Advocating for ‘suitable solution for requirements,’ the director of the IcfaiTech School of Science and Technology, Dr. K. L. Narayana says that there are practical challenges for HEIs (Higher Education Institutes) in implementing the New Educational Policy. With the Education Post’s Tanay Kumar, he shares his viewpoints on Mechatronics, 3D Printing and other forthcoming technology in the industry.
Along with being the director of the ICFAI Hyderabad, you are also Head of the Department of Mechatronics as well. Will you tell something about this particular branch and can we expect the institute will introduce more of such unconventional and vocational branches?
Automation is altering the face of the globe while implementing Industry 4.0. Across domains, there is a great demand for integrating conventional machine/processes with electronics and computer science. Mechatronics Engineering is combining all the branches of engineering to provide a suitable solution for the market requirements.
How do you see the future of Mechatronics engineering in India by job perspectives?
Today all industries are looking for an end-to-end automation system. The students of this era need to understand the related processes, programming techniques, and concepts pertaining to electronics to employ the emerging automation system. An immense potential of opportunities is available in the global market for the workforce that understands, adapts, as well as implements the automation system.
You also teach 3D Printing – Rapid Prototyping. What challenges do you see in faster adaption rate of 3D Printing in India and jobs in it?
Most of the machines that are used for higher precision are imported from foreign nations, thereby, increasing the cost of the equipment. Subsequently, the global issues including the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have contributed to supply chain challenges of quality e-products. Although our nation is progressing in this domain, as of today, India is not prepared to replace the high-quality machinery with Made in India products. Further, the lack of skilled professionals causes India to predominantly rely on manufacturing while sprawling opportunities are available in hardware integration and design of the products.
ICFAI has also introduced some vocational courses such as Data Science and Mechatronics which is also the focus of the New Education Policy. What pros and cons do you find in the New Education Policy?
As the new educational policy 2020 aims to include vocational education programmes in mainstream education, it will overcome the social hierarchy by providing equal opportunities for education and income. With the emphasis on vocational courses, students from various educational backgrounds will be empowered to enroll in interdisciplinary courses as vocational programs. This will eventually equip the learners from different streams to provide diverse solutions. The new educational policy 2020 has also provided the scope for innovation by integrating vocational courses like data sciences, AI/ML, etc., into mainstream education through the mechanism set up by NCIVE (National Committee for the Integration of Vocational Education).
The new educational policy is highly visionary with respect to vocational courses, but there are practical challenges for HEIs in implementing this. The HEIs have to identify the appropriate model for implementation, should look for the right industry collaboration as well as ensure that the courses are industryready.
There is one very interesting provision in the Academic Flexibilities section over the institute’s website – “Individual Centric Timetable and Choice of Instructors.” How did institute come up with this idea?
This prevailing academic flexibility conferred to the students enables them to align their learning abilities with the teaching approach and pedagogy applied by the faculty, enhancing their interest in the subject. Further empowering the students to grasp the academic concepts, this flexibility allows the student to opt for the instructor who understands their culture and vernacular language, with whom they share a rapport and can interact comfortably, or who meets their other academic needs. Subsequently, by allowing the learners to choose the suitable time for the classes, we are bestowing the responsibility on them to attend the classes and have an excellent erudite experience at IcfaiTech.
To collaborate with micro, small and medium enterprises, the institute introduced Technology Innovation Center. Would you shed some lights on its achievements so far?
IcfaiTech has introduced Technology Innovation Projects to bridge the gap between industry and academia. TIP offers a learning space for budding entrepreneurs and organizations to ideate and establish start-ups collaboratively. As of today, 50 MoUs have been signed with national and international organizations. Some of the reputed Mechanical, Electronics, and Computer oriented companies functioning in the area of 3D printing have already begun their operations from campus. Students are in turn offered the opportunity to work on live projects that further equip them to ace amongst peers in the competitive market.
What are the future aspirations of the ICFAITech School?
Primarily, IcfaiTech aspires to grow in size and introduce branches and courses in emerging areas of technologies to meet the industry requirements. In the upcoming days, it aims to be acknowledged as an institute of national and international repute through collaborations with global academia and industries. Accentuating the substantial scholarly works, we are ambitious to become a leading research-oriented institute that creates entrepreneurs, academicians, and innovators. Finally, IcfaiTech is paving the path to being rated, ranked, and accredited by leading national and international agencies.