The COVID effect: Biology will now be a part of engineering course. Here's why

The introduction of Biology will be considered the first iteration policy, with the aim to make the education system autonomous
Pic | VTU
Pic | VTU

All engineering colleges under Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) will offer 'Biology for Engineers' as a subject from this year. It will be part of the 'ability enhancement courses' under the National Education Policy (NEP).

Explaining the new addition to all engineering courses from this year, VTU Vice-Chancellor Karisiddappa told TNIE that in the backdrop of COVID-19, engineers were seen working closely with doctors to design medical equipment, using advanced technology such as artificial neural, highlighting the need for the concept of biology in engineering courses.

The curriculum is being drawn up, and the subject will be introduced for second year students too, so it helps those who want to gain lateral entry into engineering. This will include the study of cells and blood flow, and there is also a need to understand the nervous system while working with artificial neural networks.

Apart from 'Biology for Engineers' as an ability enhancement course, Block Chain Technology and Data Analysis and Simulations are also set to be added to the curriculum, said Karisiddappa. The introduction of Biology will be considered the first iteration policy, with the aim to make the education system autonomous. Colleges should think of opening new departments which are considered multi-disciplinary, he added.

66 colleges to provide degree in basic science

Engineering colleges will leverage their teaching capabilities — quality of teachers, availability of labs and classrooms — to introduce basic science courses. Physics, Chemistry and Maths will now be taught by Engineering course teachers, Vice-Chancellor Karisiddappa told TNIE. He said colleges which are mostly private, aided and autonomous, were chosen based on their existing facilities, faculty members and being accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) and NAAC.

Merging campuses to bring in faculty from a science college from the same city or society (that runs the engineering college) will be allowed. The faculty can be used from science colleges where there is lower work-load. This also comes in the backdrop of more than 50 per cent vacancy in VTU admissions. Karisiddappa said the reason to start the course was use of engineering faculty to teach Physics, Chemistry and Math; and use of engineering college labs and facilities.

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