Engineering students of both government and private institutions might soon have to write a mandatory exit examination in their final year. Their performance in this examination is likely to determine their employability, as the government plans to share their scores with prospective employers.
Concerned about the quality of engineering students graduating every year, the government is proposing to test their “attainment levels” through this examination. The issue will come up for discussion at a meeting of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) next week.
The main Goal behind the proposal
Skewed standards of India’s engineering education
Improve Employability: Only 20% - 30% of engineering graduates in India are able to get a job, in spite of the fact that roughly, seven lakh engineering students graduate annually from across 3,000 registered technical institutes (approximately)
Fix the lack of requisite skill set amongst engineering graduates to make them job ready
An AICTE official said that given that the proposed test will be GATE in a new avatar, students would not have any problem taking it. “About 80% to 90% of engineering students take GATE every year as it is mandatory for admissions to MTech. Many public sector undertakings hire engineering students on the basis of their GATE scores,” he said.
The scores of the test will be shared with employers in both the public and private sectors.
“The proposed test will also help improve the quality of the technical institutes,” an official said. Depending on the performance of their students, the institutes would be encouraged to take measures to improve their standards.
GATE is an all-India examination that primarily tests the comprehensive understanding of various undergraduate subjects in engineering and science. It is conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Science and seven Indian Institutes of Technology. The GATE scores are usually used by IITs for admission to M.Tech.
The Medical Council of India (MCI) has already proposed to make exit examination compulsory for obtaining degrees. Official sources said that they were weighing the option of making it a pre-condition for award of degree in engineering too. However, a final decision will be taken at the AICTE meeting. Although students will get their B.Tech degrees from their institutes regardless of their performance in the exit examination, participation in the examination would not be voluntary as is the case with GATE, said sources.
Once the proposal is approved and the mandatory exit examination is conducted, the results would be shared with institutes to help them devise techniques to plug the gaps. The AICTE will have to issue a regulation for this purpose so that all institutes follow it. If institutions don’t comply with the regulation, they might face the risk of losing approval status, said sources.