The courses are redesigned in the colleges; Ai, Data Science In | Bombay News

MUMBAI: In a major re-engineering exercise, technical colleges across India have opted to reset their offerings, close branches that don’t have many takers and opt instead for other courses in the emerging new areas. The year 2021-22 saw AICTE approve nearly 40,000 places in new emerging programs, with the highest in artificial intelligence and machine learning – 13,950 – followed by AI and data science, with 11,040 places. Places in these courses are snapped up. And in the ongoing admission season across India, institutes are filling these seats faster than major engineering branches.
AICTE sources said many other colleges are rushing to close traditional branches that have few takers and are opting instead for new courses. At the same time, over the past two years, 11,000 places in mechanical engineering have been cut. Similarly, civil engineering has seen a reduction of around 10,000 places between 2020 and 2022.
“Colleges are surely taking more students into the new emerging courses. When these students graduate, they will have more job opportunities. But we are following a cautious path. We cannot close civil and mechanical or electrical engineering. In a few years, there will be a shortage of these engineering graduates, which will make the supply unbalanced,” said AICTE President Anil Sahasrabudhe.
For example, at Sona College of Technology in Salem, the number of places has been reduced for civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. It was the first year that emerging fields of engineering were introduced, the college, like many others, wanted to test the waters. Chocko Valliappa, Vice President, said: “Although all the seats in the new areas we are proposing like AI, biomedical engineering and data science are being filled, even after reducing the number of seats in the traditional branches, we haven’t filled all the seats there yet.”
In Maharashtra also, several colleges have opted for the new curricula. Thadomal Shahani College of Engineering shut down biotechnology and biomedical engineering and kicked off AI and data science, which is running full steam ahead. “However, universities across India are not harnessing the full power of these new courses, as the courseware is created by academic councils currently in place. Thus, AI and data science curricula are created by the IT board,” said director GT Thampi.
The coming year could change the landscape of engineering education with many more colleges opting for newer programs and thousands wanting to reduce their capacity in traditional courses. “We are not advocating for colleges to close branches like civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. Instead, alongside those in a degree major, students should be offered minors in these advanced courses. Thus, students integrate into civil engineering and machine learning; many multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary combinations like machine learning and mechanical engineering, agricultural engineering and AI will be a powerful combination,” said Sahasrabudhe.

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