Our biggest challenge is that our education system is not changing, says Prof M P Poonia of AICTE


On the occasion of the 11th Anniversary of VLFM / CSM project and the 7th year of VSME in India, The Confederation of Indian Industries(CII) collaborated with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to organise the VSME Convention under the theme “Skilling Indian SMEs together with Engineering Colleges” recently.

Prof M P Poonia, Vice Chairman, AICTE congratulated Prof Shoji Shiba for the VLCI concept and the transformational work it is undertaking. Established in 2015, VLCI addresses a critical societal issue – unemployable engineering graduates in India. The problem is even more severe for the smaller engineering colleges who are unable to attract good quality students and companies do not get quality talent for recruitment. VLCI bridges this gap, where local industry & local engineering colleges come together in partnership to strengthen industry with improved employability of students graduating from the colleges.

Talking about the challenges in the higher education sector, Prof Poonia said, “our biggest challenge in education is that it is not evolving,” said Prof M P Poonia, Vice Chairman, AICTE during the Visionary Learning Community of India (VLCI) Session. He further said that our country’s higher education is the most expensive in the world if you look at the per capita income, but even then, the graduates have very less acceptability because of the course curriculum. 90% of our education is happening in classes while in other countries it is the other way around, he added. Prof Poonia also talked about AICTE’s ten-point action agenda that will initiate Indian higher education’s transformation process.

“There are gaps in the higher education system and we need to bridge these gaps by changing the curriculum,” said Dr Jayant K Kittur, Professor, KLS Gogte Institute of Technology, Belagavi. We have developed a three-stage process of learning for the students and it includes some generic courses also observation skills, brainstorming sessions and teamwork, he further elaborated.

Mr Neelesh Chougule, Chairman & Managing Director, Creintors Teknsol Pvt. Ltd. said that VLCI has created a virtuous ecosystem of community-based learning for manufacturing transformation process involving the Industry, Academia and engineering students. “The programme is creating the next generation of manufacturing leaders,” he said.

The Session Chairman, Mr C S Patel, and Managing Trustee, SNS Foundation, spoke about the history of VLCI and how it had started as a pilot training programme for 25 suppliers in 2009.

The Convention showcased highly successful results and directions that Indian Manufacturing can pursue through scalable models which can make our Industry and Academia more “Future Ready”. It saw the participation of more than 100 delegates from Government, Industry & Engineering colleges.