After redesigning the traditional Arts, Science, and Commerce courses as well as engineering programmes with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the state is bringing the new policy to the polytechnics.
The Maharashtra State Board of Technical Education (MSBTE) has introduced a new NEP-aligned course structure and curricular framework for diploma engineering courses. Under the new framework, students will have to undergo 12 weeks of industry training, up from six weeks mandated under the current system, and will be assessed on their self-learning capabilities in addition to the usual theory and practical tests. The new courses will also have a wider choice of subjects and multiple entry and exit options - a key feature of NEP.
This new course format, named 'K Scheme', will be gradually introduced to the new batch of diploma students being admitted to polytechnics in the current academic year 2023-24. It will eventually replace the current 'I Scheme' curriculum by 2025. MSBTE has already released the revised structure for the first semester of the three-year diploma programme for 49 specialisations.
According to officials, the objective of the new scheme is to make diploma courses more flexible and student-centric. The students will be able to choose subjects from their own stream as well as other engineering branches fourth semester onwards. The industry training will be provided in the fifth and sixth semesters, while the students will have to earn a part of their credits through 'self-learning' term work. Between second and third semesters, students will have to engage with the people and community around them for various causes as part of a 'social internship'.
"Currently, the students complete their class assignments by simply copying from other students. But in the new framework, the students will be encouraged to explore things on their own and write about them accordingly," said Vinod Mohitkar, Director, Technical Education.
With multiple entry and exit options in place, the students leaving the course after one or two years will be awarded a certificate and a diploma in vocation, respectively. They will also have a choice of rejoining the course later.
The state has released the NEP-aligned course structure and credit framework for undergraduate engineering programmes. While 51 autonomous engineering colleges and engineering departments at seven public universities in the state are expected to implement the new policy from the current academic year 2023-24, the other institutes have until 2024-25 to make necessary changes in their academic programmes.