Recently, in the second week of January 2017, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) proposed that engineering students should take an exit test after completing their course. According to Aspiring Minds National Employability Report – Engineers 2016, only a total of 19.91% engineers get employed. The exit test for graduating engineers will assess their employability and it will be conducted for students of all institutes across India, be it private or government engineering colleges.
It is also proposed that AICTE will conduct this test and that the government will share the students’ scores with prospective employers. Other than theoretical knowledge, engineering candidates will also be tested for skills, aptitude, and critical thinking. If a group of students from one college or students from a particular region don’t score well in the exit test, it will also reflect the educational institute’s performance.
While Medical’s NEXT exam has hit headlines all over the country, running alongside the NEET controversies, the engineering exit test seems to have vanished from public consciousness. The last reported mention of an engineering exit exam was in newspapers around January 7, and 9, 2017, when it was reported that the AICTE will come to a decision after a week. However, that deadline has come and gone and there has been no notification or announcement from the AICTE.
When contacted by this reporter, the AICTE Chairman Prof Anil D Sahasrabudhe said that the AICTE had not yet decided whether there would be an exit test or not. “The item was discussed and deferred,” he said.
It would seem that there are numerous challenges to implementing such an exit test, and the question arises that how would the AICTE address these issues. For starters, with only around 20 percent of students graduating as engineers getting jobs as engineers, how would an exit test benefit the rest of these students?
And then, there is the GATE exam, the entrance test that graduate engineers give to qualify for MTech, which incidentally, is also used as a selection parameter for PSU recruitments. While the Chairman indicates that the AICTE was earlier considering to make GATE the exit test, rather than the entrance test that it currently is, he adds that the verdict is still out.
Read more about the exit test for graduating engineers