“The skills curriculum of the education system needs to change to adapt to the changing times,” said Aditya Munjal, director of Hero Cycles. The company has proposed changes to the ITI curriculum and claims that their recommendations have also been accepted by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Some of the changes suggested by Hero Cycles include adding group discussions to the course, teaching trigonometry concepts rather than teaching the basics, hands-on experience handling instruments, greater focus on OJT, problem-solving skills, techniques for identifying the cause of interference between others.
The bike manufacturing company claims there is a “huge gap between skill level expectation and the skills the students are equipped with”. However, this skills gap is not only limited to ITI education, but also the engineering graduates must have a curriculum that is updated according to the needs of the industry.
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“The mechanical sector is growing at a rapid pace and there is a strong drive to upgrade the curriculum. We need to ensure that freshmen take ownership, responsibility and pride by doing their best while being able to handle pressure, keep abreast of the latest industry trends and focus on their writing skills, work ethic , culture and team building,” said Munjal.
Most industry partners recruit newbies from ITIs and devote time, effort, money and staff to training the students for at least six months. They spend about Rs 60,000 per person to get them ready for a job.
Currently, most industry partners recruit freshmen from ITIs and devote time, effort, money and staff to educating the students for at least six months. They spend about Rs 60,000 per person to get them ready for a job.
“ITI’s current mechanical engineering curriculum should focus more on OJT, problem-solving skills, techniques to identify the root cause of machine failures, and quick fixes. It should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect the changing technology needs of the industry. This should be an ongoing process to increase the employability of those coming out of ITIs,” he said.
New Syllabus Recommendations
Hero Cycles provided input for all six semesters of the curriculum. This includes adding group discussions to the course as it would be helpful in the workplace. “This would help them learn about meeting decorum, such as how to conduct and close meetings, and take notes on what’s being discussed,” the company said.
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In the third semester, inputs were shared for the detailed processes involved in heat treatment. The current syllabus does not contain information about metallurgy. It is imperative to have knowledge of the different properties of the materials and granules for the successful execution of the heat treatment processes.
In math, the company has suggested starting with the concepts of trigonometry rather than learning basics like why it’s required and where we can use it. “Currently, the institutes are not taught how to handle and use measuring instruments. Therefore, inputs in geometric dimensioning and tolerances and measuring instruments have been provided as an important part of the research. This becomes very important when interpreting machine and engineering drawings (blueprints),” it added. Various inputs have been provided for safety aspects in the sector.
Practical experience important
“The current curriculum states that there must be practical knowledge of measuring instruments and their use, tool handling, etc., but this experience of practical handling is lacking,” says Hero Cycles. There must be close coordination between the demand side – industry and educational institutions. Students need to have more hands-on experience working on machines or simulators to be industry ready, it added.
At the sector level, there is a huge demand for skilled labor and the opportunity to hire young people. The industry is unable to find people with the right skills. On the other hand, academic institutions try to get their students placed. “This is only possible by revising the curriculum at all levels from time to time, making our education and vocational systems more industry-friendly,” Munjal said.
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