Back in 2007, pursuing a Master’s degree in Economics in tandem with a degree in Mechanical Engineering wouldn’t have sounded quite right. Many would have questioned its relevance. But today, it seems that engineering colleges have finally understood the changing market requirements and are encouraging students to opt for subjects beyond a specific field.
According to reports, engineering students can now opt for humanities as well as commerce-oriented courses along with engineering. The approval for the same has been granted by the All India Council for Technical Education. Commenting on the issue, AICTE Chairperson Anil Sahasrabudhe threw light on the growing infrastructure within the engineering colleges.
Moreover, rapidly changing professional requirements have made it important for colleges to come up with interdisciplinary courses. He emphasised on the need to go beyond a particular discipline. These courses widen a student’s scope of knowledge and also enhance a student’s chances of gaining employment, he added further.
The likes of BAIT (Bannari Amman Institute of Technology), Coimbatore and TSEC (Thadomal Shahani Engineering College), Mumbai have humanities courses in place already and plan to run full-time MSc as well as MS courses. The likes of BITS, Pilani and IIT Madras are offering MA courses in English, Media and Communication Studies, etc.
IITs have courses in English, foreign policy, linguistics, and economics. Students have been provided with absolute liberty to choose a cross-disciplinary approach.
Sangeeta Sharma, an associated professor within the humanities department stated that BITS Pilani has now made it mandatory for the students to choose as many as three humanities courses. Other courses like technical communication also come into the picture. According to Sharma, the courses were started in order to provide students with an understanding about the way the society works. The institute has now realized that these skill sets would make students employable. She also states that creative thinking can now be seen taking the front seat within the institute.
According to Professor Sharma, the institute is planning to come up with a Master’s degree in social sciences soon. The reason behind the same is believed to be the institute’s renewed focus on imparting education beyond a particular discipline.
According to Umakant Dash, Head of the Department of Social Sciences at IIT Madras, courses across disciplines allow students to exchange ideas. For instance, engineering students within the IIT Madras Campus studying development studies can undertake research and analytics with ease.
Earlier this month, BB Ahuja, the Director of Department of Production Engineering and Industrial Management at College of Engineering, Pune, had also spoken about the various skill development courses the college has started of late to equip students with the requirements of contemporary work culture. “We need no boundary walls between streams,” Sahasrabudhe agrees.