When the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) proposed that engineering students should take an exit test to determine employability of candidates, it was both liked, and disliked by engineers. But an expert, Dr Ashish Dutt Sharma, had a different view point altogether.

Dr Sharma, did his undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral studies from the Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT), Jaipur, and is now the Director of two engineering institutes in Jaipur, and Kota, and one Industrial Training Institute in Jaipur.

While the exit test will assess graduating engineers’ employability skills for all engineering institutes across the country, Dr Sharma, said, “What if the student fails? How much sense does it make, if you tell a student who studied engineering for four/five years, that he cannot become an engineer, and he cannot be employed.”

He suggested that there should be a checkpoint. Institutes should give a certificate after every semester. That way, even if a student decides to give up the course after four semesters, he / she would have somewhere to go rather than waste those years.

Dr Sharma, added, “Even after clearing 48 subjects in eight semesters, if an engineer is unable to get Rs 5,000 per month as salary, then it is the institute’s fault. Students would rather take up a skill development course for a year and get a salary of Rs 10,000 per month. We need to re-engineer our college education.”

He continued, “This exit test will cater to toppers, or those who perform well, because they will easily get a job. Rather it should cater to those 80% engineers who remain unemployed even after successfully clearing four/five years of engineering.”

Many students give up engineering after finishing their BTech (Bachelor of Technology) course. How will the exit test cater to them or help them?

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