The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has released a list of books by Indian authors and publishers for undergraduate, postgraduate and diploma level engineering students. The list has been developed by the expert committee consisting of academicians from top institutes including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). The books are in-line with the ‘model curricular’ prepared by AICTE and inaugurated by the Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar in January this year.
The University Grants Commision (UGC) has promoted the usage of Indian books by engineering students and faculty across Indian colleges and universities through an official circular. “It is hoped that this list will draw on Indian experience and contextualise in Indian on the Indian setting may aid students in better learning of concepts and in turn improve their quality,” states UGC in its circular.
The circular was a response to the AICTE’s letter to UGC asking it to promote the list of Indian authors (created by AICTE).
“We have created a suggestive list for students to promote the books which have been created by both Indian authors and publishers together. This will encourage Indian authors to write more about engineering, technology and related fields,” said Rajive Kumar, adviser, AICTE.
“The expert panel which has created the books had representation from both industry and academia. It aims to create a list of books aligned with the ‘model curricular’,” Kumar told indianexpress.com. He also said that coming from an expert panel the list will burst the prevalent myth that foreign authored books are better than the Indian ones.
AICTE had invited suggestions from the industry on topics to include in engineering education to make engineers more ’employable’ and industry relevant.
According to Rajan Bose, director, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Delhi, books should be selected based on their relevance to the course and not because of the nationality of the author. “Good books are written all over the world. The outlook of Indian authors versus the rest of the world is not the right approach in choosing books. There are relatively lesser Indian authors in the field of technology and we should give them incentives to write more,” he said.
List of reference of Indian authors might not be the right way to promote them. “This is just a step. We need to popularise good books by Indian authors. We need to give incentives to them and find out focus areas and create a list of industry-relevant subject areas on which Indian authors can write a more and relevant technical book,” Bose added.
The ultimate choice, according to the AICTE, is of students on which book they want to follow. Student community has an inkling towards foreign authors due to their “better quality content”. Nikhil Walia, BTech software, final-year students in DAV Institute of Engineering & Technology (DAVIET), Punjab said, “There are limited Indian authors in technology related field who produce original content. Many books are often mere compilations. On the other hand, foreign authors have more quality content and their books are practical-oriented. When it comes to technical subjects like computational, data structure etc, foreign authors are always a better choice.” Nikhil also added that Indian authors are easy to understand as they use a comfortable language.