Evergreen ECE

Print edition : August 26, 2011

A view of Fomra Institute of Technology at Kelampakkam near Tambaram. - A. MURALITHARAN

Electronics Engineering is still the preferred course, although Mechanical Engineering is gaining popularity.

IF admissions to engineering colleges in Chennai are any indication, Mechanical Engineering is becoming the most popular course. In terms of demand, BE (Mechanical) has outstripped Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE).

However, Srikumar Fomra, correspondent and trustee of Shree Motilal Kanyaiyalal Fomra Institute of Technology (SMK Institute of Technology), Kelambakkam, said ECE continued to be in demand. In fact, the demand for Civil Engineering had also gone up in view of the number of infrastructure projects that were coming up, he said.

P. Jeeva Kalyana Sundaram, special officer, Rajalakshmi Engineering College at Thandalam, has a different point of view. He said: That ECE offers a better choice for jobs is a myth. Software companies prefer to recruit students of Information Technology and Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). Only after their requirements from these courses are met, they recruit students from other branches.

Ishari K. Ganesh, founder-chancellor of Vels' University, said although he received more applications for Mechanical Engineering, ECE is an evergreen course.

G. Venkata Raman, chairman of P.B. College of Engineering at Irungkattukottai, asserted that IT and computer science courses will do very well for the next 10 years because industrial requirements will be good. The demand for Mechanical Engineering, which picked up in 2008, will continue for a few more years. He said since seats were in surplus in several disciplines, there was no need for capitation fees. Grace George, chairperson of the Alpha group of institutions, said as far as student preference went ECE is number one, followed by CSE, Mechanical Engineering and Electronics and Electrical Engineering.

A heart-warming feature of the higher education initiative is that State universities, deemed-to-be universities and self-financing engineering colleges are turning to research. SASTRA University at Thanjavur has set up SASTRA Hub for Research and Innovation (SHRI). One of its main objectives is to promote inter-disciplinary research. SHRI has state-of-the-art facilities, which include field emission transmission electron microscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy, central instrumentation facility, materials characterisation and cell culture facilities. SHRI houses 16 research laboratories. The field emission transmission electron microscopy facility, created at a cost of Rs.4 crore and capable of imaging materials down to 0.1 nm, is the only one of its kind in the region, said S. Vaidhyasubramanian, dean, planning and development, SASTRA University.

Ishari Ganesh, Chancellor of Vels University.-R. SHIVAJI RAO

Rajalakshmi Engineering College is working on inspection of brake piston, spline gear, fuse assembly, brake linings, flywheel assembly and discs in shock absorber. The college was selected for the establishment of a CORE (Centre of Relevance and Excellence) by the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), college chairperson Thangam Meganathan said. The CORE, which has been active since February 2009, is focussing on the study of machine vision methods and techniques whereby artificial vision systems can be built and employed in practical applications.

Ishari Ganesh said Vels was concentrating more on research and inventions now. We will come up with two or three products in a month's time. Research is under way in 11 areas, according to K. Anbudorai, the university's Director of Research.

SMK Fomra Institute of Technology plans to set up a research department in computer-based subjects. The college, with 2,000 students, offers BTech in IT, and BE in CSE, ECE, EEE, and Bio-Medical, Mechanical and Civil Engineering.

The postgraduate programmes include ME in Computer Science and Engineering and Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) and MBA. The Institute will introduce BE in Aeronautical Engineering and Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering next year. Electronics-based instrumentation has a big potential, Srikumar Fomra said.

Rajalakshmi Engineering College has set up a School of Architecture. The college is ranked first among the engineering colleges affiliated to Anna University of Technology, Chennai.

The Alpha Educational Society, which first started Alpha Matriculation Higher Secondary School in 1967 in Chennai, today boasts of another Matriculation School at Sembakkam near Tambaram, Alpha Arts and Science College at Porur and Alpha College of Engineering at Tirumazhisai, Poonamallee.

Grace George, chairperson, Alpha group of educational institutions in Chennai.-R. SHIVAJI RAO

We are planning to start another engineering college, Grace George said. We have a 100 per cent placement in both the colleges. We have a good demand for all the disciplines. Bio-medical engineering is one of our strongest departments, she said.

The college does not offer basic arts and science courses because students have started looking at application-oriented subjects, Grace George said. Students of Alpha Arts and Science College have won top awards three times in Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) contests held abroad.P.B. College of Engineering is ranked number three in Aeronautical Engineering among the colleges affiliated to Anna University of Technology, Chennai. It is a niche course, said Venkata Raman. Even software companies were recruiting aeronautical engineers for their projects in aeronautical industries, he said. The college offers BE/BTech in Aeronautical Engineering, ECE, CSE, EEE and IT and MCA.

Venkata Raman dismissed the rush for BTech in Biotechnology as a hype. Biotechnology as a course has failed. Graduates from the subject are not able to get jobs, he said. Ishari Ganesh admitted that there was a slump in the demand for seats for the course.

Asan Memorial Educational Institutions form a big group today. Asan Memorial College of Arts and Science offers BSc in Microbiology, Biochemistry, Computer Science, Hotel and Catering Management, Visual Communication, BCom and BBA, and four job-oriented postgraduate courses MSc in Applied Microbiology and Biochemistry, MBA and MCA. The college also offers MPhil in Biochemistry and Microbiology. Asan Memorial College of Engineering and Technology offers BE in CSE, ECE, EEE, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Instrumentation Engineering. The group proposes to start Asan Business School and a dental college and hospital.

Park Global Schools of Business Excellence in Chennai and Coimbatore offers five management programmes, including post-graduate diploma in management (PGDM). Those who have taken the course have already found employment, said Anusha R. Mahesh, CEO of the group.

Placement cells are the forte of Arulmigu Meenakshi Amman College of Engineering at Vadamavandal near Kanchipuram, Sri Muthukumaran Institute of Technology at Mangadu, and Meenakshi College of Engineering at K.K. Nagar. Students of these colleges are employed in reputed companies.

Thangam Meganathan, chairperson, Rajalakshmi Engineering College.-A. MURALITHARAN

Dr MGR University at Maduravoyal aims at making its students job-creators and not job-seekers. The engineering wing offers BTech in ECE, EEE, CSE, Industrial Biotechnology, Instrumentation and Control Engineering, EIE and Bio-Medical Instrumentation and Engineering. The university's Thai Moogambigai Dental College and Hospital plans to start two postgraduate courses in paedodontics and oral pathology in the next academic year.

The Apollo group of colleges comprises Apollo Engineering College, Apollo Priyadarshan Institute of Technology, a polytechnic, an arts and science college, a college of education, Apollo Computer Education Limited and Apollo Subbulakshmi Polytechnic College in Tiruchi.

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