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A Handbook for Mechanical Engineering
by ME Team
Background: The engineering education system in India has witnessed rapid progress in recent years under the guidance, direction and leadership of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to become one of largest in the world. About 3400 colleges with widely varying governance structures and their locations spread in metro, urban, semi-urban and rural areas, opportunities for studies in over thirty branches of Engineering and Technology (E&T) disciplines and an annual intake of over 1.2 million students constitute its status in 2011-12. Considering the wide diversities in the system and the need to enhance its quality, standard and relevance so that the E&T graduates passing out from the system can meet the 21st century challenges ahead of them, the Chairman, AICTE had desired that a Model Scheme of Instruction and Syllabi for the various programmes of study be proposed by the All India Board for Under Graduate Studies in E&T (AIB UGS (E&T)) of AICTE. The AIB UGS (E&T), after detailed deliberations and associating senior experts from leading institutions in the country, has proposed in this document, a Model Scheme of Instruction and Syllabi for UGS (E&T) for six of the most popular programmes of study now enrolling over 80% of UG (E&T) students in the country. It is expected that the experience gained in implementing the Model Scheme of Instruction and Syllabi as proposed, would be of help to the AIB UGS (E&T) to take up the drafting of Model Scheme of Instruction and Syllabi for the remaining programmes of study.
2. Engineering Education: It is well known that E&T professionals are key personnel in any country responsible for its economic progress and prosperity, leading to increased comfort and satisfaction levels of its people and the society at large. The developed countries have already benefitted from their knowledge and skills and have demonstrated the crucial role played by these professionals in strengthening their R&D, industries and economies. As India is now engaged in such an endeavour and has prepared a road map for becoming a developed nation by the year 2020, serious efforts are now going on in the country in this direction. In this context, the education and training of E&T professionals are now receiving much attention here. But, there are challenges being faced by these professionals in the on-going 21st century, recognized as the Knowledge Age, like:
1) Rapidly changing technological scene worldwide, with a shrinking time scale for new developments and for obsolescence of old practices, leading to:
Increase in investment on R&D in industry and other sectors;
Demand for innovative products and services, based on contemporary technologies; and,
Growing need for enhancement of abilities to manage change, so frequent, now a days;
2) Globalization and liberalization of Indian industry, leading to
Comprehensive restructuring of industry sector for enhancing efficiency;
Increase in world-wide mobility of E&T professionals; and,
Growth of competitive environment globally and also in the country;
3) Emergence of new career opportunities for E&T professionals, leading to:
Demand for broad-based, flexible education in multi/inter- disciplinary subjects;
Emphasis on PG courses, research training and institute-industry interaction; and,
Advances in learner-centric programmes and life-long learning opportunities;
4) Penetration of IT in all sectors of the E&T profession, leading to:
Increased demand for IT-based solutions to industrial and societal problems;
Expertise in emerging IT developments to solve complex, E&T problems; and,
Improved access to worldwide information/data bases and knowledge centres.
5) Increased social/environmental concerns in the E&T context, leading to:
Effectivee means for protection of endangered environment and depleting energy sources;
Seeking environment- and energy- friendly solutions to E&T problems; and.
Wealth generation using environmentally benign and energy efficient techniques;
These challenges require appropriate orientation of E&T education and research in the country at all levels, particularly at UG and revitalizing the same as outlined below, so that E&T professionals of the 21st century are equipped to face the challenges with determination and courage becoming ready in a short time to contribute to national development.
3. Approach to Curriculum: As a major objective of E&T education in India now is to develop E&T professionals having competencies, intellectual skills and knowledge equipping them to contribute to the society through productive and satisfying careers as innovators, decision makers and leaders in the national and global economies of the 21st century, the Approach to Curriculum for UG E&T Degree Programmes needs to lay special emphasis on educating/preparing the students well for being able to demonstrate the following abilities:
(a) Effective application of knowledge of mathematics, science and technical subjects;
(b) Planning and design to conduct scientific and technical experiments;
(c) Analysis and interpretation of scientific, technical and economic data collected;
(d) Design of parts, subsystems, systems and/or processes to meet specific needs;
(e) Identification, formulation and solving of problems using simulation or otherwise;
(f) Use of techniques/tools including software in all disciplines, as may be required;
(g) Effective communication skills and leadership/participation in team work;
(h) Fulfillment of professional, social and ethical responsibilities;
(i) Sensitivity to environmental and energy issues and concerns;
(j) Planning, development and implementation of strategies for life-long learning.
These requirements call for the following objectives to the Approach to Curriculum relating to UG students at E&T Degree Programmes in the country:
1) Preparation: To prepare the students to excel in various educational programmes or to succeed in industry / technical profession through further education/training; )
2) Core Competence: To provide the students with a solid foundation in mathematical, scientific and E&T fundamentals required to solve E&T related problems;
3) Breadth: To train the students with a breadth of scientific and E&T knowledge to comprehend, analyze, design & create novel products and solutions for real life problems;
4) Professionalism: To inculcate in the students professional/ethical attitude, effective team work skills, multidisciplinary approach and to relate E&T issues to a broader context;
5) Learning Environment: To provide the students with academic environment of excellence, leadership, ethical guidelines and life-long learning needed for a long/peoductive career.