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If the students of M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology (MSRIT) want to score marks, they must now head to villages to find engineering solutions to rural problems. This is a reversal of sorts at a time when students prefer to do their internships abroad.
Starting from this academic year, fifth semester students will have an elective called Society and Technology where they are expected to learn how technology can come in handy for rural folks.Under the elective,a student has to go to rural areas,look for problems like water availability,lack of medical care,dearth of communication,shortage of transport connectivity,problems related to agriculture and come up with solutions.The student must then write a solution paper.The faculty concerned will assess the paper and give marks.If the students solution is applicable,he/she gets three credit marks. Making students go to rural areas as part of their studies has always been a tough task for academic institutes.Many medical students complete their rural internship reluctantly,ever since the state government made it mandatory.MSRITs approach is different in that it doesnt insist on students staying in rural areas. Colleges advisor Dr K Rajanikanth said,Humanitarian studies and social sciences are not aloof to engineering colleges.In fact,some of the IITs have social sciences as electives.But this will be the first time in India,where students have to do a rural internship to score marks. He added that the elective was open for students of all engineering branches. He explained: Its common nowadays for farmers and fishermen to have mobile phones.In spite of technology reaching rural areas,it is worrying that students are not trying to find solutions to problems found in villages.Every year,we see students coming up with hundreds of projects but not even one per cent of these projects relate to rural areas.It is high time students think about rural areas. MSRIT principal Dr K S Rajanandam said the elective was the brainchild of the Harichandra,a professor in MSRITs mechanical engineering department. Devesh Shetty,a fifth semester engineering student at MSRIT said,This is one of the most exciting projects Ive come across.For the first time,my solution has the potential to touch thousands of villagers.Im looking forward to it.
Courtesy: Times of India
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