Digital Transformation and its impact on the Education sector: Dr C L V R S V Prasad,Principal, G M R Institute of Technology, Rajam


Digital Transformation and its impact on the Education sector more particularly on higher education is more visible in post COVID era!!

COVID and post COVID challenges made every sector into accelerate towards digital transformation, however, in the Indian context, the pace of technology integration in higher education sector is not upto the expectations as compared with the global scenario. With the automation in the service and core industries in line industry 4.0, the expectations of the industries moved from knowledge domain to Skill domain. Further, industry is expecting the student to be industry ready and want to bill them from day one. Hence, the training of the students on the new emerging technologies has come to the court of the higher education institutions. 

In the conventional mind set the institutions are expected to produce the comprehensive and broad base knowledgeable manpower who can be trained and get customised by specialised training as per the specific industry requirement in line with the modern technologies that exist from time to time. Earlier, in the context of fresher hiring, the cost of the training and customising the manpower toward the modern technologies used to be taken by the industries as they are very dynamic. Now, in the competitive business environment, in view of cost cutting and very less product life cycle, industries are not ready to take the cost of training the manpower towards the customisation, rather they are expecting the customised manpower to be available at the door step of higher education institutions just similar to the lateral hiring process.

This market scenario made the higher education institutions to explore the strategies of producing industry specific graduates/man power with a very narrow specialisation at UG level. This approach has completely changed the curriculum design, Delivery, Assessment and certification process. This has made the higher education institutions to design short term skill based certificate courses with a very narrow specialisation. Further, the New National Education Policy-2020 has given liberty and enabled the institutions to have full flexibility and offer interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary courses with multiple entry and exit options.

To promote Open Distance Learning (ODL), NEP 2020 enabled the institutions to offer regular UG and PG courses through ODL system. This initiative prompted and gave more scope establishment of virtual universities with the technology interventions using AI, AR/VR technologies. This has given an ample scope and opened the gates for industries primarily tech based to start the virtual universities to market of customised industry driven customised UG and PG courses. Industries offering the degrees in the new emerging areas through ODL is a threat for the conventional universities.

With the liberalisations provided in the NEP 2020 and with the competition from industries, the existing conventional and age old universities have a threat of survival. Under this circumstances, digital transformation has become a mandate to compete globally. With the digital transformation initiative in the higher education institutions, conventional libraries and chalk & talk mode of class room delivery will be supplemented and complemented with blended learning.

Under this circumstances, are our conventional universities and the domestic stake holder are ready of digital transformation ?? this will be a big question mark until unless that the government takes lead in resolving it. One of the most important task that the government has to take up is to see that basic minimum IT infrastructure is made available with all the stake holders and also the policies are to be made to support the subsidising the cost of IT infrastructure and related services…

Brief note on GMRIT…

Established in 1997, GMR Institute of Technology(GMRIT) has come a long way since its inception and has carved a niche for itself in the corporate world. GMRIT is a well-known autonomous engineering college ( affiliated to Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, operated by the GMR Varalakshmi Foundation – the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of GMR Group, an infrastructure major company. The semi-residential college is located in a serene and beautiful campus spanning 160 acres, at Rajam, about 100 kms from Vizag, Andhra Pradesh.  It is currently placed among the top 50 colleges in the country and among the top 5 colleges in the state of Andhra Pradesh. GMRIT is an autonomous institute since 2012 and affiliated to JNTU.   It offers Nine under Graduate and Six Post Graduate programs with an annual intake of 1122. All B.Tech programs are accredited by NBA  since 2007 (4th cycle) and the institute  is accredited by NAAC with ‘A’ grade since 2010 for the three consecutive cycles till 2025. In the ranking done by NIRF-MHRD, GMRIT scored 188th  Rank at the country level for the year 2022.

GMRIT emphasizes collaborative learning between industry and academia as a means of reinforcing its curriculum with practical experience relevant to industry needs. To make students more industry ready, industry driven elective are being offered as add on courses during 6th  and 7th  sem. Introduced Career path approach in the curriculum by offering the sequential elective courses from 5th semester onwards, ending up with a capstone project in the final semester eventually leading to expertise in the trendy core domains.

Further, to enable the student and to have exposure to the industry and research labs during the course period, GMRIT has introduced full semester internship in the curriculum during 7th  and 8th  semester of B.Tech program. GMRIT had MOUs with University of Technology, Petronas, Malaysia; National Formosa University and Asia University, Taiwan giving its student an opportunity to learn about the contemporary technologies and understand the ecosystem that exists in the global picture.

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