Few weeks ago I had attended a seminar on the topic of structural changes in curriculum for enhancing employability through skill development in PLM conducted by a reputed company. As our state technical university was the co-organizer, members of all the Board of Studies were invited to attend.
Viva-voce is an essential and integral part of any professional curriculum. Its supposed to be just as scary as a theory examination and sometimes even more as its an oral examination. Though I had given viva voce at school level I don’t remember anything about it. You can read Ishmeet’s experience of a school viva here. In a field like Engineering or Medical, practical knowledge is much more important than theory. Viva-voce tests just that.
I don’t know about all but in many private engineering colleges viva-voce serves as a source of entertainment and frustration for the external and the internal examiners respectively rather than an ordeal for the students . The increasing disregard in students for studying before practical exams and the decreasing sincerity and quality of students in engineering can be attributed to cropping up of engineering colleges like mushrooms and the trend of not failing anyone in viva in private engineering colleges.
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In the coming college session 2008-09 of Engineering, around 10 new colleges will add to the existing 19 colleges in the state of Chattisgarh. Also the number of seats in the existing colleges will go up. That would mean around 10000 seats for engineering admissions. Similar conditions exist in other states too where day by day new colleges, technical or otherwise, are coming up. Education is the one of the biggest investment areas now in India. Big parties are pooling up their legal or illegal money and setting up colleges. Just by showing basic fulfillment of norms, they are getting approval from the AICTE too. Students getting absolutely any rank or even no rank in the state’s entrance exam can now get admission in Engineering easily. The fees of this state is more than Rs.50000 per year, not taking into account donation money for management quota seats.
The question that arises is whether this education boom is actually a boon or bane? Will it prove useful in the long run for India or will it spell out the doom of Indian technical workforce? These are the important points to be considered before deciding the answer to this question.