Monday, April 15, 2024

Civil Engineering: AICTE’s model syllabus introduces mandatory internship, courses in AI-ML, robotics


Civil Engineering: AICTE’s model syllabus introduces mandatory internship, courses in AI-ML, robotics

The BTech Civil Engineering model curriculum has courses on accessibility, transportation, sustainability and provides for minor and honours degrees.

NEW DELHI: An All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) committee has designed a new model curriculum for civil engineering which includes courses on AI-ML and accessibility, provision for minor and honours degrees, and a compulsory internship. AICTE-approved engineering colleges can design their own curricula based on it. Committee chair and dean, academics, Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Mumbai, KK Sangle spoke to Careers360 about the changes, enhancing employability and more.

Q. Civil engineering is one of the oldest branches of engineering but has it lost its charm? What is the new curriculum changing?

In the new curriculum, we have given a lot of flexibility to students. We know that the enrolment ratio for the civil engineering branch is reducing year-by-year. One of the aspects we noticed is that students are getting more job opportunities in circuit branches, so more circuit branches are approved by the AICTE. Having said that, there is a lot of scope in civil engineering as well. Our nation requires competent civil engineers. In line with this, we have decided that students who complete a four-year degree programme must be industry-ready; the industry has to spend minimal time in training them.

Major changes in the curriculum are in line with National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

One important change we have brought in is a mandatory internship of six months during the seventh or eighth semester. This is the first time that the civil engineering curriculum has introduced internships which will boost the employability and develop skills through practical learning, exposure and hands-on-learning.

Keeping in mind all these aspects and the needs of all types of students, internships will help students learn civil engineering more effectively. It cannot be taught completely in the classroom.

Q. What topics have been added to or removed from the civil engineering syllabus?

There are a lot of modern techniques and tools that are used in civil engineering, including many design softwares and modern equipment used for execution of mega projects. These topics have been added to the curriculum, including how to use the softwares and equipment, in almost each course. We have also added the information and technical know-how used by people in the industry, both nationally and internationally.

Also, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and internet of things (IoT) are used extensively in civil engineering. So, we have added AI and ML in our new curriculum, particularly to see how it works.

 The titles of the new courses are “Robotics and Automation in Civil Engineering”: “Building Planning Computer-aided Civil Engineering”; and “Sustainable and Green Constructions and Intelligent Transportation Systems”.

These have been included as mandatory courses. Because governments and people are talking about smart cities, smart structures, and intelligent transport systems, a few courses have been added on these. A civil engineer must have a knowledge of interdisciplinary skills.

Further, we have also kept an optional interdisciplinary minor degree. Usually, there are students who are academically strong and who can do a minimum of 164 credits and further, if they want to learn more, can earn minor degrees in emerging areas like application of computers, artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing. Students can take up a minor degree which is relevant to civil engineering but not a core subject. The minor degree will help students enhance their degree and job opportunities will increase along with good salaries.

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