P V Kadole
Director DKTE Society's Textile & Engineering Institute
Institutes should establish strong facilities to carry out online education
Nine co-operative organisations from Ichalkaranji came together to form an Education Society, which was named after Shri Dattajirao Kadam, a veteran leader who was mainly instrumental in the development of textile industry at Ichalkaranji. Thus, the Dattajirao Kadam Technical Education Society, popularly known as DKTE, came into existence with a view to start institutes and colleges to cater to technical education in the field of textiles, engineering, management and other related disciplines. Prof. (Dr.) P V Kadole, Director, DKTE Society's Textile & Engineering Institute, gives an account of how DKTE has successfully moved its teaching onto the online platform in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis.
How has the worldwide lockdown impacted educational institutes and students? What are the immediate concerns?
Definitely worldwide lockdown has impacted educational institutes and students. However, most of the educational institutes shifted to online teaching process and have ensured that the students are able to continue their academic activities. This online teaching process has not fulfilled all the requirements of academics.
The immediate concerns are:
i. Henceforth, some part of teaching-learning activities should be online, so that everyone involved in the process will have the knowledge of using online platforms
ii. Faculty/students should be trained on several online platforms
iii. Students should be encouraged to earn few credits by learning courses using MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
iv. The institutes should establish strong facilities for carrying out online education
How are you realigning your course offerings in the era of Covid-19? How has the crisis reshaped education in more than one way?
Immediate realigning of courses in the curriculum is very difficult. Teaching and learning process should not be hampered in any circumstances. Thus, our institute is fully focused to conduct full-fledged online teaching & learning process for upcoming semester in order to continue the teaching –learning process.
Faculty development programmes are conducted to create awareness about online teaching platforms. Moodle was effectively utilised to complete internal examination. Facilities creation for online teaching is planned and will be implemented soon.
What have the learnings been since your institute went the e-learning way to ensure continual learning for the students from home?
The institute quickly shifted its teaching and learning process into online platforms to ensure continual learning for the students from home during lock down period. The faculty members completed the remaining curriculum by conducting online lectures using various online platforms. E-learning materials were given to the students. Internal tests were conducted online using Moodle. Oral examinations were conducted for practicals using online interactive sessions. Remaining experiments were conducted by using virtual laboratories. With all these online activities academic activities were fulfilled and students were also kept engaged.
What impact do you think this engagement into online/distance learning by many/most institutions might have on faculty and student confidence in technology-enabled learning?
It is very likely that the next full semester will be "virtual" as campuses will continue to be locked down, and we will have to resort to online teaching. Due to this sudden fallback on the online mode, e-learning avenues have found a new lease of life – they seek to build the credibility of the all-digital classroom by suggesting that it will quickly bring us "back to normal".
What are the challenges of e-learning?
i. Presently, students and faculty are not habitual to the e-learning, so, training of faculty to use e- learning is needed
ii. Non-availability of internet and gadgets with some students
iii. Preparation of e-learning content by faculty members
Could the move to online learning be the catalyst to create a new, more effective method of educating students?
It is partly true. The education of students cannot be 100 per cent online. It should be the judicious blend of face to face as well as online learning.
From the time when there were no technical educational institutes in Ichalkaranji till present day, how has DKTE progressed? What are the major achievements?
DKTE Society's Textile and Engineering Institute, Ichalkaranji was founded in 1982 with affiliation to Shivaji University Kolhapur and recognition of All India Council for Technical Education. Since its humble inception, the institute has grown multi-folds and has branched into various disciplines. The institute offers eleven under graduate programmes, four post graduate programmes in engineering and technology and two post graduate programmes in management. Also, the textile and engineering institute is a recognised research centre for PhD in textile engineering, electronics engineering and mechanical engineering. About 3500 students, 215 highly qualified and experienced faculty members and 12000 alumni are strength of the institute. The University Grants Commission, New Delhi and Shivaji University, Kolhapur have granted “Autonomous Status” to this institute and it is functioning in this manner from the academic year 2016-2017. Also, it was accredited with A+ Grade (3.53 CGPA) by National Assessment and Accreditation Council. National board of Accreditation has accredited nine degree courses being offered by the institute. The Institute is holding a prestigious ISO 9001-2015 certification and has emerged as the Winner of ‘Best Industry-Linked Engineering Institute for the year 2015 and 2017 in a nation-wide survey conducted jointly by All India Council for Technical Education and Confederation of Indian Industries. The institute has also been honoured as ‘The Best Educational Institute for Textile Engineering’ by Ministry of Textiles, GOI, in 2013. The institute has established Memorandum of Understanding in the areas of research, training, students and faculty exchange with many leading national and foreign universities and industries. A prestigious R&D project worth Rs 55 crore is being run in the institute. The institute is equipped with excellent infrastructure in terms of spacious buildings, ultra-modern machinery and equipments in laboratories, cosy and spacious library. DKTE has already carved a niche for itself amongst the reputed engineering institutes of the country, emphasising value based technical education to the aspirants who wish to enter the area of corporate world and be on the helms in the twenty first century.
What is your student strength? Which stream gets the most admissions / placements? Who are some of the noted past pupils?
Strength of students is about 3500. All the streams get 100 per cent admissions. The textile stream has 100 per cent placement and engineering streams have 85 per cent placement.
Amol Ogale -- Scientist, Boeing Industries, Germany
Mukesh Savlani -- CEO, Welspun Ind. Ltd
How equipped are your students to be a part of the industry from the word go – bridging the gap between theoretical studies and practical demands of a job?
All the programmes of the institute are having curriculum that has the blend of theory and hands on training. The following practices have helped the institute to bridge the gap between theoretical studies and practical demands of a job:
The students conduct their experiments and research and development work using the state of the art facilities in the laboratory.
Many of the labs are supported by the industries.
Students undergo eight weeks industrial training as part of the curriculum.
Experts from leading industries as well as research organisations are invited to deliver guest lecture for providing specialised and addition knowledge to the students.