The centre will act as a nodal repository of emerging academic content, while initiating several activities for teacher training and knowledge enhancement of scholars. The following levels of activities are envisaged:
- Innovative content development:The curriculum of all technical education institutions is extensive. However, the difference lies in the coverage of the stipulated material – both in terms of depth of coverage and quantity of material covered. Wide-variations exist in the delivery of the content. Uniform content of a given level of rigour, will be developed in the centre based on inputs from leading experts in the area from within and outside. The goal will be to create ideal course-files, lecture material, compendium of problems (relevant to the Indian context), desired practical projects to be Associated with the courses, list of experiments for specific disciplines and level (core, departmental, undergraduate, post-graduate), laboratory manuals, template for laboratory reports, supplementary study material for laboratory courses, e-resource list to enhance the learning process (through specialized software, animations, experimentation platforms). The NPTEL resources will be taken and augmented. The content development will require creation of small, focused work-groups with expertise drawn from within Indian institutions and with advice from international experts, if necessary.
- Text-books (electronic and paper format) development: The centre will encourage and support writing of quality text-books, keeping in mind the Indian student, with possible translations into other Indian languages (to aid the English-challenged students). Leading experts within India will be invited to write the text-book material – with specified content and appropriate financial support from the centre. Solution manuals, for the aid of teachers will also be developed. Further, additional e-resources that may aid understanding of particular topics can also be developed. This will be a unique teaching resource development paradigm.
- Design of experiments and set-ups: Experimentation, and fear of hardware, is a bane for technical education in India. Not all experiments require costly equipment. Innovative, simple experimental set-ups will be developed with the help of leading experimentalists in IIT Kanpur. Small kits to set up simple experiments will also be developed, for the student to assemble, and conduct the experiment. This should be able to take active experimentation to the remotest engineering class-room in the local quality circle. The basic idea is to ensure certain minimum standardized experiments to be mandatorily introduced in all the institutions in the local circle. These experiments will be geared to the learning needs of different levels of undergraduate classes and graduate students.
- Teaching work-shops in specific cluster of courses: There are several live class to which teachers go to, to present their research. However, there is no platform where teachers can interact with faculty at IITs, and other leading institutions in India, and work out effective methods of teaching a subject. Such workshops will expose the teachers of this specific cluster of courses to fine-tune their teaching skills, clear fundamental doubts, develop new ways of looking at the subject, and possibly develop innovative new solutions to classical questions. Here, some leading authors in the specific areas will be called to share their understanding of the courses, participate in discussions and lead to enhancement of the teacher’s knowledge of the subject. All this will percolate down to the class-room through more determined, informed and innovative delivery of the defined content. This will also make the courses more interesting for the students.
- Short-courses and workshops in niche areas: Periodically, short-courses in niche areas will be conducted to bring the latest in the field of engineering research to the teachers. The short-courses will be conducted by leading international and Indian experts in the area. The course will be aimed at the teachers and PhD scholars in various technical institutions in the local circle and beyond. This will give the potential researchers an opportunity to interact with the experts, learn about the subject, and get a jump-start in research in these areas, if interested. This can also serve as a good platform to bring people together, and should spawn new research collaborations. The courses can span four days to two-weeks.
- Seminars: Invited researchers and teachers will be invited to deliver seminars which will be web-cast to participating institutions.
- Focused live class in niche areas: In order to promote a culture of research, and encourage aspiring researchers to take up specific emerging areas of importance, focused live class in specific areas will be conducted. The idea is to keep the participation small and restricted to either persons working in the field or interested in taking up research in the area. Again, leading experts in the area will be invited to present talks at the live class. Usual talks and poster sessions will be organised to show-case the work of all the participants. The focused live class will help bring established, renowned and aspiring researchers together. This will lead to new ideas, increased clarity of direction, effort to develop research activities in a focused way, and hence optimal usage of the resources. This will also lead to improvement of research quality.
- Sabbatical/long-leave stay to teachers and researchers from TEQIP institutions: The centre will also provide for a limited number of visiting scholars/researchers/teachers to spend time at IIT Kanpur, either engaging in collaborative research or pursuing individual research or content development initiative. The support to the students/researchers will be provided by NPIU/local TEQIP centres (through fellowship/assistantship/scholarship/travel grants), based on the recommendations of KIT.
- Short-term visit of graduate students from TEQIP institutions, for use of research facilities and conduct of specific research activity. The students can also, based on recommendations of KIT, register for specialized courses at IIT Kanpur.
- Reports: The centre will bring out annual reports on activities of the centre, with articles on technical pedagogy, research papers, philosophical discussions on pedagogy and review/comments/suggestions on technical education in the local circle.
The Project has following objectives:
- Strengthening Institutions to produce high quality engineers for better employability
- Scaling-up postgraduate education and demand-driven Research & Development and Innovation
- Establishing Centers of Excellence for focused applicable research
- Training of faculty for effective Teaching
- Enhancing Institutional and System Management effectiveness.