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Soon, engineering graduates in the country will be able to get rid of the unemployable tag they are marked with now. The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), an initiative of the IITs and IISc to provide e-learning for basic science and engineering students, plans to offer certification courses that will help students become job-ready. We are looking to enhance the employability of 5 lakh-odd students passing out of our colleges annually. The students will have the fundamentals taught to them more clearly with demos too, said professor Mangala Sunder Krishnan, web coordinator of NPTEL at IIT-Madras. The certification courses are set to come up in a couple of months with the decision-makers yet to meet formally. But corporate trainers have sent out feelers to industry for inputs to see what students are expected to know.
Professor Krishnan said that while the certification will carry the IIT brand, NPTEL was also looking to collaborate with corporates for evaluation and mentorship. NPTEL will decide on the academic requirements of candidates who want to get the certification. We want to offer it to a large number of students, he said. Some of the courses being considered for certification include programming, algorithm and data structures in computer science and basics of electronics and communication engineering, digital circuits and VLSI. Besides these courses, NPTEL offers 260 courses in engineering, science and humanities, and hopes to achieve a target of more than 1,200 courses by year-end or the beginning of 2013. NPTEL also allows universities to map their curriculum with the content available on www.nptel.iitm.ac.in free. For instance, Anna University can put up a link on the website connecting to a repository of all the course content in its curriculum. The new courses also come with quizzes and assignments, seen as a step towards developing a virtual university, said Usha Nagarajan, principal project officer, NPTEL. Faculty associated with NPTEL said they would like to see more students making use of the free facility that can help explain concepts clearly. We find the courses are very popular with students appearing for GATE. At least 50% of the six lakh are aware of the courses, and around three-fourths of the postgraduates looking to join IIT-Madras have looked at them. We hope to see more undergraduates benefit from them, said institute co-ordinator with NPTEL professor Andrew Thangaraj. As professor Krishnan puts it, We have shown that we are ready to offer everything we teach students in IIT. It is now up to people out there corporatea, students, faculty and institutions to make the most of it.
Courtesy: Times of India
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