'Change' is in the air, however, as public agencies, associations and government bodies are increasingly showing an interest in tapping the creativity of students in self-financed colleges, by funding their projects and providing mentorship of experts.
U.Chandrasekhar, scientist, R&D Organization, Ministry of Defense, associated(IE) said, “Students at reputed institutes are already pampered. We are now focusing on identifying earnest, innovative students from self-financed colleges." These programmes come as a boon for students whose exposure to industry and laboratory work is often very limited.
They are also especially beneficial to students in streams such as mechanical, electrical, manufacturing and electronics engineering, who unlike computer science students may not attempt bigger projects considering the limited resources available to them.
Regarding this, Mr.N.Ramesh Babu, professor, mechanical engineering, IIT-Madras says that “It's not that only the students of IIT are bright. Students are bright everywhere, but teachers need to motivate them. Most colleges don't even know of the various associations that are willing to help them. They should et in touch with the to provide their students with the best technical expertise." Dr.Chandrashekar says, "The idea behind generating such purposeful projects, goes beyond engaging the students in research. It is not fair to exert students to get interested in working models in the final year. It has to begin much earlier”.
“If the IIT's can do it, why can't we,” asks Senthil Kumar, Principal, S.K.R. Engineering College, who has many groups of students working in funded projects, including the pico satellite, funded by IE.Students of Veltech and many other financed colleges under Anna University also have been roped in by public agencies.
D.Krishna, Professor, Electronics, Anna University says that “The main focus of most colleges now is on procuring either jobs for their students or patents for their project to be showcased later, which has to change."