India's technical education. The strategy involves appearing for a single nationalised entrance exam, National Entrance Examination for Technical Institutions from January 2018, linking annual teacher training as a must for approval of the institution, mandatory induction training to enrolled students and annual revision of curriculum.
According to a senior MHRD official, NEETI (for admission to engineering programmes) will be the first exam to be conducted by the National Testing Service (NTS), which will be completely computer-based. "In all probability, NTS will be ready by January 2018 to conduct the NEETI as well as National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical courses. The exams will be conducted multiple times in a year," said the official.
As planned by the ministry, the first NEETI exam is likely to be scheduled for December 2017-January 2018, followed by another one in March 2018 and the third during May 2018. The official also added that NTS will also conduct entrance test for IIT.
However following the previous year’s set-up, the paper will be set by the IITs. Only the exam conduction will be handled by NTS. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), under MHRD, has also set broad targets for raising the standards of technical education, which includes immediate improvement of employability to 60% from the current 40%, and to ensure that 75% of the students get industry exposure in the form of summer internships in various industries of their expertise.
Beffore 2022, 50% of the programmes in the technical institutions shall be accredited through NBA, and if there isn’t credible progress annually, the institutional approval will be cancelled. According to the planned initiatives of the AICTE, the selection process will be based on the single entrance test by an agency authorised by MHRD and there will be a ban on conduct of such exams by any other institution or university or agency.
The institutions from now on will have to make "suitable changes in the curriculum every year" and the process shall be completed in the month of December each year ahead of the coming academic year. AICTE has asked the institutions to prepare an action plan for implementing these initiatives along with financial implications before June 2017.