WITH an aim to create an evolved education system built on the foundations of design thinking, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University (DBATU) is making design education mandatory across the 78 engineering colleges that are currently affiliated to the University.
With this, DBATU becomes the first technological university in the country to integrate compulsory design education into the engineering curriculum. The announcement will impact nearly 7000 second year Mechanical engineering students in 78 engineering colleges in Maharashtra. The course is optional for other branches of Engineering.
An expert committee formed in 2017, under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shikshan Abhiyan (RUSA) along with industry representation from Autodesk, NASSCOM and Sector Skills Council recommended the inclusion of design-centric foundation courses in engineering education. DBATU strongly believed in this idea, following which it mandated the product design course, effective from the academic session for students enrolled in 2017 who are currently in the second year. The product design engineering course to be implemented by DBATU is certified by industry bodies such as NASSCOM and was developed jointly with Autodesk, a world leader in 3D Design technology, and in consultation with leading manufacturing companies such as Tata Technologies, Larsen & Toubro, JCB India, and Imaginarium.
The courseware is expected to empower students with the required competencies of product engineering design at the very beginning of their engineering education and would help create an industry-ready workforce that is also globally competitive. Students will learn to use advanced design tools such as –Fusion 360, Inventor and apply the technical skills and design thinking skills in their projects in subsequent years.
Dr V G Gaikar, vice-chancellor, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University, said, “Introducing courses like product design engineering adds immense value to the engineering graduates by making them aware of several phases of the product design in the real world, from concept to execution, and most importantly, using an integrated approach. We believe that this course shall help in learning new tools and technologies and develop a culture of pluralism of different engineering disciplines towards a common goal. Subsequently, this may lead to startups from the Institutes based on the products developed as part of the course”.
Pradeep Nair, managing director, Autodesk, India & SAARC, said, “Today, you have unprecedented access to the tools and technologies needed to make better decisions about everything you design and make. Growing automation in production, interconnected digital systems, maturing AI and machine learning will change the way we work – across all industries. We believe that the future will be marked not by a shortage of jobs but by a shortage of skills. We welcome DBATU’s initiative to make design education mandatory, equipping their students with the skills they need to compete in the design-led Future of Making. Learning is key – that’s why we’re proud to support students, teachers, and academic institutions worldwide with free access to Autodesk software and learning resources.”
The engineering curriculum at DBATU which has been in effect since the academic year 2016-2017, included manufacturing as a subject in the third year whereas product design was optional in the fourth year. However, realising the importance to inspire design thinking among students, DBATU has decided to bring about a change by mandating product design course in the second year itself, with the help of Autodesk and NASSCOM.