Dr. Yajulu Medury, Vice Chancellor, Mahindra University, explains how they have inculcated new age technologies like robotics, quantum mechanics, AI and robotics in their curriculum.
The post-Covid scenario…
During the Coronavirus pandemic, we had adopted a hybrid mode of teaching-learning to ensure that the students are on track with their curriculum. As we gradually move “back to normal” there is no denying that there is a need for cautious optimism. Education has gone through a paradigm shift and now with newer technologies and tools in place the future of education will be hybrid, however in-person teaching cannot be replaced due to the fact that students get more holistic learning is a mutually beneficial social environment.
We have adapted to teaching and learning in-person through a combination of digital and physical approaches. This blended pedagogy mechanism, called phygital, is going to be the way of the future. We believe that educational institutions must embrace this as the way forward as it allows flexible teaching and learning in the new world we are entering.
The latest tech tools…
We have recently launched a new digitally enabled Central Library that uses Koha software package, an integrated multi-user library automation management system that supports all in-house activities of the library and deploys an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) based automation system and circulation system. This enables students to have access to world-class leading materials as well as remote access to students from anywhere within the university.
We lay a lot of emphasis on research and development to help generate high calibre human resource, research and innovation in the Science & Technology (S&T) sector.
We ensure that our labs are equipped with the latest technology and tools. Our high-tech labs with industry collaborations, help students at the university gain hands on, relevant experience and exposure. Currently, our students are working on mechatronics projects like robots, drones, smart devices and Internet of Things (IoT) based systems.
Mahindra University set up a new ‘Makers Lab’ with Tech Mahindra for research and development in quantum computing, explainable Artificial Intelligence and Metaverse. Students will get an opportunity to work on intellectual properties made within the Makers Lab and get deployed in R&D projects on the campus.
Changes in syllabus…
In sync with the current digital transformation requirements, we have inculcated robotics, quantum mechanics, AI and robotics in our curriculum which are all new age technologies. Our syllabus is dynamic and enables students to attain adequate exposure to global knowledge and grow profoundly under the eminent international leaders of the industry. It is designed flexibly to assist students in understanding the industry better and makes them ready for future complications and competitions. For example, we offer a well-equipped B.Tech in Computer Science Engineering syllabus semester wise to help students gain a complete in-depth understanding of the field. Similarly, our Civil Engineering syllabus enables students to attain adequate exposure to global knowledge and grow profoundly under the eminent international leaders of the industry.
The role of the government…
The government has been extremely supportive of the education sector. This year’s allocation to the education sector was the highest ever. It also announced 100 labs for developing apps using 5G services will be set up in engineering institutions. These labs will cover among others, apps like Smart Classrooms, Precision Farming, Intelligent and Transports Systems. The government’s main priorities include improving the digitalization of the education system and upskilling the youth. The National Research Foundation (NRF), an autonomous organisation under DST established to finance, coordinate, and promote research in the nation, has been allocated Rs 2,000 crore in the Union Budget 2023–2034. Exponential investments in R&D, manufacturing and digital transformation will lead to increase in innovation.
Rising global demand complemented by India setting the stage for becoming a manufacturing hotspot has led to a long run of happy days that are here for engineering students. For five years in a row now, demand and pay packets for engineers have risen globally. And this rise is not limited to one or two streams but for a large bouquet of conventional engineering accomplishments coupled with demand for new age qualifications such as environmental engineering and green energy.
Dr. Yajulu Medury
Vice Chancellor, Mahindra University