IUCEE Annual Student Forum, “IASF 2020” begins

Hyderabad: Indo Universal Collaboration for Engineering Education(IUCEE)’ Annual Student Forum 2020, IASF-2020 begins today at the Anurag Group of Institutions(AGI) at Venkatapur, Near Medipally in the city.

The theme for the three day forum is “Addressing Grand Challenges by Engineering Without Borders”

Dr. Ashok Agarwal, Director of EWB (Engineers Without Borders) India, a non-profit society was the Chief Guest.

Addressing the gathering Dr Ashok Agarwal said, The National Education Policy 2019 is welcome, but there is a word of caution. The draft policy which is out in the public domain has not explained how the transition to the new policy will happen. The policymakers need to create a smooth path of the process to change from where the educational institutions are today to where the new policy wants them to go to. The process to make a change has to be defined well. It must offer comfort to educational institutions. Institutions should not be threatened, instead, they must be helped to change as per the new policy guidelines.

Engineering Education is at a cross path in India today. It is confronted with many challenges. Quality of engineering education is one. India has 16 lakh Engineering seats. Graduates are flooding the recruitment market. While recruiters say that these graduates do not possess employable skills. Except for 200 to 250 Engineering colleges, placement is an issue. Nearly 159 engineering colleges closed last year. Technology is disrupting, new job positions are emerging. Outcome-based and Project-Based Learning have become most sought after buzz words, he observed

If the rapid changes are any indication of what future lies ahead of us, our future generations may not need to learn driving. They don’t need driving licenses as the market in future is likely to be hit with driverless cars stated Dr Ashok Agarwal

With 350 mobiles phones, the whole world is in the palm of the students. They don’t need faculty in future. The New education policy is like to create major chaos in the near future. It proposed revolutionary proposals. These include an emphasis on liberal broad-based multi-disciplinary education, teacher and institute autonomy, a revamp of student support systems and the establishment of a National Education Commission. It says there is no place for small institutions as they have to have 3000 to 20,000 students. Then what happens to small institutions? he asked. It suggests Social Sciences and Maths have to be integrated. Under graduation and Post Graduations too have to be integrated. The policy suggests 50% diversity in the campus. But the current level is just 0.5%. How do we address this issue?, he asked

Further the new policy suggests Research Collaborations. A faculty with 6 to 7 hours of teaching every day, where does he have time for research?. There has to be less teaching load. There should be a fine balance between teaching and research Dr Ashok Agarwal observed.

90 percent of Engineering graduates end with jobs in ICT as coders or software developers irrespective of what disciplines of Engineering they have done. It was logical some year ago. Now it is digital. But, the streams like Mechanical and Chemical, Automobile are there forever. How do we encourage students to look at these streams as well? Artificial Intelligence is likely to reduce jobs. How do we address these issues? he asked the gathering.

The Guest of Honour Prof. Krishna Vedula said engineering students in India have to develop leadership skills to address the grand challenges facing the world. Students at IASF 2020 will participate in designing innovative solutions to the grand challenges facing human being around the world. This process will involve working in teams with students from diverse background researching critical aspects of one of the themes, exploring their relevance to specific communities and designing preliminary action plans to address the challenge.

The event, he said, will emphases in addressing global challenges through community services. IASF puts a spotlight on design thinking and project-based learning for the change in the landscape of engineering education. The meet has different tracks—education augmentation, sanitation, sustainable energy and air pollution. The teams during these three days work on problem areas in these tracks and come out with solutions.

Dr. Hans Jurgen Hoyer, Secretary-General of IFEES(International Federation of Engineering Education Societies) and Executive Secretary of GEDC(The Global Engineering Dean’s Council) said “we are part of one global community. We face similar challenges. Let us work together towards protecting planet earth”. He reminded students of Greta Thunberg, how the Swedish environmental activist made the whole world turn their eyes towards reality. Technology is changing the way we live. The current society demands new kind of an engineering professional. Will you rise up to these expectations, he asked. You need a whole new mindset to be the engineering professional the world is looking for he said.

Good infrastructure, good faculty and conducive environment are important for better Engineering education. Earlier a teacher used to teach and students used to listen. But, this system is changing. Today what is important is what the student has learned. It is immaterial what you teach. What is learnt by the student is more important. Today, student is challenging the teachers. Students are learning through many avenues. Students have become more powerful than ever before. He told students to come out with solutions to the prevailing poverty in rural India.

Anurag Group of Institutions established in 2002 offers 10 Under Graduate and 13 Post Graduate Programs in the field of Engineering, Pharmacy and Business Management informed Dr KS Rao, Director AGI while addressing the gathering.

The inaugural function was also graced by Mrs. S. Neelima, Secretary and Correspondent of AGI and Dr. G. Vishnu Murthy, Deputy Director of AGI and Dr. G. Venu Madhav, Chair of IASF 2020.

200 delegates from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan representing 23 colleges such as CMR, HITAM, VJIT, SPOORTHY, ALITS, PSG IT, BMS and DKTE are participating in the IUCEE Annual Student Forum, IASF 2020 shared Vasavi Sai Student Chair of IASF 2020

Parallel sessions and Workshops on Creativity and Design Thinking; Learning through Projects and Case Studies were organized by experts Ravi Talluri and Dr. Ishrat Meera Mirzana

The IASF 2020 will be formally closed on 7th January. Dr. Shanta Thoutam, Vice President, Corporate Innovation & BD, T-Hub will be the Chief Guest. Other guests of honour include Dr. Hanno Paul Hortsch, Secretary-General, International Society for Engineering Pedagogy(IGIP) and Dr. Hans Jurgen Hoyer.