Allow student entrepreneurs with short-attendance to sit for exams: AICTE to Engineering Colleges

As per the latest directive, the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has directed Engineering Colleges across India to allow student entrepreneurs from their colleges to appear for the annual exams even if their attendance is shot. In addition to allowing them to appear for the exam, the council has also asked engineering colleges to explore options of residential programmes for such students, whereby they can stay on campus and continue their engineering studies while continuing to work on their start-ups. Engineering colleges have also been asked to explore options of providing student entrepreneurs semester breaks to allow them time to work on their start-ups.

Decision to promote Research & Innovation

According to the directive, the decision has been taken by the AICTE - HRD Ministry’s technical education regulator, to promote research and innovation among the engineering students pursing B.Tech and B.E programmes at various engineering colleges in the country. The decision is expected to inspire students to take up entrepreneurship and launch their own innovative start-ups that can help them turn from job seekers to job givers. In the long run, the decision will transform start-up landscape and also address the issue of unemployment in the country.

Key Recommendation of AICTE

The directive of AICTE issued to all engineering colleges have highlighted some key points through which innovation and entrepreneurship can be promoted on campus of engineering colleges. The directive provides for:
  • Short Attendance: Engineering students, who have their own start-ups, should be allowed to take the semester and annual exams by the college, with due permission from the institute.
  • Semester Break: Student Entrepreneurs should also allow student entrepreneurs to take semester breaks or even year-long breaks, if found to be necessary, to work on their start-ups and innovations. The final decision in this regard should be taken by the review committee setup by the institute, after thorough examination of the proposal submitted by the student entrepreneurs.
  • Academic Credits: Apart from this, AICTE directive also provides for provision of additional academic credits to student entrepreneurs who are working on their innovations or start-ups while pursing their engineering courses. The academic credits to be awarded to such students should also be monitored by the review committee who will evaluate the progress made by the student entrepreneurs in establishing their start-ups.
  • On-campus Accommodation: To allow student entrepreneurs to devote more time to their innovations and start-up ideas while also pursuing their studies, engineering colleges have been asked to facilitate on-campus accommodation for the students.
  • Access to Finance: To strengthen the innovation funnel of the institute, engineering colleges have also been asked to grant access to finance for student entrepreneurs and their start-ups and support the innovation culture on campus.
  • Industry Interface: As part of the industry-interface programme, engineering colleges have been asked to connect budding entrepreneurs with the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem. The directive asks colleges to connect student entrepreneurs with real life entrepreneurs and help them understand the challenges that they might face during different phases of the development of their start-up business.
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